Literary Agent Dawn Frederick Signs AgentInbox Author


The good news keeps rolling in from WEbook authors! Sonia Halbach, North Dakota native and recent college graduate, signed with Dawn Michelle Frederick from Red Sofa Literary through AgentInbox. We're thrilled to share another author success story with the WEbook community.

Even better, Sonia relocated to New York after graduating, so she stopped by the WEbook offices and talked some more about her path to landing a literary agent. (You get to meet Dawn in the video as well!)

The floor is yours, Sonia!

I've tried two methods for writing a book: sculpting and digging.

Sculpting is when I face an undefined stone with nothing but a chisel, and try to transfer my own images onto this gigantic slab of granite. Basically, I attempt to cut a narrative into existence whether it belongs there or not. However, each time I tried this method, the sculpture either became lopsided, or its foundation quickly gave way. If my original concept was a kitten, it usually ended up looking more like a three-legged armadillo.

I prefer digging.

When digging, I take a shovel and a strategically picked plot of land, and attempt to unearth what's already there, just covered up. This experience feels more like a discovery than creation. Instead of bargaining with a granite stone and forcing it to become something it isn't, digging finds something buried beneath the surface, after brushing away all the dirt, emerges intact and in its intended form.

Burning of Crimson is the first novel I ever completed. When looking back at my hundreds of abandoned projects, Burning of Crimson stands apart because it was the only story where I felt like I was organically uncovering the plot instead of chasing an idea around with a chisel and demanding it mold to my partially thought-out vision.

The concept for Burning of Crimson first struck me when I watched a news report on groups that burned Harry Potter books because they thought the novels promoted evil behavior. This deeply affected me not just as an avid Harry Potter reader, but also as a lover of literature. Book banning is not a new topic, but I wanted to expose the more recent issue of immensely popular fantasy books being targeted by censorship. Once I chose to explore this primary theme, the rest of Burning of Crimson just fell into place.

Burning of Crimson sometimes feels like it was a collaboration of two people – the 17 year-old me who pounded out the initial draft during the summer of 2005, and the current me, who with an English degree under her belt, spent the last two years harshly cutting and rewriting every sentence without the first author’s consent.

If high school me could voice her opinion she’d probably support the edits and be pleased that her four years of college (and tuition) didn’t go to waste, because even though the drafts of the book almost equal the amount of followers I have on Twitter, (don’t worry, we’re not talking Ashton Kutcher numbers here), not a whole lot about the story of Burning of Crimson has changed since 2005.

The present and final draft of Burning of Crimson is what I set out to write five years ago, but it's thanks to many amazing professors at Augustana College who helped me grow as a writer, and also thanks to the direction given by my agent, Dawn Frederick, that Burning of Crimson is now ready for the next step in the publishing process.

So I can finally store away my shovel and brush...for now.


Keep an eye out for more new and updates (maybe even another video) as Sonia's journey towards publication continues!

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  1. Cheers 2 u, Sonia.

  2. Well done, Sonia! Huge congratulations -- "Burning Crimson" sounds fascinating! I look forward to seeing it in my local bookstore.

  3. Lyle Blake Smythers20 August 2010 at 03:33

    Hi, Sonia. Out of curiosity, because I'm trying to find an agent for a fantasy novel, I went to the Red Sofa website and found the statement:
    PLEASE NO FICTION or SPIRITUAL/RELIGIOUS QUERIES. I may consider .01% of some fiction/novels through professional reference, with the understanding that 99.9% of my representative list is always nonfiction.
    Since your book is a novel, I'm wondering how it got picked up. Thanks.
    Lyle Blake Smythers

  4. This is a YA novel, I do consider them :)

  5. Hi,
    Congratulations Sonia. Best of luck for your future. You have done a good work. Keep it up.


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