Hey, so this blog has now grown to 5 Parts, which is insane. I guess it’s a tale that grew in the telling. Also, this is just who I am as a person. Speaking to me is like working on an internet browser whose tabs keep expanding and before long you’re wondering why you’re now reading about Alaskan Malamutes when you’d originally asked me how I got a literary agent.
The R&R had come through. I took on the feedback and loved it. I sent the edits back to the agent. And I waited …
For two days.
I got an email back from the agent asking me if I’d be free for a call THAT WEEK. I got the email on MY Wednesday and so we set it up for that Friday.
Days passed and I was now on the phone with an interested agent. Bonkers insane. WTF. How did this happen to me? So I took a selfie and sent it to my squad group chat. This was me on the phone completely flummoxed as to how I got here at all:
Aren’t I wild? So, The Call went very well. The agent was so into both books, but felt BOOK 5 was a stronger fit right now. We talked about both books, some changes, musical theatre, our hopes and dreams and then it was over.
Taking solid advice from a blog written by Agent extraordinaire Jim McCarthy I had questions lined up and ready to go. If you’re jumping on a call with an agent and you don’t have questions to ask them DON’T CALL THEM. You’re not ready.
I asked the agent if it’d be okay if I took a week or so to contact some of her existing clients and also reach out to agents who already had my stuff. Like any good agent, she obliged, but reminded me that the agency would be closing for Christmas but she’d still be checking her inbox for my response. I told her that’d be fine and so The Call ended and I started work as though nothing had happened. But really I was manically texting my parter with such phrases as:
I know, can you believe I’m a writer?
I spent the day at work which was actually quite long because we had a lot on. I love what I do so this wasn’t an issue. I came home to an email from this agent with some contact emails and so I set to work.
I emailed all agents who had my Fulls, my partials, and who’d I’d just queried. I got some non-responses, some step-asides, and one email explaining they’d left the business. While this was happening, I’d also queried some of the agent’s current clients. Three of them. All of them? Glowing reviews that really validated my initial gut feeling.
And I think this is really important. Fourteen months earlier I’d found this agent via a blog in which she was looking for LGBT stories about characters who were doing more than just coming out. While coming out IS a big deal, there’s more to our lived experience than this. And I’d sent her two very, wildly different stories about some crazy experiences and she’d liked them.
Three days ahead of our deadline I emailed this agent and told her I’d love to work with her and what did I need to do?
That’s when Moe Ferrara emailed me an agency contract from BookEnds Literary and I read this document that actually made me cry.
I played ‘The Beginning’ by RuPual and sobbed quietly in my kitchen. I read over the contract, Googled the shit out of what I should do in this situation, and waited. Then I signed it and sent it back and both Moe and I were delighted.
I’m writing this blog on the same iPad I’d written the first third of the book that got me an agent eight months earlier. At the time of writing, I’m sitting in the Gold Coast airport waiting to board a flight back to Melbourne and I’m so very grateful for everything that has taken me to this point.
If you’re writing and querying agents, my advice is: you know in your heart of hearts when you’re ready to query. And when that moment happens, you’ve already got everything you need to succeed. I just hope you remember that feeling and let it carry you through the rejections, the waiting, and the maybes. You’ll absolutely get there and I can’t wait until you do.
This is the beginning of the rest of your life