Went to my third writers conference (Fall Philly SCBWI this time) in four weeks and it was great. At least I think so. They are all beginning to blend together in a veritable Carvel Blizzard of information. I learned two (or possibly more…must read my notes) extremely important things: 1. Make your book more marketable by moving it out of 9th grade in Jr. High to 9th grade in HS and two, and 2. Diversity also means including characters who are not defined by race, ethnicity, etc. e.g., A 23 year-old Cuban jazz bassist who’s defined by his musicianish and 23 year-oldish attributes. That advice was given to me by the lovely, kind, and insightful Adriana Dominguez and you should all read her blog. http://adrianadominguez.blogspot.com
p.s. Another very nice agent told me to query one of her colleagues and use her name. I hope she wasn’t using an alias.