Welcome back! Thanks for dropping by my stop on Day 2 of THE CALL blog hop, hosted by Tonya Kuper, Promotions Manager and Intern at the Seymour Agency! If you missed my stop on Monday, you can check it out here. And be sure to go read the other agency authors’ stories by clicking on the blog hop button below.
Today’s topic – Getting “The Call”
Do you remember the date you got the call from your agent?
Yep – December 21, 2011.
What did you do to prepare for the call?
There was some hyperventilating involved, if I remember correctly. We had scheduled a time to chat on the phone, so I had plenty of time to worry myself into a nervous wreck. LOL
If you didn’t get the stereotypical call then how did your agent offer representation?
Although I’d had a fantastic request rate during the year-long querying process for RED, I was still without an agent in the fall of 2011. I’d been this close twenty-nine times, only to get the very politely-worded rejection email.
Those who have been through this process can attest to the fact that querying agents is emotional torture. Rejection is painful no matter what the circumstances. It’s especially painful when you get a request for the manuscript and then wait weeks (and sometimes months) to hear back, only to be told the project isn’t right for that agent. Sometimes there’s an explanation why — which is always helpful and appreciated. And sometimes you get nothing. Just a “no thanks.”
Finally, in late October 2011, after over a year of shopping RED, I was exhausted and beginning to wonder why I was putting myself through all of this. One evening after a particularly emotional day, I told my husband, “If something doesn’t happen by the end of the month, I’m going to hang it up on RED and start shopping another project instead.” I’d been doing massive revisions on one particular project and had written another novel that I really loved in the meantime, and figured it was probably time to focus my efforts elsewhere.
But then fate stepped in.
Literally two days after my proclamation, I received an email from Alicia Condon, editorial director at Kensington. She had requested the full manuscript of RED after judging the Finally a Bride contest in which RED had been a finalist. In her email message she asked if the manuscript was still available because she was reading it and really enjoying it. When I was finally able to get my pulse under control, I emailed back that, why, yes — it was, in fact, still available.
Alicia and I chatted via phone in mid-November and I couldn’t believe how in synch we were regarding the direction of the series. It was kismet. She told me she would present the novel for consideration and get back to me. Then, the week before Christmas, I received another email from Alicia, this time making an offer for a three-book deal for my Transplanted Tales series.
I cried like a baby. I had believed in this project and had suffered through the ego pounding of querying and contests and it had finally paid off. But then the panic really set in. The idea of negotiating (and navigating) a contract as an unagented author scared the living hell out of me!
I know there are authors out there who are comfortable negotiating contracts on their own, but I’m not one of them! I remembered how much Nicole Resciniti had liked the manuscript because of our previous email trades, so I decided to take a chance and email her again to let her know that an offer had come in. She replied that she’d love to talk to me about it and said she’d actually been planning to call me after the holidays! She and I chatted on the phone and by the end of the conversation, I was so pumped up and excited, I couldn’t wait to start working with her. I signed with Nicole that very day. 🙂
What was your reaction while on the phone?
I was nervous as hell but excited and elated. And I just LOVED Nicole. Aside from Nicole having a fantastic reputation in the industry and having been mentored by one of the best in the biz, there was just something about her that made me say, “Yep, we’d work well together. She’d ‘get’ me.” After we actually talked on the phone for the first time, I knew my gut reaction had been spot-on. She’s awesome!
What was your reaction/thoughts when you got off the phone?
I was kind of in a daze, so I don’t quite remember what happened next. I know I called my husband and told him all about it. And I might’ve called my mom… I honestly don’t recall! I was just so happy and — OMG — soooo relieved!
So, there you have it — my “call” story. But that was just the beginning. If you want to find out what has happened since then, be sure to drop by my blog hop stop on Friday, January 11, 2013, to read the rest of the story. 🙂 And, in the meantime, be sure to enter my giveaway by using the rafflecopter widget below!