Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Path to Getting an Agent Pt. 2

I just had a brilliant thought that I unfortunately didn't come up with on Monday when I posted Pt. 1... I should have asked you what YOU thought would happen next in the comments! That would have been fun. Oh well.

So, wanna know what happens next? For those of you who excel at math, you have probably figured out that I did not become the next Stephenie Meyer who got an agent on the first round of queries. (You would have figured that out by realizing I signed with my agent in March of this year 2010 - and Pt. 1 happened in Summer-Fall of 2007. Yikes.)

Here's what happened next: I waited. And waited. And waited. And started getting a few form rejections in the mail. A few more. Some more waiting. And then....! An email from someone I don't know! Celebrations! Oh, wait. Who is this person?

I queried an agent, and got an email back from a person (who's name doesn't show up on the agency website or the Writer's Market listing - which was the only source I was using at the time) asking for a partial. I figure out what agency she's from by the name of it in her email address. Okay, great, now I sort of know who she is. Maybe an assistant or something? I'm so excited! I got a partial request! I write her back to ask if she'd like it emailed as an attachment or sent in the mail (since she didn't say, it was really a very short email). And nothing. No response. Nada. Ever. Again. That was weird.

Also, no response from Jodi. But that could be a good thing, right? It's not a no... yet. After 8 weeks, I begin to lose hope and figure I'd better get ready for my next round of queries. But, wait! Another email comes, from someone I don't know again. Except this time, she says she's Jodi Reamer's assistant, that Jodi liked my sample pages and wants a 100 PAGE PARTIAL!! Celebrating and screaming and squealing ensues. This. Is. It!! I am so landing my number #1 agent baby!

I send her the partial and eagerly wait for a response in the next week or so. Because that's how fast she will respond when an agent is interested, right? Especially when they request it right around the Holidays so they have lots of free time to read it! (Hopefully you are laughing out loud right now at my naiveté. If not, you have much learning to do young padawan.) The other thing about this partial, is that she asked for it to be exclusive. Which I immediately granted. So I wait, and wait, without sending any other queries out. December passes silently. Christmas comes and goes. New Year's. Valentine's Day.

Then... I get it. The long awaited email from her assistant. I open it with baited breath. I read an opening line thanking me for letting them have the chance to read the partial, and telling me how much they enjoyed it, and praising my writing and my characters and etc. Until suddenly they're telling me that unfortunately Jodi doesn't want to offer representation because she felt like there wasn't enough of a reason for Gareth and Ava to be falling in love - that she needs more than a vague sense of destiny. I'm stunned. What in the world just happened? She rejected me? All my dreams come shattering down around me. No one is going to think that Erin's younger daughter is named Ava because of my book after all. I'm not the next Stephenie Meyer. Jodi doesn't like it. I'm broken.

This lasts for a short period of time. Then I decide there has to be at least a few other agents out there, and I'd better start doing some more research. I (with the help of two friends) start researching this industry some more, and find websites like (holy crap! There's, like, a ton of agents out there!), and agent blogs and websites and all sorts of information. (I know, I'm lame that it took me almost 3/4 of a year into this journey to figure that all out.)

I dust myself off, wipe my eyes, swallow hard past that lump in my throat, and decide I'd better keep moving forward. I believe in HIDDEN, my friends/family/readers do (they claim they like it better than Twilight and swear they aren't just saying that. But they are my friends, so I'm not really sure I can trust 'em. However, it does give me the boost of confidence needed to make me want to find the person who WILL believe in Ava and Gareth as much as I do.) I also find out that a woman in my neighborhood (ironically named Stephanni Myers) used to be an acquisitions editor and is a published author. She graciously takes the time to help me take the feedback I got from Jodi, reads my whole manuscript and then tears it apart. In a good, GOOD way. It doesn't feel good at first - in fact, when I see all those red marks completely obliterating the page, I think "why did she even read this if she hated it so much?" She didn't hate it though, quite the opposite actually. Stephanni taught me a major lesson that is vitally important at any stage in this business and I am eternally indebted to her, not only for that but for all of her help and support along the way. What was that lesson? Stay tuned to find out! Or maybe let's play that game I thought up: what do you think the lesson was that I learned? Or can you make a guess at what happens next?

Until next time!
(P.S. if there are tense problems or rambling issues in this post, I am not held responsible. I am somewhat distracted by some health issues Son B is having and a test we have to go to today. Wish us luck or pray for us, whichever you feel comfortable doing.)


Windy Aphayrath said...

Sara, I'm not sure I like this whole ... leaving me at the edge of my seat thing. ;)

Good luck/well wishes for Son B and the fam!

Larissa said...

Prayers coming your way. :)

Hmmm ... I agree with Windy. We have to wait? Again? Ahhhhh!

Anonymous said...

You've obviously learned a lot about knowing where to end a chapter!

Best wishes & prayers to your family.

Jemi Fraser said...

You're making us wait??

Best wishes to your son and you.

Sara B. Larson said...

Sorry everyone for making you wait again... but I figured you wouldn't want to read a post that was ten miles long. ;) More on Friday!

Thank you for the well wishes and prayers. It means so much.

Kathryn Rose said...

Prayers for you...

Sara, your writing is so HONEST!!! I truly appreciate that! Looking forward to Part 3! Hang in there!

Jennie Bailey said...

Prayers for Son B.

I can hardly wait for the next part! Thanks for sharing this with us.

Regina said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Belle Wong said...

Another cliffhanger! I can hardly wait for your next post.

Best wishes to you and your son.

Carolyn V. said...

Sara, I'm so sorry to hear about your son. I hope all is well. <3

Lola Sharp said...

Oh, prayers for your son. I hope he is okay.

And, damn, you definitely learned how to leave us on a hook. Well played. :)

I'll be back tomorrow.


Theresa Milstein said...

I was so naive when I first started writing and submitting. You're not alone!