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Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for HOLY EXPLETIVE! I GOT AN AGENT

Subtle, right?

The short story:
I don't know what to tell you first. Maybe start with the fact that I'm deliriously happy to be represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency. You don't understand (she whined like a star struck fan girl) Barbara was the first agent I ever met, the first who requested my full before I'd finished revising it. I saw her at the Pennwriter's Conference last year with CJ Lyons and later that summer at writeoncon with Holly Root. Lots of agents talk about how necessary passion is, but with Barbara you feel it, it comes off her in waves. She's whip smart and funny and lovely and I KNOW she's married, I am too. I'm just saying, when she offered me representation (which I didn't know was coming) I told her I love her. I'm not taking it back, either, though it was probably too much too soon.

The long story:
I sent Barbara BookEnd in January, SEVEN MONTHS after she requested it. I wanted to send it sooner, I had a voice in my head that kept whispering, you're taking too long, your taking too long. I worried that she wouldn't be interested after all that time. But against that panicky feeling I had something substantial. Jonathan Maberry's voice in my head. I met him at Pennwriter's too and over lunch I asked him when I should send in the full request I had gotten from Barbara, after I took some time to clean it up.  He got very zen-like and said, "When it's ready." I didn't think he understood me, so I said, "Right, but how long is too long to wait to send it - what's the optimum time frame for sending out a request?" He didn't even blink. "When it's ready," he repeated. (He's like the writing Kung Fu master, by the way.)

So I took his advice and polished that sucker until it shone. In January I sent it to Barbara and also sent it out to a few other agents. I started racking up rejections (see rejection badge) quickly, but I also got a couple of other fulls. January was OK, February was worse, March was terrible as I got a rejection on my full on my birthday. Cry.

On April 2 I got an email from Barbara saying my book was next in her queue and thanks for my patience. I pretty much ate Tums like Pez that week. Then a week ago I got an email from Barbara saying lovely things about my work and asking if we could talk.

 

I don't know why I'm so clueless sometimes but I managed to convince myself that this was going to be a request for a revise and resubmit.

Keeping a brown paper bag nearby in case of hyperventilation, I called Barbara and found that she was just as lovely as I remembered. She asked me some scarily insightful questions about my story - about a character's motivations and development - and then she said she'd like to offer representation. All casual and stuff, like she'd said she was running out to Starbucks and would I like a chai? I couldn't speak for a good five seconds. She might have thought I'd dropped dead. Then she said, "Um, hello?" That's when I told her I love her. Cry. Tears of happiness.

I'm so excited and grateful to be on this journey with an agent (advocate, ally) like Barbara.

H is also for the Hunger Games Soundtrack:



47 comments:

  1. Fabulous! And what a great story - here's to quick sales and a fruitful publishing journey.

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    1. Thanks Jaye! and thanks for the retweet :)

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  2. So exciting! Congrats, I've heard great things about her!

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    1. Thanks Nia. Yeah, Barbara is pretty much the bees freaking knees as far as I'm concerned.

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  3. Congratulations and welcome to the agency (I'm one of Miriam's clients)! The folks at IGLA are awesome, and you are in great hands with Barbara!

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  4. Alex, what wonderful news! I'm so glad I became a follower just in time to catch your agent announcement. Congrats! Congrats! Congrats! :)

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    1. thanks linda - yeah, who knew H was going to be such an eventful letter ;)

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  5. Yay!! Congratulations!! She's an awesome agent, and funny too. Wishing you the best!

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    1. Thanks L.G! Yeah, Barbara is so funny, but also so insightful. It's kind of amazing!

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  6. Congratulations. This is very exciting news.

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  7. HUGE congratualtions, Alex!! I'm really happy for you!!! I know you've had some struggles over the whole querying process these past few weeks, so I'm really pleased Barbara offered you representation. Here's hoping we'll soon be reading about the publication date. :D

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    1. thanks Colin - I so appreciate your support! As for pub date - who knows? These things take time, I'm told. Still, can't hurt to cross fingers, toes and anything else you can think of!

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  8. That's amazing! It's the best feeling when you get an agent, right? Serious congrats!!
    Also, love the Hunger Games soundtrack. Great post.

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  9. Congratulations! That's terrific news!!

    And the Hunger Games soundtrack is amazing. I love it.

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  10. Yay! That is an amazing story! Congrats to you!!!!!!

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    1. thanks Emily! I'm so incredibly grateful!

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  11. Congratulations!! That's so awesome :)

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  12. When I got my agent for my first novel, that was almost a bigger validation tha actually getting it published; someone was will to really take a chance on me and to work hard to get me out there. Enjoy this high, another great H!

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    1. Thanks Sandra! I can see that. It's the first acknowledgement that someone other than your mother thinks you've got something special :)

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  13. That's really awesome! Congrats :)

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  14. Congratulations!! Getting an agent is such a big step towards publishing, and I'm happy that your hard work has paid off.

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    1. Thanks Cynthia. It's so true, there's still a lot of work to do, but it feels great to have support!

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  15. CONGRATS!!!! Welcome to the Barbara Poelle team - I second what Sarah said up there, everyone at IGLA is amazing. You're in great hands :) *HIGH FIVES YOU*

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    1. Thanks Kerri! I feel like I just got adopted into the most fabulous, loopy, supportive writerly family. I'm thinking of designing a Team Barbara or Barbara is my Ninja Agent t-shirt...what, too much? :)

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  16. This is fantastic! :D And awesome, and great :D Thank you for popping over and congratulating me too. What a great day for the letter H haha.

    Isn't it funny how we all think it's going to be an R&R... hehe

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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  17. Congratulations! This is excellent news! I was clueless about an agent call, too. I thought for sure Tricia was calling to ask for a revision. I wish you the very best of luck with Barbara! It sounds like you're a match made in pub-industry heaven!

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  18. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story. I was at Pennwriter's last year too. :)

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  19. Dude. DUDE. Not only do you have an agent, you have Barbara Poelle!!! I know you know this, but OMG! haha. Congrats!!! This is SOOO AWESOME!

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    1. Lori - I KNOW!!!! I'm not sure other people know how amazing Barbara is (my mom definitely didn't get it) but it's nice to know you UNDERSTAND. Feel like I won the agent jackpot. Swoon. Thanks for the congrats!

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  20. Congrats! Yay!

    :Throwing confetti in the air:


    My A-Z

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  21. Awesome! You were so smart to polish and polish and repolish. Congratulations!!!

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  22. THAT IS THE BEST H POST EVER!!!!!! I love reading I got an agent stories and I am so thrilled for you. Congrats!!!

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    1. Thanks Laura. Never thought I'd be on *this side* of the agent story - glad to have one of my own!

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  23. Woo Hoo!! Totally worth the wait!!

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  24. Hi - stopping by for the A to Z challenge. That's wonderful that you now have agent representation! Very exciting. :)

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  25. Congrats!!! That is so very exciting!

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  26. H is for Hearty Congratulations! So delighted for you. I hope this is the beginning of a great relationship for you both!

    I'm the author of the Bella and Britt series for kids. Take a peek at my blog if you've the time...

    All best wishes!

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    1. Hi Nancy - thanks for visiting. I will definitely check out your blog - your Bella and Britt series sounds great!

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  27. OMG! I missed this post. I am SOOO happy for you! And not at all jealous. :)

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  28. Congrats! Best of luck to you on submission.

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