I’ve written a post like this before–I was repped by a lovely agent a few years ago. But, alas, she left agenting to pursue another path. I had the opportunity to work with her colleague, but decided I wanted to finish my next manuscript before approaching agents so I could work with someone who really wanted my work.
It happened. A few days ago.
But, boy, was I slow finishing this manuscript. It’s historical fic set during the French Revolution. Daunting? Oh, yes. The time period is amazing and terrifying and there’s so much to learn. Did you know that executioners were actually gentlemen, often with musical endeavors? Not the creepy robed toothless guys we think about…
So I wrote a story–realized it was the wrong story and started again. Years happened since the release of THE DOLLHOUSE ASYLUM. But I’m a mom and this story took research and I think competition in the writerly world is more competitive than ever before.
I started querying this version last summer. An agent read it and we met at a conference. She pulled me aside and told me what absolutely worked for her and what absolutely didn’t. I listened and applied each and every word.
When I finished editing months later, I queried again. I got compliments here and there, but no one wanted to take the plunge to work with me. It just didn’t *click* for either of us. I participated in #PitMad, got a couple of requests, but it wasn’t until #Pit2Pub that the magic happened. From a few publishers, I got favorites. And then an agent favorited, too. I sent everything off.
It was only a week later that I received an offer of publication from one of those publishers. I sort of thought it was spam–I didn’t believe it at first. But, with a little research knew it was more than legit. I went ahead and notified the remaining agents and publishers. A few bowed out, saying they were happy for me, but didn’t have time to read soon.
I gave everyone a week (which wasn’t long enough). When a week rolled by, I hadn’t heard from two agents and one of the publishers–who asked for a little time. So I extended my deadline. It was only a matter of days that I heard from the agent who favorited my #Pit2Pub tweet–she had a few questions. But it was about other projects. Did she not like my current one? Then she wanted to set up a call to “discuss” and I had absolutely no clue if she liked it or not. I set up the meeting for ASAP, because I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO KNOW and when she called–
–everything *clicked.* More than I thought possible. She told me she loved my story and loved the mix of history, edge, and faith-based message. I thanked her, remembering how I wondered if anyone *would* like it since it’s a different sort of combo. She assured me it was exactly what she was looking for. She also told me she loved my executioner.
We talked, and it was the first time in my life where I talked to a literary agent (I’ve talked to a few) and KNEW we would be good together.
When she asked if I wanted to work with her, I said the other agent who had my full hadn’t responded to my emails so, “Let’s do this!” She giggled and said, “Let’s do this,” too.
So, I’ve fasted and prayed and gone to the temple; and fasted and prayed and gone to the temple. And worked, worked, worked. Served, served, served. Research, research, research. I was really tempted to throw in the towel the week before, feeling like everything was bogging me down. Yet nothing was actually amiss, I just *felt* like giving up. Do you know that cartoon where the guy’s mining a tunnel and just before the end, gives up?
I felt like that. But I didn’t stop, didn’t give up, and I remember telling my husband at that time that I felt like the adversary was really going after me because I was close. I am thankful for the scriptures and my Heavenly Father, because he helped me see what was going on. And I am thankful that I’ve found the most AMAZING agent who is this perfect combination of professionalism, fun, and sweetness. I told my sister, “She’s a great listener, and not afraid to interrupt!” That’s what I want–someone to listen and take me to the next level. We’ll do great things together! I know it. We’ll be subbing to publishers soon.
Her name? Vanessa K. Eccles of Golden Wheat Literary. She is my favorite.