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: