Friday, May 18, 2012

How I Got My Agent (SQUEE edition)

Three days before I got The Call, I was crying.

All writers cry. If you're like me, you cry about Game of Thrones, your day job, your general existence, and the fact your F key is slightly sticky so when you try to vent your anger to your pals it just comes out as a long string of "UCK EVERYTHING"s. Writers; if you aren't crying about your manuscript, how awesome a scene you just wrote was, or a full request, you're doing it wrong. Or you're just tougher than 99% of us.

But that day I was crying about rejection. The big R. The dreaded R. The R-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. A wonderous agent had picked my manuscript out of the slush and emailed me back and forth that night while she read. Ultimately, she asked for a time to call. My face was something like this;
















We arranged a call time via email. I went to bed hysterical nervous. The next morning we had a great talk, I made a huge fool of myself stuttering over my words, and she suggested revisions. I threw everything I had into those revisions, knowing a fantastic agent was waiting for them. I poured over every word, every sentence, tweaked and re-tweaked for a month. I took a day off work to make a three day productive final weekend, forgot to eat, and stopped only for tea.

When I turned the revisions in, I was so confident. So, so confident. It made the fall that much harder. After twelve days of anxious waiting, Agent 1 turned me down. The revisions just weren't working. I thanked the agent for her time and proceeded to cry my eyes out again. It was never going to work, was it? This was my sixth book, and it was going to fail like all the others.

After my angst reduced from a hot-boil to a just-as-hot simmer, I revenged queried. I sent out a huge slew of queries to everyone, anyone, knowing that Agent 1 had only been my second query. There was a whole world out there that hadn't seen Book 6. I had no hope, though. No real hope. Hope had dive-bombed off the roof of my heart after the revision rejection.

One of my writer friends directed me to Agent 2, who tweeted she was open for queries that weekend only. I queried her for the heck of it. (OH GOD SO GLAD I DID.)

And then magic started happening. Sunday - two requests. Monday - two more. Tuesday - two more. Wednesday - one request and Agent 3 emailed me to arrange a call time next week. I didn't celebrate. I kept my poker face and thought it would never pan out. Hope started to pick itself up from the cement. My writer friends assured me this was great news, and it was, but I still had my cautious mode on full blast. I wouldn't be let down again. Not again.

Thursday - three requests. The sheer amount in such a small time was starting to scare me. My other books got maybe, MAYBE, four requests.

And then Friday came, and delightful Agent 2 called me out of the blue. No email to set up a time, just a straight call. I was (embarrasingly) on the toilet. I heard my phone ring in the other room and was like; SIGH. THESE TELEMARKETERS. NO PEACE EVEN ON THE CRAPPER.

When I came out I tapped the voicemail, and listened, fully ready to delete it. Telemarketers call from New Jersey all the time. My eyes bugged out. It was an AGENT. I called her back right away.

She read and loved it, and I fangirled over her. There was laughing, a little bit of tears, and happy shouting. She offered.

Everything from that point on became a fantastic blur. I nudged agents. Got four other offers, four calls with four seperate and wonderful agents. I had a week to decide.



FINALLY, I called Agent 2 today and told her I chose her.

But really, we chose each other.


I'm proud and flattered and a million other things to announce I'm now officially represented by Jessica Faust of BookEnds LLC.


So, to the past me sitting there crying over the revision rejection, just know, in your alternate past reality, that things worked out, that the revision did NOT lead to failure, but rather, TAKEOFF. With the support/help/time of a million other people and several other agents, you got to where you are today. It's been three years and five books long, but you've finally made it.


Thank you, readers.
Thank you, supporters.
THANK YOU FRIENDS.
Thank you, whoever you are, for reading this.

Yes, you.



TOTAL STATS:

Books written before The One: 5
Queries Sent for The One: 67
Form Rejections: 23
Revise and Resubmit: 1
Requests: 18
Offers of Representation: 5

34 comments:

  1. YAY! Congratulations, lady! I'm so happy for you!

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  2. You
    Are
    Awesome

    And that is all.

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  3. Congratulations, that's wonderful! That's a great agency!!

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    1. Thank you Vivi! I'm already super in love with BookEnds!

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  4. Congratulations!!!!! Stumbled upon via retweet! So exciting!

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  5. This is a wonderful story. I love that you had to fail first to finally make it. Not because you failed, but because it gives those of us who have failed the hope that it can (and does) get better. I send you a virtual HIGH FIVE and aren't you glad you didn't give up? :)

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    1. Thank you Lori! Definitely, failing was a huge part of getting here. It's your best teacher.

      Thank you for the high five! *high fives back* So glad. SO GLAD.

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  6. Michelle, you already know how happy and excited I am for you. Hard work, persistence, lots of tears, and more persistence really does pay off. I still can't believe the whirl wind you've gone through. It's amazing and HOLY SHIT YOU HAZ AGENT, AMIGA! Besitos y abrazos, chica! Cannot wait to see your brilliance in the form of a published book. I can't wait for everyone to see how incredibly talented you are. AND PLEEEEEEEEEEASE let Shamus come to life one day!!!!!! :D :D

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  7. *flails* I LOVE YOU SO MU-HUH-HUH-HUH-HUCH.

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  8. YAYAY Michelle!!! I had heard most of the story bit by bit, but I loved reading it all together and getting all the juicy details. Your book is amazing and you are amazing and OMG I am so excited and can't wait to have it on my bookshelf!!!!!!

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  9. Wow, 5 offers! So awesome! CONGRATS!!

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    1. Thank you Juliana! I like to think of it as five offers for every book that failed previously! Hehehe.

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  10. That is such an amazing story! Congratulations!!!

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  11. Congratulations, Michelle!!!!!!!!!! <333

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  12. Woohoo! Congrats! Jessica seems like an awesome agent. :)

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  13. Congratulations, Michelle. Sounds like your book is a real winner and that you are on your way! The rewrite and rejection just makes it all that much sweeter.

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    1. Thank you so much Cindy! The book might be a winner, but the people who helped it get to this point are the real winners. :)

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  14. YAYYY SUCH FANTABULOUS NEWS! SO SO SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

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  15. What genre is your book? I've queried Jessica a couple of times but she always passes. I have three fulls out right now (and three partials) so I am keeping my fingers crossed that one of them wants to represent the book (and me). Congrats!

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    1. My book is YA/Contemporary. I'm crossing my fingers for you as well!! Thank you!

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  16. Five offers??!! Holy freaking cow that is amazing! I guess your story proves what they keep telling us: anytime an agent ultimately rejects you but gives you pointers on how to improve your MS is a good thing and preps you for THE ONE agent. Congrats!

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    1. Yes! I didn't really believe that saying was true, but now I believe every bit of it. Keep chugging, and I hope you find success as well! And thank you!

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  17. I just started reading the blog backwards, and I am ALREADY all fangirl excited for you! Congrats!!!!!

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  18. What an awesome and inspiring story! Congratulations!!

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    1. Thanks! I hope it inspired you in your writer journey a little! <3

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  19. Congrats on landing your agent! Especially one as great as Jessica Faust!

    Oh, and I'm passing along the Versatile Blogger Award to you. Thanks for your great posts!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah! Jessica really is the best.

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