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Saturday, August 17, 2013

John Ray Who?

No, I'm not name challenged. I can pronounce and spell correctly today's guest blogger, so welcome with me Jo Huddleston...

When writing was only a secret dream, I slipped into room 213 to attend a meeting where an editor and an agent from New York would speak. Like a squirrel, I checked my space for predators before moving farther inside. Sure enough, here came one, closing in like she’d picked me up on radar.

After introducing herself, she said, “Which is your favorite genre?”

Well, I’d lived my whole life in the South. I knew plenty of guys named Billy Earl, Bobby Joe, or Jimmy Lee but I hadn’t met a John Ray.

“I’m sorry but I don’t know any John Rays,” I said. She marched off in a huff, her literary nose tilted a few degrees closer to the ceiling than before.

My greeting committee of one caused me to wonder: Maybe this event wasn’t for me but for someone else—someone who knew John Ray better than I did.

The editor spoke first, then the agent. For an hour, I seldom heard more than two sentences strung together that I understood. The program ended with a question-and-answer time. Ah ha! Now if I just listen, all my potential writing questions will be answered.

To most of the questions, the two women answered with one of the following sentences: “Make sure you know your genre.” “Query them.” “Identify your POV.” “Include your SASE.”

Query? SASE, POV? And I was wondering how I would ever meet this John Ray person everyone had such high regard for.

Since then, I’ve lined my bookshelves with writers’ magazines, reference books and annual volumes of market guides. After numerous bylines, I still haven’t decided on a favorite John Ray. Perhaps several could query me, so I can choose one. I hope each includes an SASE.

Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novel, That Summer, released in December 2012, as the first book in The Caney Creek Series. Book 2, Beyond the Past, released in April 2013 and book 3, Claiming Peace, is scheduled for release in September 2013. Visit with Jo and her books at her website


  1. Ah, Jo, I had to laugh! I loved this because that was me a decade ago. :)

    1. Ane, since then I have learned what all those terms mean. NOW I have to learn about DEEP POV. As writers we must never stop learning. Thanks for leaving your comment--glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. So amusing. Made me smile. As if! Knowing all that jazz doesn't a writer make, but you? Y'all can write. ;)

    1. Nicole, glad you got a smile when reading my post. Thanks for your kind remarks.

  3. Replies
    1. Lena, thanks for your comment. I'm glad you perhaps got a chuckle out of it. Yes, insightful also.


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