This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. Head on over there to join up!
So, what am I celebrating this week?
So… BIG NEWS time. Oddly enough, the big news I first teased you about isn’t the BIG NEWS I have to share today. But maybe I should start at the beginning of the story. Well, not quite the beginning-that was about 7 years ago, and we’re not going back that far!
Anyhooo…. This year I’d kind of given up querying. I had one published book that was taking a lot of my time as far as publicity etc went, and I’ve been trying to finish the book I was half-way through when I went on my small-press journey. So rather than investing time on queries, I’ve been entering the odd contest here and there, and hoping for the best.
Late last month I entered a contest called Pitcharama on the Aussie Owned and Read website. There were no requesting agents, but instead, publishers. I entered THE SIDEWALK’S REGRETS because I felt like STUMPED had been out and about a lot recently. And it got two requests! I was thrilled and sent off the requested pages right away. Within a couple of days, one of the small presses had asked for a full. Four days later they offered a contract.
First BIG NEWS.
But the book was also out with a few agents and I’d also entered the New Leaf Pitch Perfect Twitter pitch contest that had resulted in a partial, then full request. So I asked the small press to give me 10 days or so while I contacted all the other people who had the book. They agreed and I sent out a bunch of emails.
I got a couple of quick passes, a promise that I’d hear back soon that never eventuated, and a very exciting email from an assistant agent saying she would get back to me by the date I’d given as a deadline.
That morning I got up to discover an email from said assistant saying how much she, and another agent, had loved my book. But… (there’s always a but…) there were a lot of things they thought could have been done better and wanted changed.
Once those things were laid out, I could see how they would make the book better. I had one of those head-palm moments where you just say “d’oh!”.
She also said she and the other agent would like to schedule a Skype call with me.
My heart started beating harder. I re-read the email about 50 times trying to figure out what it actually meant. Was this The Call? I couldn’t quite figure it out.
But I organized a time (something of a challenge due to the time difference) for the Skype meeting and I was all set up and ready to go about half an hour beforehand. We started off talking about the book, and then a little way into the call, they offered me representation.
I was thrilled. After 7 years of querying and 10 novels, I finally had an offer from an agent.
The rest of the call is kind of a blur. I knew I should have a lot of questions, but somehow they all vanished from my brain as soon as I head the words ‘we’d like to offer you representation’. But we talked a little longer, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to announce that I am now represented by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary, and also by Jackie Lindert who is the assistant agent at New Leaf who first saw my pitch and made the request.
Suzie was the first agent ever to request a full from me, way, way back when I had written a rather terrible historical romance. So in a way, I feel like this was meant to be. It just took a few years, and few novels, for it to actually happen.
My advice to every writer has to be: don’t give up. Don’t stop writing and don’t stop sending your work out there. Enter contests. Do whatever you can to get your work in front of people. It’s scary as hell, but if you want to get published, you have to do it.
And I am so excited to dive into revising this book again, this time with the support and advice of my agent. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of saying those words… my agent.