Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I Have An Agent!

Sound the trumpets!
image by Hans Splinter via Flickr

Whew. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, here's how it happened.

At the end of October 2015, I started querying the novel that got me my offer. Before that, I had written six other novels. This was my fourth time in the query trenches.

Three days after sending the first queries, I got a full request. Yay! And a bunch of rejections. Boo. So I revised my query and sent out more. I had partial requests, full requests, and more rejections. My biggest thrill was receiving a full request despite writing "FIRS 10 PAGES". Yes. A typo in all caps, so the agent couldn't miss it. Gah. Then I participated in some twitter pitch parties and got a couple more requests. I entered Brenda Drake's Pitch Madness contest.

One crazy mid-March day, I was reeling from a month that had been tough in general plus a rejection on a full from an agent I'd been really hopeful about. I'd been querying for five months and had hit that lowest of all points. What had I'd been doing all these years writing? Maybe I was just wasting my time. Maybe it was time to quit.

That afternoon, the Pitch Madness finalists were announced. Out of 811 participants, I made it into the agent round! Naturally, my first reaction was a glance at my latest rejection and the nagging feeling that I should pull my manuscript out. Or at least try to squeeze in another round of revisions.

While trying to decide, one of my kids added to my misery by throwing a full-blown tantrum, and then my e-mail pinged. The subject line told me it was a response on another full. I wasn't sure if I could handle it right then, but I forced myself to open it, quick like a bandaid. Better fast and over with than to anticipate the rejection all night.

It was from the very first agent to request a full, back in October.

She said she read my manuscript with great enthusiasm. YAY!
But she already had something similar on her list. *sob*
So she let a colleague read it. Who loved it! And would like to talk on the phone with me.

I let my husband deal with my child's continuing screeches, and I re-read the e-mail until it sank in. It sounded like The Call.

We scheduled time a couple of days later, and the agent offered rep! Hooray!

Except the agent round of Pitch Madness had already begun. So when I was lucky enough to get a couple of requests, I not only wrote PITCH MADNESS in the subject line, but also OFFER OF REP.

Within days, I had a phone call with a second amazing agent.

After e-mailing back and forth, checking with clients, being almost drunk on my good fortune (oh, and stressful days and sleepless nights – you guys, there are some wonderful agents out there), I made my decision.

I'm thrilled to say that I am now represented by Zoe Sandler of ICM Partners!

The statistics (for this manuscript):
Queries: 46
Partials: 4
Fulls: 8
Contests: 1
Twitter pitch parties: 2
Offers: 2
And let's not forget the 6 earlier manuscripts I wrote and 3 previous rounds in the query trenches.

The moral of the story? Keep honing your craft! Take breaks when you need to. And DON'T GIVE UP!