"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"
In a perfect world it would be all about the quality of the writing. But the
truth be known perseverance and dedication has probably made more writers than raw talent. At any given time even with a terrific manuscript there may be only one perfect place in the whole publishing industry for a project at that exact point in time, yet a large majority of writers give up before they knock on the right door to find that fit. It's like the old TV show Laugh-in where people would pop out of a window and deliver a line, then somebody would open another window down the row and answer them. A window opens, there is a place for a project, one comes in and it closes only to have another window open down the way. We have to find that open window before the quality of the writing comes into play.
--Terry Burns, agent with Hartline Literary (Visit his website and weekday blog here.)