Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dec. 17

I open my email, to find a letter from the agent at the Harvey Klinger agency. She wants me to call. I realize two things.
A. this could be big
B. I was so unprofessional I never gave her my phone number

First, I have to take a dozen deep breaths. Then I remember an article from the Writer magazine only a few months earlier where a writer was contacted by an agent who was explaining why they would not be representing them. Obviously that was what was about to happen. A new step up on the rejections scale. Nice, but still no cigar. So I calmed down.

I engaged in a quick Internet search to find out all I could about the agent. I know that's backward, but I hadn't done this in advance because I never thought things would get this far, I entered the contest for feedback, not because I expected to win. i was impressed by some of her recent sales, they were the kind of thing I really liked to read, quirky, really outside the average. And a lot like my own story.

Then I took a last deep breath and called.

And yes, she still liked my story and offered to represent me. We spent forty-five minutes on the phone, and I liked everything she said.

There was still the matter of the other agent looking at the story. I felt obliged to give her a chance to finish evaluating and for us to connect. This agent agreed to wait until after Christmas - only a week away, after all, and I sent off an email to the other agent to let them know the situation had changed. They got back to me just before New Year. She liked the novel, but we didn't click, not the way I had with the first agent. So, as of January 4th, I signed an agreement and I'm now represented by Harvey Klinger, Inc. Pull My String is in the hands of several editors for their review. My fingers and toes are crossed. And, I'm heavily engaged in working on the sequel.

Now for the next phase of my evolution.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Once more into the breach

To continue;

Friday Dec 4th (actually the 3rd, but since the email was sent at 10:40 pm I didn't get it until the next day) I received notification that Pull My String had taken first place in the Golden Rose contest. AND - the final judge, and agent from Harvey Klinger, Inc, wanted to see the full.

Yes, it was exciting, but it wasn't the first time I'd had a request for a full either from a contest or query. Both PMS and DG had been requested, and I had a growing array of personalized rejection letters. All encouraging, but all claiming - "We really liked this, but..." You can fill in the blanks. Liked hero, but heroine sucked. Liked heroine but couldn't beleive the hero. Loved the story but don't think it has universal appeal. Etc. etc. So I said fine, but I didn't get my hopes up too high, the higher you go the more the fall hurts. I sent the MS to the agent Saturday morning, Dec. 5.

Monday the agent told me how much she'd been looking forward to seeing the MS. That was a first. Still, no biggee. On the same day I received a request from another agent at Elaine P. English PLLC, who had been looking at a partial and now wanted to see a full. I sent hers off via snail mail, as she wanted, and let both of them know about each other. Then settled back on other projects, fully expecting to hear nothing until the new year, it being so close to Christmas and knowing how long these things take, right?

Instead, things began popping the very next week. Dec 17, 2009, to be exact. I opened my email to find ...

To be continued.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Starting all over again

I know, I've been incommunicado a long time. I could give all kinds of reasons, classes, Christmas season, illness, all of the above. Still it boils down to not making myself get on this thing and write. I've vowed to do better this year.

Especially since big things really have happened to me and my writing.

In 2009 I entered two of my works, Pull My String (PMS - no, I did not do the acronym on purpose), a contemporary YA novel, and Damaged Goods (DG), a mainstream adult novel, into a number of writing contests. All with great trepidation in my heart. Frankly, I expected tons of problems. Instead, both did well. By November, DG had a fifth place and a third place, and got a request for a full from one agent. That later resulted in a nice rejection letter. PMS took a third in one contest, with good response from the judging editor, unfortunately they weren't publishing YA at the time, so they made no request for more. Sigh! It finalled in another contest, The Golden Rose, but the results were not yet in, so I didn't have final placement.

With that encouragement I entered both into the Finally A Bride contest, a contest for manuscripts that finalled, but did not win, then the RWA Golden Heart romance contest and the Pikes Peak writers contest. (I decided I'd go contest crazy for one year, anyway.) I also sent our queries for both manuscripts, and apparently I can write a query that gets responses, because I got eight requests for either partials or fulls.

Then came December. And did I get a Christmas surprise.

Since that's a story in itself, I'll tell you more tomorrow.