In case you missed my announcement yesterday, here it is...
I have an agent!
The absolutely wonderful agent extraordinaire
has offered to represent me and my novel, RULES OF PROTECTION!
Amazing news, right?
Well, I got the idea to write this post from a Twitter friend who shared a similar experience with the whole acquiring-an-agent process. Not only did we both end up with our dream agents, but we both officially accepted rep yesterday! Yay! Thanks, E.M. Caines!
Most writers only get one shot at impressing their dream agent. I got two. Thank goodness, since I totally bombed the first one. I sent Andrea my query and first five pages of my MS back in August 2012. It was the very first query I sent out for this MS, and I chose her specifically after reading a few interviews she had given. I did my research on her, but not enough to qualify me as a stalker. In fact, I only showed up at her front door twice. (Kidding!) It only took her 11 days to reject me by form letter. Either she is really fast or my query really sucked. I have a feeling it was a little of both.
*Fast forward fifteen queries later*
I entered the PitchWars contest, where my entry was chosen by the lovely and talented mentor, Shelley Watters. Go TEAM SHELLEY! I knew Andrea Somberg was listed as one of the agents who'd be reviewing our pitches, but didn't think I had a chance in hell with her since she'd already rejected me once. Then something amazing happened. She requested my full MS, along with three other agents. Crazy, right? I was betting she hadn't recognized it as something she'd seen before when she requested, but when she read the first few pages, it was bound to hit her. I didn't put much hope in drawing interest from her.
During Pitmad, I snagged more requests, bringing the total of requesting agents/editors to eight. Then I snared another full request on the side that had nothing to do with PitchWars/Pitmad, so the total was up to nine. Nine agents/editors had requested my full manuscript. Wow!
My first response came rather quickly. I received an offer of publication from a small romance imprint and had to send emails to each agent/editor that still had my full. Andrea responded saying she started my MS and would finish reading it that night and get back to me. The next day, I totally expected the polite "no, thank you" in my inbox, but she emailed me again saying her day got crazy, she was halfway through the MS, and would finish it that evening.
Wait...she's halfway through it and still reading it??? Holy crap!
That same evening, she emailed again. Okay, here it is, I thought. The big rejection. The one I've been expecting from her since she asked to see the full. I actually dreaded opening that email, but I forced myself to click on it. And then I hyperventilated until I passed out (not really, but it was close). Andrea said she finished reading my MS, loved it, and wanted to talk to me further.
Okay, so she must want to tell me over the phone that she's getting a restraining order. That's got to be it, right?
I got zero sleep. Morning came and I was wide awake and worried. What if she doesn't call? What if she changes her mind? Then the phone rang. It was her. Oh, God! Oh, God! What do I say to her? ("Hi" would've been a good start, but it didn't cross my mind at the time.) Do I let it ring a couple of times so I don't look desperate? Or maybe I should answer right away so I don't look lazy? (I know, I know. I need therapy!)
But Andrea was great to talk to - friendly, outgoing, and bubbly. We had a great talk, where I finally admitted (not right away) that I queried her with this MS back in August and she'd rejected it. We had a good laugh about it. She hadn't recognized it - which, once I thought about it, made sense. There were some differences between the first one I sent her and the one she saw recently: title changed, removed prologue, tighter prose, and the pitch was much better. And as many queries as she gets any given day, I'm suddenly feeling stupid that I thought she'd recognize it in the first place.
Then she offered me representation and made me a firm believer.
If something's meant to happen, it will.