If you take a few minutes and look here, you'll find some excellent advice about queries and first pages gleaned from the Agent/Author Day at the Backspace Writers' Conference. It's recommended reading.
What I couldn't help noticing is that a lot of writers who are querying agents don't have a firm grasp of basics. Do not be one of those writers. Do your homework. Learn about your genre, learn to write well, and stretch your imagination when you write your book.
And, yes, this post is mostly filler. It's Friday, and nobody reads blogs on Fridays, as I pointed out last week. I was going to write about how some people I know are upset that I don't take to heart their advice the way I do that of publishing industry professionals (like my agent), and how it's likely a good idea to be a bit secretive about the publishing process once it's underway. My best friend Mighty Reader works in publishing, and last week she received a snarky note from one of her author's mothers, sent along by the author. The author is an adult, and the author's mother (even if she is, as she claims, a retired editor) needs to step off. Publishing is a business. Act in a businesslike manner if you want to make this your career. If you're getting paid by a publisher, then being a writer is your job, even if it's not your full-time job. Do you bring your friends and family to the office to argue with the people who sign your paychecks? No? I didn't think so. Anyway, I was going to write about this but as it's Friday and nobody reads blogs on Fridays, I'll just skip it. Have a swell weekend, all.