Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Getting the Call: RC Lewis

I'm so glad to bring you a site moderator from Agent Query Connect, RC Lewis, one of the bosses who snap fingers to keep people in line and answer questions. (Just kidding on the finger snapping. She goes for the toes.) Once again, AQC is the place to hang out to rub shoulders with the agented and famous. RC writes YA, and I'm certain we will be hearing more news from her in the not distant future. What a fabulous author head shot, by the way. I love the black and white.

I've dubbed the day I got The Call the best-worst day ever. It was awesome in the end, but I thought it'd kill me.

It was a Wednesday. I had a full day of work at school, and I was also looking for a new job out of state, so I had two phone interviews scheduled—one during my morning prep time and one during lunch. I also had to sit on an interview panel for an applicant to be my replacement in the afternoon, and Wednesdays meant staying at school until five. Lots of end-of-the-school-year things to do, too, so I already knew it'd be a busy day.

Just before the end of my morning prep time (and that first phone interview went nicely, thank you), I got an email from one of eight agents who had my full. She wanted to know if there was a time we could chat.

Commence panic mode.

After a little back and forth, we decided she'd call me at seven that evening. Plenty of time for me to get home, get settled, and carry out a professional phone call. I proceeded to tell myself it might not be THE Call—some agents like to call and hash out possible revisions, get a feel for the writer without necessarily offering representation, right?—and carried on teaching my physics class.

The rest of the school day was semi-normal, if hectic. No substitute showed up when I was supposed to go sit on that interview panel, so there was a bit of running around. The interview was long, and I didn't get much done after school, but finally I hit the road to head home.

Major backup on the way to the freeway. A traffic light at a major intersection was out, making it a four-way (well, more like twelve-way) stop. No problem, just delayed me maybe ten minutes. Onto the freeway!

MEGA backup. They decided to start a major road resurfacing project that day, during rush hour. This was a much bigger delay. I should've gotten home just after six. I walked in the door at 6:52.

I took a deep breath, kicked off my shoes, and answered the phone when it rang.

The Call was great. We talked about the manuscript—what she loved, questions she had. We talked about what I want to be as a writer and how she works as an agent. We talked for over an hour, and I've probably forgotten half the conversation. (I do remember that my critique partner texted me five minutes before we finished to say, "Are you STILL on the phone???")

For me, it turned out to be The Calls. After notifying other agents (and ending up with a total of eleven fulls out), the following Tuesday became Agent Phone Call Day. I talked to four more agents that day alone—one of them cold-called me during my prep time, which was cool, but startling.

In the end, I signed with the agent who offered first (Jennifer Laughran). Not because she was first. A couple of the others made it REALLY difficult for me to decide, and I had to think hard through pros, cons, and what I really thought would be the best fit.

You can find RC at twitter or her blog, Crossing the Helix, besides AQC.

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