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My Agent and I Sold a Book!

Categories: My Writing Life.

I’ve kind of kept this news under wraps for a while but I recently got the OK from my editor to let the news out. My agent and I sold a book! In late 2009, we sold my humor book, How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, to Ten Speed Press, which is part of Crown, which is part of Random House. Here’s the cover-in-progress. It’s not finished yet, but you get the gist:

Very exciting! The contract is signed and my editor and I are in the wave of first edits right now. I was very lucky to land where I did. Although it’s being released by a company as huge as Random House, because the imprint Ten Speed is handling it, the book is getting love and personal attention. Bonus.

The book comes out on Sept. 21, 2010. If you know any relatives, friends or neighbors that either possess garden gnomes or live in the vicinity of gnomes, for God’s sake they need this book. While garden gnomes are thought to be symbols of merriment and good will, secretly they’re watching you and conspiring while pushing their little wheelbarrows. The book is a guide to assess if you’re in danger, fortify (gnome-proof) your home inside and out, and, if necessary, combat a gnome in close quarters with a variety of weapons.

Getting the book bought was a fun journey. I wrote the book proposal in May; I edited it in June-July with my agent, Sorche Fairbank; she sent it out in August; publishers expressed interest quickly; Ten Speed made a pre-empt offer in October, and we accepted. It was all very quick. I’ve already learned a lot through the process and continue to learn things, so I will pass on all sorts of cool info to you along this adventure.

So remember: Defend yourself when the garden warriors strike (and they will).

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39 Responses to My Agent and I Sold a Book!

  1. Michelle says:


  2. That’s great news, it sounds like a great book! I’ll be keeping an eye out for it to hit shelves.

  3. Les Edgerton says:

    Congratulations, Chuck and Sorge! You guys rock.

  4. pat says:

    How meaningful that you are in the same writing boat as your blog readers. It looks like you found a unique niche-gnomes and humor. Best wishes for a bestseller!

  5. Congratulations on the sale. I’m a sucker for a good humor book, so I will definitely put this on my Wish List. And I thank you for this blog where so much helpful info is passed along to writers. What a great asset this is.

  6. Angie says:

    Congrats and may the Gnomes be with you!

  7. Jess Haines says:

    Congrats, Chuck, that’s awesome!

    …I’m so buying this.


  8. Teresa Rhyne says:

    I have to admit I love these little gnomes and yet, I also find them a little creepy. Which means I think the book is fantastic! Congrats!

  9. Chuck! I’m thrilled for you! I’m wondering… will reading it inspire me to buy a gnome for the garden, or will it make me glad I have none? Can’t wait to read the book and find out.

  10. Sandy Green says:

    Congratulations on your great news! I enjoy your wonderful and informative blog and was happy to read this!

  11. I’m so excited for you, Chuck!!!! And Florence is right — couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. It must’ve been tough not shouting this from the rooftops immediately!

    I am nowhere in the vicinity of gnomes, but I’m totally buying the book anyway. Perhaps a copy each for home, the car, and the office. One can never be too prepared for the unexpected gnomic attack.

  12. Chuck, CONGRATS!!!! Excellent news, I was thrilled to see this in my inbox today.

  13. Gael Lynch says:

    Great news, Chuck! Great to see another baby make its way in the world!

  14. Lori Mozdzierz says:

    Awesome news, Chuck, on book!!! Maybe you could sing at your book signing :D

  15. A. Grey says:

    A rather late congrats! Having struggled to dodge the insidious attentions of Garden Gnomes for most of my life, I will definitely be checking your book out!

  16. I could use this book. Ever since I moved to Switzerland, I started collecting these little gnomes even though I was never a "lawn art" person before. But they claim that gnomes originated in Switzerland so I just couldn’t help myself. Can’t wait to read the book. Looks hilarious.

  17. Congrats, Chuck!

    Finally. Someone is standing up for the rights of ordinary citizens against the bearded menace hiding beneath America’s shrubbery.

    For shame. Thanks for leading the anti-gnome revolution! :)

  18. Jemi Fraser says:

    Wahoo!! Congratulations – and I love the cover :)

  19. Florence says:

    Chuck: It could not have happened to a better guy. Congratulations!
    I will buy it the minute it hits the stands. Fabulous, is it not, to see the funnier side of life.Thanks for the many wonderful posts on your site. This is one of the most informative and helpful sites in our profession.

  20. Marie Cruz says:

    Congratulations! Sounds like a fun read. I look forward to reading it. :)

  21. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Congratulations. I don’t have a garden gnome but am looking forward to reading the book. And thanks for all the great info on your blog and the new contests this year.

  22. Congratulations Chuck! That’s fantastic news, although you have given me something to worry about when I visit the retirement town up the road where I generally get my groceries. That place is FULL of garden gnomes. Shudder. I better get a copy of your book ASAP.

  23. Anne Gallagher says:

    Congratulations Chuck!!! Incredible blog, incredible rock singer and now incredible author!!! What’s next? Surfing?

  24. Jamie says:

    That is too funny. I wrote a flash fiction piece about a garden gnome attack that I sold to Strange publications for their 52 Stitches series in November. It comes out in late April. I’m sure yours is much more light-hearted than mine. Congratulations on a job well done. 10 Speed is a wonderful press.

  25. Congrats, Chuck!! That book is awesome, and I love the Robot Insurance reference ;). I will have to pick this up when it comes out!

  26. Congratulations. I’ve never trusted garden gnomes.

  27. Whitney says:

    Congratulations! The gnomes on the cover are hilarious!

  28. Beth says:

    Funny since my aunt was a garden gnome creator. I wonder what she would think.

  29. Mary Witzl says:

    There is a house just on the outskirts of Edinburgh with over THIRTY (30) garden gnomes in the front yard. I kid you not: you can clearly see all of them from the bus that runs from Dumfries to Edinburgh, and it is not a pretty site. They need your book badly!

    We had a blue plaster dog and a mini gnome left in our garage and we could hardly get rid of them fast enough. Because you never know.

  30. Lysh says:

    What exciting news! Congrats!
    It looks like it’ll be a hilarious and helpful book! :D

  31. Kristan says:

    Congratulations!! Hey, keep us posted on the journey, will ya? And are you going to make your own query letter part of the successful queries series?

    (Also, I totally saw this on Amazon a couple weeks ago but didn’t say anything since you hadn’t yet. #goodsecretkeeper!)

    Seriously, props and congrats. I look forward to reading it! :D

  32. Melissa says:

    Congrats, that is wonderful! I love garden gnomes! I don’t have a garden, but I have one on the window ledge in my kitchen. haha.

  33. Congratulations! As a traumatized survivor of a brutal garden gnome attack myself, I’m happy that someone is finally taking the initiative to educate the public.

  34. JS says:


    It’s so cute. And evil. A wonderful combination.

  35. Christine says:

    Congratulations, Chuck! What a wonderful post to read!

    Have you ever seen the movie, Amélie? The gnome part was great! I can’t wait to read your book and hats off to you.


  36. christina says:

    CONGRATS to you! sounds pretty darn funny!

  37. Lori says:

    I love good news — and this is absolutely wonderful!
    Good for you. I’ve been enjoying this site immensely. Thanks for all the great content.
    I hope to be able to post something like this someday. :)

  38. Alexis Grant says:

    Great news!!! Love to hear it!

  39. Shelley says:

    Congratulations! This looks hysterical! Can’t wait to pick up a copy or two!

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