I loved this story—This is all I can see without opening the email in my inbox. The email comes from an epic super-agent. The subject is, of course, my query. After the hyphen will come one word that will change the whole letter- but. I know it’s there. She’s only had my full for three weeks. At least this time there will be feedback.
There is no but. After the hyphen comes the amazing words – did not put it down. Can we talk next week? Um… YES! Of course! I will find a way to be available every minute next week! Okay, I promise I actually crafted a more professional response than that.
One week later, I was talking on the phone with Sara Crowe! Sara loved my mystery and wanted to represent me! A dream? Oh, yes, definitely, but a dream come true. Can this dream happen for any author out there who is willing to keep working until their manuscript is perfect, and keep querying until they find the absolutely right agent for their book? Yes. Below is an explanation of why this is true.
My last encounter with any type of writing instruction was 12th grade ELA. And it’s been more than a few years since then. I actually spent most of my adult life without a computer. My first novel was written in a spiral notebook. Over the course of the last three years, I’ve made priceless writing friends and critique partners online. The writing community is filled with people who want to help anyone trying to realize the same writing dream they follow.
My stats for the novel that attracted my agent? I spent a little over a year and a half writing and revising. This includes the time I was in Pitch Wars (If you’re unagented and have never heard of Pitch Wars, look here- http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitch-wars/) Over the course of the next five months, I sent out 30 queries. I sent these out in batches of 5 or 6 at a time, and changed the query three times. At the time I was offered representation, I had 19 form rejections, 2 full requests, 2 partial requests, and 7 agents who hadn’t responded yet. An important note: Every rejection I received in response to the initial query was a form rejection—agents use them because they need to save time. Don’t let them discourage you. When I contacted the remaining agents with my offer, the response was divided pretty evenly. About half requested the full, and every agent responded with congratulations. Ultimately, one more agent was interested, but passed due to her own time restraints.
So, there it is, how I got my agent, and a reminder that you can do it too!
Growing up, I was the