Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting the Call: Kate Evangelista

Everyone who has ever looked, or plans to look, for an agent should read this story. Getting the call is not the end of the road. I really want to thank Kate for sharing her tough experience. I'm glad she's found where she belongs, and hope she will come back in October for the release of her second novel.
The Call – A Break-Up and a Triumph

When I decided writing was my career of choice, I had naïve (some might even say fantastical) ideas about the publishing industry. I had it all plotted out: write a book, edit it, submit, get an agent, get published. Five easy steps, right? I see many of you shaking your heads. I was totally wrong and I’m not afraid to admit it.

A year and a mountain of rejection letters later, I finally got “The Call.” That one phone call every budding writer waits for like a girl with a crush on a boy. In less than thirty minutes, my life changed. I got an agent! I had already accomplished four out of my five steps. I was feeling good about myself.

Little did I know that I would become one of those horror stories I’d read along the way to getting an agent.

Almost another year and five rejections from editors later, I got another call.

One of the things you want from an agent: a champion of your work no matter how low you feel about it.

During this fated call, I made the decision of maybe stopping the submission and maybe moving on to another novel to submit. My agent readily agreed. This was the second red flag, the first being I had a hard time getting in touch with said agent.

Still the naïve writer I was, I decided to pitch a novel I had been thinking of writing. Agent gets really excited about this novel and says it will sell easily. This enthusiasm propelled me into writing said novel in a month. In the meantime, I submitted another novel to keep said agent busy.

When I finished writing my third novel, I hurriedly edited it then submitted to my agent. The reply was a very long email that basically said the second novel I had sent was crap with concerns that since I wrote third novel in only a month it would be crap too. I quickly realized agent had not read third novel and had already judged its worth based on my other two works.

Another thing you want from an agent: Someone who will encourage you to do better and that your book will get published. Basically, someone who doesn’t give up.

This didn’t happen. Instead I was put down when I was already feeling low.

So, having once gotten out of an abusive relationship, I recognized the signs and fired said agent. The next email after the firing added insult to injury in that agent finally read third novel and said it was my strongest writing yet. What was I to make of that?

Like any girl fresh from a break up, I was determined to prove myself. I revamped my query letters and submitted to agents and smaller presses. I got the most Full and Partial requests in my writing life during this trying time.

Vindication wasn’t far. I knew it in my bones.

I also gave the universe a deadline. I said if I didn’t get an agent or a publishing contract by the end of the year, I would boldly plunge into self-publishing.

It works to give the universe a deadline because a month later, I signed my first book contract, which produced Taste, my debut novel released last April 30, 2012.

I’d since signed three more contracts after that: two of which are for YA trilogies and one for a companion novel to Taste. The first of one of the trilogies comes out this October. To date (since breaking up with my agent) I have one book out and seven more on the way, three different publishers in all.

The biggest lesson learned? My naïve views of publishing were just that. There are so many roads to a writing career. Just because you don’t have an agent doesn’t mean you won’t get published. And just because you have an agent means you will get published.

I found my vindication, and I’m living my bliss.

“The Call” isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. If you get your dream agent, I’m happy for you and wish your writing career the best. If you don’t have an agent yet, it’s not the end of the world. Go for smaller presses. They take care of their writers better, instead of getting into a Big House and being just one of many mid-list writers who can get dropped without a second thought.

At the end of the day I write because I want the stories in my head to be read. It doesn’t matter what road it takes to get to the readers so long as it gets there.

Taste Blurb:

At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Author Bio:

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Author Website:
Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste: 


  1. Hi Michelle, thanks for bringing us Kate's story.

    Kate, you are a lesson in perseverance and patience. I have traveled this journey with you, and the one thing you never did was give up. You fought your way to where you are today. It is one of many of your admirable qualities. It is also why you are still my hero. Love ya, Kate. And congrats again on te contract for Savor. Luka deserves his time to shine, lol.

  2. Wow. Way to triumph, Kate. A very good lesson. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Great story! Love when I hear of perseverance winning out! Well done :)

  4. "They take care of their writers better, instead of getting into a Big House and being just one of many mid-list writers who can get dropped without a second thought."

    Interesting statement. What happens when you do arrive at that point in your career when you (or other people) expect to be fielding offers from any one of those "Big Houses"?