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NEWS!! I Have An Agent! No Kidding. Part 2

Warning: To compensate for the super short first post, this one is long. Feel free to scroll down.

You know how when you come across those blog posts announcing their good news (I've got an agent! I have a book deal! I'm going to be on Oprah...well, if Oprah's show was still around, that is), and you think to yourself that when YOUR time comes, your post would be so EPIC everyone's gonna remember it for a looong time. 

Yeah, it's fun to daydream sometimes. And it's fun to think you'll be as cool as a cucumber when your inbox shows you've got mail. Especially when the email starts with: "I am pleased to tell you..." You're not going to run waddle down the stairs in your pajamas, doing a silent squee because everyone else in the family is still asleep, and pump your arms in the air ala Rocky Balboa style. An imaginary crowd roars cheers in your ears (really, it was only the blood rushing to your head, but who cares, right? It sounded like a cheer.)

No, you'll be an uber cool dude, and no one--I say, NO ONE--is going to find you doing a cross between the chicken dance and Elaine's dance because you are such a professional.
Animated Dancing Chicken

Ahem.

What? You want stats? I don't do stats, but I'll try my best.

I started querying around the end of March--which was very poor timing on my part. People were just coming back from the Bologna Book Fair. I sent out a few queries (like 3) and waited, and waited, and waited. It was also the earliest version of my query. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later, I decided to send out a few more with a newly revamped query. And the waiting continued.

Lesson #1: Be patient.

Rejections finally came in.  *sting* But as they were based on my query, it didn't hurt too much. I knew I needed to work on it. Enter Agent Query Connect and its awesome band of writers. I had all my query versions numbered in a file. My first full request came, and I thought I was going to faint. I was so nervous I messed up the page numbers in my file submission and had to re-send a new email with the corrections. *facepalm*

Lesson #2: Learn to calm down. Double check everything. Don't be hasty.

For most of April, I sent out intermittent queries. At the same time, I worked on my query, even asking BBC's Query Cat to do a Saturday Slash on my query. I stayed up late writing query drafts. I dreamed about writing queries. Also zombies. And a handful of vampires (no, they weren't sparkly). I also had to deal with a lot of medical stuff and lab tests. It wasn't the best of time for me. Did I feel slightly down while the crickets in my inbox created an orchestra to rival the New York Philharmonic?

Yes, yes I did. But I kept on going.

Lesson #3: Don't give up easily. Hope is a beautiful thing.

I've been following numerous literary agents on Twitter, even those I had no plan of querying (just because I already knew they weren't a good fit for me, personality-wise, or that they did not represent my genre). I followed them anyway because it's always good to get oneself educated about the publishing biz.

Ms. Fabulous Agent was on Twitter giving out #querytips, #writingtips, and #pubtips. They were helpful tips, and sometimes downright hilarious (the most recent one is from a sample where the author likened a pancake to a coffin. :D). I stalked checked out her website. She sounded wonderful. I held off querying because I wanted to make sure my query would stand a chance of being noticed.

Lesson #4: Trust your writerly instincts.

May 3rd.

I sent off my latest query to Miss Fabulous Agent, and one other (also a lovely agent). Then with fingers and toes crossed, I set off for my 7-month prenatal appointment. While waiting in the lobby, I checked my email (confession: Having an iPhone is both a curse and a blessing. I will not tell you how many times I check my email every day, but you can probably guess it's a good substantial number.)

She said my query intrigued her.

She said she wanted to see the first 50 pages.

I wanted to go home and send it off right away, but I needed to see my doctor first. And take a nasty glucose drink to test for gestational diabetes. Which meant more waiting at the clinic. My palms began itching.

The minute I got home, I sent off my partial with a little prayer. (Apparently, I forgot lesson #2. I was THAT excited.)

May 4th.

I woke up extra early, and nearly fell off the bed when I checked my email on my phone and found out Ms. Fabulous Agent read my partial first thing in the morning. And she wanted to see the rest of the manuscript. Holy moly. She was lightning fast. The crickets in my inbox must have developed laryngitis or something. I couldn't believe it.

I sent her my full, and prepped myself for a long wait. In the meantime, I got another full request from a different agent. I decided to send out a few more queries.

Lesson #5: Query widely. Just do. If I had stuck to my list, I would never have found and queried Ms. Fabulous Agent.

May 8th.

She. Loved. It. All of it. My book Hidden. Loved.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe I did both.

May 9th.

I sent out notices to the other agents I have queried or had my full submissions that I had an offer of representation. I could have signed with Ms. Fabulous Agent right then and there (I liked her THAT much), but I had to be courteous. Six other full requests invaded my inbox. I was stupefied. I gave them 10 days to get back to me.

May 19th.

Possibly the longest ten days of my life. Some of them came back with high compliments and very positive feedback, some missed the deadline. I then informed Ms. Fabulous Agent I wanted to sign with her. I don't think I slept very well that night--I was too hyper. :)

May 20th.

She emailed me the Agency Agreement for my preview. I was in a complete daze. And I truly adore her.

Presenting Ms. Fabulous Agent, Ms. Julia A. Weber of J.A. Weber Literaturagentur GmbH:

Yay!
You must follow her on Twitter: @jawlitagent. You won't regret it. She's made of awesome, and I'm so glad she's my agent. *happy sigh* Not only does she handle everything so professionally, but she has an impressive educational background and work experience. Plus, did I already mention that she LOVES my book? My dream agent has always been someone who would be as passionate about my work as I am. And I have found her.

Now excuse me while I go dance party celebrate. I'm still in a daze but it's slowly sinking in. Finally.

:D

45 comments:

Leslie Pugh said...

That is a fantastic story! I'm so glad you didn't give up!

Kela McClelland said...

I'm so so so happy for you Cherie. You're awesome and I'm glad you found an agent. Congratulations! (((HUGS)))

Stephanie said...

Yay yay yay! So happy for you!! :D

Suzanne Payne said...

That is coolness x10! I must go stalk her myself! lol I haven't been on twitter a whole lot lately, but I need to make it a point to make an appearance and pay attention to what the fab agents are saying. You're a smart girl! :D Whoo HOO!Big HUGS!!!

Sarah said...

OH!!! Congratulations! I'm in such a haze these days that I somehow missed your first announcement, but this is a great story--it's such an amazing feeling to find a good agent who loves your work. May HIDDEN sell quickly and well!

Kate Evangelista said...

Congratulations, Cherie! Best of luck on your impending submissions to publishers. :-)

Tara Tyler said...

how awesome for you!

every time a writer gets an agent, it gives us hope iy's possible for the rest of us!

Angela V. Cook said...

YAY! Isn't it a great feeling to have someone in your corner? ;o) Congrats to you!! Wishing you the best on the next leg of your journey :o)

Marewolf said...

Awesome Cherie! Much deserved, you are a beautiful writer and Julia is very smart to have snatched you up :)

Good luck in the future with submissions, I'll be rooting for you!! :)

M.J. Fifield said...

Congratulations, Cherie! That's so great. And this post is epic. If I should ever have the need to write one, it won't be anywhere near as good.

Mindy McGinnis said...

YES CHERIE!!! Good work!

E. M. LaBonte said...

Whoot, dance party time!!! I'll get the drinks! I'm so happy you found your match agent. I hope I'm as calm when I eventually get mine. ;) lol

Cheryl said...

Squeee!!! So happy for you!

deathwriter said...

Congratulations! Love to read about other people's success!

Angie Sandro said...

I'm so happy for you. Congrats, congrats, congrats:)

Cherie Larkins said...

Thank you so much!!

<3 ya guys!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Wow! That was quick. I am thrilled that you got an agent super fast. I am dancing with you, Cherie :)

J. A. Bennett said...

That is beyond awesome. I am so so so happy for you! I'm going to need your advice as I plan to start querying next month. Cheers! BTW, would you take a look at my query letter if I sent it to you? (my e-mail is author.jabennett (at) gmail.com) Hugs and kisses and chicken dances all around :)

Susan Roebuck said...

Very good advice. *sigh* submitting is such a nerve-wracking time. Unfortunately for me I don't do patience :-)

Bethany Crandell said...

*swaying like a white girl*

HOORAY, HOORAY, HOORAY!! So proud of you and I'm already in love with Julia!!(her polish matches her drink--hello!!)

Good on ya, tootsie!

Cherie Reich said...

Aww! Congratulations!

M Pax said...

Fantastic! Congratulations. Are you still dancing? :)

Anita Grace Howard said...

Super sonic loud squeeeeeeee! Yes, your agent sounds lovely and professional, but I'm so proud of how YOU handled this. Lovely tips for those still searching a home. Words to query by, indeed. :) LOVE YOU AND SOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

Jessie Humphries said...

I can finally let go of that breath now! So happy for u!

D.N Robicheaux said...

Yay Cherie!! Woo-Hoo!! I'm happy chicken dancing with you. You so deserve it=)

kerrimaniscalco.com said...

YAYYYYYYYYY!!!! I'm so happy for you, Cherie!!!!! Keep dancing :)

Ruth Josse said...

Congratulations! Loved hearing your story!

Caitlin Vincent said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm so excited for you! And I can't wait to read Hidden.

Also, your blog looks beyond amazing :)

Michelle 4 Laughs said...

I really love this story. Aren't happy endings the best?

Rebecca Kiel said...

Awesome news! Congrats!!!

Simon Kewin said...

w00t! A thousand congratulations.

Justin Holley said...

An agent with obvious good taste! Good work.

Jenny Phresh said...

Couldn't have happened to a nicer person. I am so happy and proud!

Marybk said...

Of course you got a fab agent! :)

Congrats! xoxo

Lydia Kang said...

Congratulations! Wonderful news, and thank you for sharing the journey. :)

Connie Keller said...

Wow! That's wonderful, wonderful news. Congratulations!!!

Daisy Carter said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Dance, dance, dance!

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I need to reference this post again when I start the querying process. Great post and I'm so happy for you. Congrats!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Awesome!!!! Congratulations! I love the story and the lessons you learned!

Lynda R Young said...

I'm sure queries and zombies are related...

A HUGE congrats!!!!!! I loved reading about the lead up. So many ups and downs, isn't it? :)

LisaAnn said...

Wooohooooo! I enjoyed this post so much... Felt like I was living through it! Congratulations!!! :)

Gina Gao said...

Congrats!


www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Jean said...

Congratulations! Very excited for you :)

The Redhead Riter said...

"Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting." ~ Napoleon Hill ~

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Jennifer Lane said...

Congratulations, Precy! So happy for you that the patience paid off. :)

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