As the snow just keeps falling on my corner of the world, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading entries in pitch contests, reading queries, reading books. I’ve been finding some great stuff in my inbox. And when I need to take a break,  I’ve been watching some great TV. In the case of The Wire, it’s for the second time.

What do these things have in common? Crime. And detectives.

Like the annoying, yet brilliant,  sleuth Sherlock Holmes:

Stella Gibson from The Fall:

Bosch‘s Harry Bosch:

 

 

Happy Valley‘s Catherine Cawood:

 

and my favorite villain, The Wire‘s Stringer Bell. (I know, should have been a detective, but I couldn’t resist.)

 

Besides the fact that I loved all of these, and think they’re must-watch crime fiction, there is a point I’m making. When you’re looking for an agent, you need to do a little detective work of your own. You should research the agents you query before you hit send. Or if you’re in a Twitter pitch event or a blogger’s agent matching event, check out the agents who request your work to see if they’re a good fit. See if they’re seeking what you’re writing. If you have historical fiction, for example, and they don’t specifically say they want it, they may not even want to look at it. Be methodical. Take notes on the day #MSWL  (Manuscript Wish List) is trending on Twitter. Take advantage of all the resources out there for authors seeking agents–websites, print guides, Twitter, blogs, writers conferences. Track your queries on a spreadsheet. If you get that offer of representation, have a list of questions ready. You can solve the case and get your “man” (or woman), that perfect agent for you. Just hold fast.