I'm happy and excited to announce that I have an agent for my middle grade story, Pygmy Hazards. The ink is barely dry on my contract with Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency. If you are interested in knowing more about my silly hamsters, please check the pages above, where you'll find the query letter I used.
I started querying in April by entering a few small contests, probably jumping the gun a little as the manuscript wasn't completely polished. Several requests for partials came my way--four in fact. It seemed my query had the voice to attract positive attention. In May, the querying began in earnest with small batches of ten or twelve. The very first query got a partial request.
Then a new trend happened. I began to receive a lot of personalized rejections, noting that the writing was strong and the sample pages were very funny but it wasn't a 'good fit' or 'right for them.' Time went by and the collection of form rejections grew along with the personalized notes. Here and there, I got a full request, but they were few and far between. I say this not to try and claim my road was super difficult, but to prove that it only takes one person to fall in love with your story. That everyone is going to garner rejections.
More time passed and I continued to send out query letters and enter contests, but it seemed my luck had turned. While other writers loved my query and pitches, my story didn't seem to be what agents were looking for. But then a partial from those April contests turned into a full.
About a month later I got a request to chat from that agent. We talked on the phone and it was THE CALL. It was a Friday and I had a week to think it over and make my decision. I didn't know what to do with myself for the rest of the day. I could barely sit down, let alone think. Luckily, something helpful appeared on twitter a few days before my offer. (Thank you, twitter!) Daily Dahlia posted the second part of a blog post about Nudging and Multiple Offers. It was exactly what I needed. I used the advice from that post to nudge on my outstanding requests and queries that were less than a month old.
That same afternoon I got another partial request and overnight came a full request. The agents with my material promised to get back to me soon. Things were moving quickly. Other agents declined with congratulations.
By Tuesday I had two offers, having gone through two THE CALL sessions, and two agents were still considering. Now the days passed slowly as I tried to weigh which agent would be right for me by talking to clients, researching on the internet, and reading the contracts. (A friend with contract experience gave me help there. Thanks, Don!) Friday morning came and the two agents still considering decided to bow out. By then my decision was made. Sarah has a love of speculative fiction as deep as mine. We seemed to have the same goals and dreams. I accepted her offer.
Here comes the embarrassing part. We had no ink in our printer. Duh, I couldn't print the contract to sign and return to Sarah. The formal announcement couldn't come until it was all finalized. Needless to say, I was dying to tell people. (A secret keeper I am not! The news slipped to many of my CPs before the first day was over.) I scrambled to ask my mom to print for me, trying to find time to get over there all while getting dinner before the first high school football game of the season. My son is in the marching band and we couldn't miss his performance.
My mom's printer was on the fritz. Of course! We drove to buy ink but by the time we got home, it was time for football. 11:30 that night I was coaxing the printer to go faster. Big sigh. It all got done and here it is announced!
Finding an agent hasn't exactly been a quick process. There were four other manuscripts and five years of effort before it all paid off. But I'm so eager to see what the future brings!