Friday, July 23, 2010

pinch me

you know that story writers always tell about "the call" - the one where the phone rings, and all their dreams come true, and they sing and dance and celebrate and can't stop grinning?

this is not that story.
(at least not at first...)

and you know the stories you hear about writers who get multiple offers and have their dreams come true DOUBLE and are in the lucky position of getting to choose and therefore must be DOUBLY HAPPY?

this is not that story either.
(at least, not the doubly happy part, and i think you'll see why.)

but this IS the story of.... drumroll.......................

HOW I GOT AN AGENT!

normally i try not to write long self-indulgent posts, but i know when i was querying, i relished reading every detail of other writers' experiences landing an agent, so settle in. this may be long.

i started querying in February. i was very fortunate to get 4 requests out of 11 queries. two of those 4 ended up being invitations to revise & resub. one was a phone call from someone who came to be known on the blog as "Agent Almost." i spent the next few months doing revisions for AA. earlier this month, while still waiting for a response from AA, i decided to start querying again.

i also decided to resub to one of my first choice agents - one who had given me an R&R - because her comments were in line with the revision i had done and, in fact, i had used many of her suggestions in my revision for AA, because i agreed with them so much. she agreed to read it again.

i got a very quick request/full read/offer. i might have done that dance i mentioned at the top of this post. ;)

i did what everyone suggests you do and let the other agents with queries or fulls know i had an offer. AA stepped aside with the kindest well wishes, and we both agreed we hope to cross paths in the future. what a class act! his clients are in great hands. then something unexpected happened. despite being terribly busy, the agent with the resub agreed to read it in time for me to make a decision.

a few days later i had a holy-shit-amazing conversation with the offering agent. i might have danced again. THEN, later that very night... perhaps you've guessed by now: i had ANOTHER holy-shit-amazing conversation - and yes, another offer on the table.

and i stopped dancing.

in fact, i threw up. (well, not right away. first i slept on it and let it all churn up in my stomach for 24 hours.)

then i made a decision. and THEN i threw up... because here's the thing:

when we write a story, we put a little piece of ourselves into it - no, actually, a BIG piece. so when someone says they like your book, it's like they're saying they like you too, and the last thing you want to do is let that person down.

i let my stomach settle, took a deep breath, picked up the phone and said the words i have dreamed about: "I ACCEPT."

i still felt ill about it, but here's what's great about my agent - (MY AGENT! whoa, still getting used to that) - when i told her i knew i was supposed to be excited, she finished my thought and said "you feel sick." she totally gets it.

the next morning i placed a difficult phone call to the MOST GRACIOUS AND AMAZING person, who wished me well and whose praises i will sing forever.

and then i started to feel it... first a little toe tapping, maybe a sway of the hips - the dancing had begun. and the grinning. oh yes, grinning like a maniac, because of these two comments on twitter:

**Today: One new client, Two new contracts to read, One offer, Two client mss delivered, One pitch written... no wonder querybox is stacking!

**For those of you keeping score, this is the 1st new client I've signed all year. This tweet brought to you by the Bureau of Grim Statistics.

...because i am the client, and the agent who tweeted those comments is MY agent - the fiercely honest, uber talented, relentlessly funny.....

Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Literary Agency

now, if you'll excuse me, it's time.
i must go dance my ass off.

30 comments:

Caroline Tung Richmond said...

So cool! What a great story in finding your agent! Squee!

Karen Denise said...

Congrats! You've landed such a great agent! I'd be dancing too. And I love your story. I hope to have one like it some day soon. Good luck and I'll be on the lookout for your novel!

Kelley Vitollo said...

Great story. Huge congrats to you!

Jennifer Hillier said...

WHEE! Huge huge congratulations! Bask in the glow... you've earned it!

Nomes (inkcrush) said...

bring on the long self-indugent posts! Because you rock and I am having a happy dance for you (my kids call them funky monkey dance, when we're celebrating with a little jig).

congrats cant wait to read your book in the flesh, and see the cover and all that other cool stuff :)

xx

Girlinbetween said...

this is AMAZING!

congrats and best of luck :)

Angie said...

Amazing! So pysched for you. I'd probably throw up too. :)

bclement412 said...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

that'd so AWESOME!!

Gem said...

The call stories are my favourite things ever and this is a great one because you have been so honest!! This is so deserved. Cheers for you, Jenn and Butter!! Whoop :)

E.J. Wesley said...

Congrats Erin! Can't wait to read your work!

Veronica Roth said...

YAY! So awesome! Congrats!

Meredith said...

Congratulations!!!! That's so exciting! It sounds like you handled it very professionally--and now you have an agent! :)

erinjade said...

THANK YOU EVERYONE!!

now i'm grinning even more, because you are all so awesome.

:D :D :D :D

Joann Swanson said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! This is so well deserved. You landed a fantastic agency!

jaclyndolamore said...

Welcome to the Jenn family! =D (your book sounds fascinating, too.)

whitneymiller said...

Congrats and welcome to the family!! :) - Whitney

Kate Messner said...

Welcome, Erin!! I'm one of Jenn's authors, too - you are going to LOVE working with her. She's the absolute best there is. Congrats to you both!

lkmadigan said...

Congratulations, Erin!

Welcome to Jenn's Little Shop of Authors. :-)

Lisa

Renee Collins said...

Congrats!! I recognized the name of your book from AW. Sounds fabulous! I'm not surprised you landed an agent. And Jennifer Laughran seems like a fantastic one to land. :)

Marieke said...

Woohoo! Congrats! :D

erinjade said...

omg! lookie above!
famous people are posting on my blog!!
family. i like that. thank you all for stopping by to say hello!

and thanks to everyone for the good wishes. i feel the love. :D

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Omg! that is amazing. I'm so insanely happy! lol I can only hope I get my own story like this sometime soon. Congrats though!!

-Lauren

Gwenda said...

Welcome to the LiteratiCoven!

SuzanneWrites said...

Congrats. I can't wait to read Butter some day. :D

erinjade said...

more thanks all around. you are all made of awesome.

"LiteratiCoven" - love it!

Ilene Wong said...

Yay! I know exactly how you feel! Congrats and welcome, agent-mate! Ilene

erinjade said...

thanks Ilene! :D

Sajidah said...

YAY!! I've been off blog-land for a while and yours is the first I happened to read when I gingerly step back - how awesome! I'm soooo excited for you!

erinjade said...

thanks so much Sajidah! and welcome back to the blogosphere. :)

Lauren Carter said...

congrats, erin! www.laurencarteronline.com/blog/