Learn How to Present Yourself
–David Baker on Kymberlie Ingalls, excerpted from Write Angles
Literary agents want to hear about our platform and expect to be directed to our blog. Should we conceive of one presenting the electrifying premise of our work, excerpts that stimulate the reader’s curiosity, and laudatory comments submitted by reviewers? Yes, but Kymberlie Ingalls can help us do much more.
Ingalls, our featured speaker for the January 19 meeting, is a writer, freelance editor, and class instructor who has been blogging since 1997. She currently has several sites in operation. One of them includes a section titled “My Former Self,” in which she recalls starting out as a disk jockey during her brief career in radio: “So many switches” on the mixing board—“big ones that lit up bright orange, small metal ones that did who the hell knows what.” Only a few seconds left until. . . “I had to say something into that bulky microphone that would be heard by thousands of listeners. Crap was all I could think. The song was wailing to a close. Oh man! I’m up! Is this the right switch? Ah, hell, here goes nothing!”
Obviously, Ingalls knows how to build tension. A literary agent would also see that she knows what she’s writing about and takes her work seriously. After reading her concluding promise to “make those rock ‘n’ roll fantasies come true,” the agent would sense as well that Ingalls loves music and treasures the connection between the DJ and the listener.
Introducing a different blog, “Stories in the Key of Me,” she writes: “This is my playground, where I get to frolic with language, tease with words,
and flirt with the reader’s mind in the form of memoir, prose, and flash fiction.” In another, “Neuroticy = Societal Madness,” Ingalls takes aim at hypocrisy in present-day America. Her “Bay Area Collective” is a venue for local events, news, and stories that interest her.
What does it all add up to? Not only agents but potential readers want to know who we are as writers. At the January meeting, we’ll find out how to present ourselves.