Pitch Day at ‘Agent Shop’ with agent Jenny Bent and author Ellyn Bache


UPDATE: STOP! We’ve received the pitches we need. Check back tomorrow to see if yours made it in time! (and hopefully followed the rules.) I’ll also announce the winner of the Top Pitch Slot and the copy of The Art if Saying Goodbye.

Good Luck!

Welcome to another ‘Agent Shop’. It’s pitch day! YAY!

We’re happy to welcome Jenny Bent from The Bent Agency to this session of Agent Shop.

Today we also have Jenny’s client, Ellyn Bache, with us for the author spotlight with her novel, THE ART OF SAYING GOODBYE.

Leave a comment below using the words ART and GOODBYE for a chance at the Top Pitch Slot or a signed copy of The Art of Saying Goodbye!

Welcome Ellyn!



In a gesture of support and affection for a long-time neighbor who has fallen ill, four women in a close-knit suburban development tie white ribbons to trees in front of their houses, and embark on a powerful journey of transformation. Their ailing friend has always been the neighborhood star, an effervescent beauty whose charm draws all of them in.  As they grapple with her illness, each of them responds in a different way as she sees her own problems with new perspective.  A marriage put on hold because of a difficult child, a nurse’s eerie and unwanted gift of diagnosis, widow’s destructive bitterness, the price of a successful career, all come into play to shape their stories. Ultimately, each one learns to say goodbye … but not before drawing from her friend’s strength the courage to move on and change, as she recognizes that her own life, in the afterglow of someone else’s, is richer and more precious than she thought.

Praise for The Art of Saying Goodbye

“This is a moving, gratifying, and inspiring reminder to live life to its fullest and demonstrate love in every possible way to friends and family.”—Publishers Weekly

The Art of Saying Goodbye is a deeply felt and beautiful story that portrays what friends can mean to each other in ways that are difficult to articulate, and Bache has done so here in perfect pitch. Bravo!”—Dorothea Benton Frank, bestselling author of “Sullivan’s Island” and “Folly Beach”

This sounds like such a powerful read. I have to ask, where did the title come from?

From Jenny Bent.  We had been tossing titles around for weeks.  Nobody liked the preliminary ones — “The Ribbon Trees,” and before that, “Ribbons for Paisley.”  Then Jenny came up with THE ART OF SAYING GOODBYE, and from the first moment, it sounded right.  It was exactly what the book was about — five women learning the art of saying goodbye, not just to a friend, but to elements of their own lives that weren’t working, that needed to be discarded so they could move on and grow.


Care to share what ‘The call’ was like?

In addition to being a remarkable agent, Jenny is one of the finest editors I’ve ever worked with.  When she first saw the book, she had a number of questions she wanted me to address.  What was amazing was how right she seemed to be on every issue.  The minute she posed it, I invariably thought, yes, this is something I need to work on.  And I did.  When she finally thought the manuscript was ready to go out, we both felt confident about it — and she sold the book in three days.  What a thrill!


That’s awesome. Both that you have such a great working relationship with Jenny AND that she sold it in three days! What else do you have in the works?

Something almost too new to talk about.  But I can tell you it’s about a friendship between several women, one really annoying man, and the art of walking dogs.


Too fun. We look forward to seeing more from you. What’s your advice for aspiring authors?

I’ve been writing for a long time, and there are two things I think are most critical: Stick with it.  And don’t lose confidence. If you sit down every day and write, you are going to get better.  You are going to learn skills you never thought you’d master.  You need to believe in yourself enough to send that work out when it’s ready (knowing when it’s ready is another topic altogether).  You need to believe good things will happen.  Sooner or later, they will.  In today’s competitive market, even the most accomplished writers are often rejected, criticized, and (too often) demoralized.  Don’t give up. If you have a supportive writing group that believes in your project, that’s a huge help, too.  But you have to keep at it, no matter what.  Persistence, persistence, persistence!

That’s great advice! 

Where can we find you Ellyn?


Harper Collins

Fresh Fiction



Where can we buy The Art of Saying Goodbye?


Barnes and Noble



Thanks so much for being our spotlight today and we wish you the best!

Make sure you find Ellyn and The Art of Saying Goodbye out there.

And now it’s time!

Agent Shop is open. Read the rules, polish your pitch and –


22 Responses to Pitch Day at ‘Agent Shop’ with agent Jenny Bent and author Ellyn Bache

  1. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    The Art of Saying Goodbye sounds like a wonderful read. It is great what real friends will do for you. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com


  2. Carly Carson says:

    How about The Art of Saying Goodbye to a Really Annoying Man? Nah, too long and Pooh-like I guess. Good luck with the book. It sounds like something a lot of women will relate to. Once you reach middle-age, you will have such a friend to whom you must say good bye, though I’m sure I never did it in an artful way.


  3. Justen Hisle says:

    Saying goodbye is an art one can never perfect. Instead the task is one we practice all the time, usually unaware of doing so. This art can be painful, cheerful, tearful and elightening. Sometimes goodbye is just goodbye while other times it’s until we meet again.

    This sounds like a wonderful read and one I would love to discuss over coffee with my core girlfriends!


  4. Kristen says:

    Congratulations on your book, it sounds like a wonderful story. I really appreciate your advice for those of us aspiring.

    How wonderful to be able to have a collaborative relationship with your agent. Your title is one of those titles that every writer wishes they had thought of!

    -The Art of Saying Goodbye-


  5. Saying goodbye is the most difficult thing to do, especially if you love.


  6. Donna Hole says:

    The Art of Saying Goodbye sounds like a really good book. How amazing you landed the perfect agent for you and your novel’s needs. Wow, sold in three days. A dream we all hope for Ellen.

    Your new project sounds intriguing too.

    Have a great weekend 🙂



  7. What an amazing story! And selling it in 3 days? Wow! Thanks for sharing your story with us. Since art affects the senses and ignites emotion, it’s fitting to apply the term when having to say goodbye-especially to someone dear to you.


  8. Kristen says:

    CC-Ha ha!

    The new Dating for Dummies manual: How and When to Have the Sense to Say Goodbye to an Annoying Man!


  9. Jerri Hines says:

    I love the premise of your book. I’m going to put it on my list of must reads for the summer. I’m in the mood for a book to pull on my heart. And I believe that I will put it on my fanpage’s Summern Reading list going out this week also.
    There is a certain art in creating the right title. Your title brings out certain emotions even before reading the book because no one ever wants to say goodbye.
    Good luck with your book! Can’t wait to read it!


  10. I do book reviews.


  11. Saying goodbye to a loved one or dear friend is never easy, but it does tend to bring family and friends closer together.

    Congratulations on selling the manuscript so quickly! 3 days…like WOW! YI think your agent was was absolutely right about the title. “The Art of Saying Goodbye” does seem to have a more poignant and appealing ring to it.

    The book sounds like a wonderful read and I will definitely be adding it to my TBR list. Best of luck.


  12. Thank you for the interview and giveaway, Candi and Ellyn. “The Art of Saying Goodbye” sounds like a fine read.

    It’s wonderful to read about how an author finds just the right agent, and vice-versa. Maybe someday that will happen to the rest of us.

    Now I must bid you goodbye so that I can polish my art. Keep up the good work!


  13. Lucy says:

    I have to say the title caught me right away. There is an art to saying most things in life, if you want to say it well. Goodbye is the hardest. I look forward to reading this.


  14. Kristina Gilley says:

    After reading your blurb, The Art of Saying Goodbye sounds like a powerful read that we can relate to on one level or another. Thank you for writing it. and thank you for sharing your thoughts here with us, and for your encouragement. I believe once I start reading this work of art you have written, it will be difficult to say goodbye to when I finish.


  15. Margay says:

    I’ve never been very good at the Art of saying Goodbye, but I try to be there for my friends/family.


  16. Linda says:

    Sounds like an awesome book. My life at the moment is in that reflective stage, there is I have discovered an art to living, just living. Most of us never suceed in getting that, at least I didn’t until recently. It is sad that we much say goodbye before we’ve really begun to say hello.

    This sounds like a moving tribute with heart felt emotion.


  17. >>Something almost too new to talk about…it’s about a friendship between several women, one really annoying man<<

    Ahem…I might be able to hook you up. There are three women who come to mind if you need help with the research for this WIP!!



  18. Hi Ellyn,

    What an interesting premise for a book. The Art of Saying Goodbye sounds just like something I would love to read. As I have been learning over the past few years, there really is an art to saying goodbye to family members as they pass on, and to saying goodbye to our life as we knew it. Congratulations. This looks like a wonderful read.


  19. Candace says:

    Saying goodbye should be an art because it’s the last memory someone will carry away of you.


  20. Marilyn Baron says:

    The Art of Saying Goodbye sounds like a wonderful book and a topic that is very relevant to me as my brother is battling a terrible illness. As a matter of fact I just drove down to visit him in the hospital and am reading your post in the car. I am looking forwarding to reading your book. I have met Jenny on several occasions and you are lucky to have her as your agent. I wish you success with the book and future books. I agree book titles are critical.

    Marilyn Baron


  21. Connie Flynn says:

    Books like The Art of Saying Goodbye often trigger readers’ personal experiences of saying goodbye to a loved one. Dealing with the pain in an honest and uplifting way is an art in itself. and one you’ve clearly taken to a new level.

    Good luck and congratulations!
    Connie Flynn


  22. Ellyn Bache says:

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. “The Art of Saying Goodbye” is a novel close to my heart because it’s based on something that really happened — so I hope it will touch you, too.

    It was Jenny Bent, not me, who came up with the title! She’s been such a marvelous help — and a truly great editor as well as an agent. Good luck with your pitches.


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