Today’s podcast is with Gary Heidt, a very unusual person within the realm of the arts, but, I think it’s safe to say, an entirely unique one in the realm of literary agents. Based on how much it turns out that Gary & I have in common, one remarkable thing is that our paths only crossed because I was searching for an agent. Another plank in the bridge that is currently being constructed via this podcast, perhaps? Certainly, talking to Gary was in its own way as confirming and validating as talking to Ann Diamond proved to be. It was a real amplification of the signal to find someone in “that world” who can speak from direct experience (in more ways than one, Gary grew up around a NASA base in Texas), confirming and echoing my own understanding of it.
The timing was also acute, as I had just finished what feels like my first novel two days before speaking to him. (I say “feels like” because I have written novels before, but besides the one about Sam Peckinpah, which is a biographical novel, none of them have been successfully completed, where I think this one possibly has.)
The timing isn’t exactly coincidental, however, since it was starting this novel—and my feeling of excitement about it—that caused me to look into Gary again and, on seeing how liminal of an artist he was, decide to ask him onto the podcast. Still, I had no idea where I would be with the novel by the time we got to speak, and as it happened the discoveries I’d made while working on it fed right into our discussions, regarding the possibilities of using fiction for uncovering (as well as concealing or avoiding) reality, and the like.
There’s a certain irony in connecting to Gary. While I finally get to connect to a literary agent and discover not only that they can be people too, but even like minds and kindred souls; at the same time, and inseparable from that affinity, the literary agent I connect to considers the publishing business to be so tightly controlled that it may as well be Oceania’s Ministry of Truth!
Speaking of the novel, I am considering sharing it with some early readers in exchange for feedback. If you are interested, let me know via the usual channels.