Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Getting the Call with Roselle Kaes

I never get tired of these stories! Here's an agent call for a book that sounds full of amazing diversity and food! That's a dynamite combination! Congratulations to Roselle Kaes for finding her agent.

Let’s start from the beginning. Inspired by the life of my Tai Kong (Great grandfather), I began writing HUNGER. It is an MS close to my heart, a love letter to food, and a work expressing my cultural heritage- Chinese and Filipino. Having written an UF before, I’ve started writing in a different way, concentrating on lyrical prose and vivid imagery, painting with words like I painted on canvas or how I used needle and thread to embroider. When I finished, I knew I had written something special. With the help of my CPs and Betas, I revised and polished until it was ready to be queried.

I entered contests and I queried some more. One day, I got an R&R from a big agent. I looked at her notes, agreed with them, and decided to hold off querying to revise. It took me three months to rewrite the second half of the MS. After I finished revisions, I started to query again. I knew HUNGER was much stronger this time around. Every querying writer hears those damnable crickets in their inbox until finally, requests and rejections come in.

One day, I got a request. Then a request for two more chapters. Then a full! She offered hours before she had to hop on a plane for a conference. She offered in three days. I couldn’t believe it. The most memorable line in her email was that she was a vegetarian and she was running to the fridge for food! I had to wait until she got back from her conference in Italy until I could say yes. Waiting for the call was excruciating because the more I researched this agent, the more I realize she is the one. There were too many common interests. It’s like finding a piece of a puzzle that fits so perfectly.

She called my writing “sensual.” Ann loved my two WIP ideas. She totally got HUNGER and loved the foodie descriptions even though she is a vegetarian who hasn’t “eaten flesh in 20 years.” I had to say yes in the Call. And believe me, the call was magical. It’s like talking to someone you’ve known for years. I couldn’t resist. I had to say yes and I wanted to say yes the moment she offered. I could not have found a better, passionate advocate for my work.


Roselle Kaes is passionate about food and her Chinese-Filipino heritage. Inspired by her late great grandfather, she wrote HUNGER as a tribute to him. She completed the manuscript with major revisions and the help of her critique partners. She is a graduate of Humanities and History at York University. When she is not writing, she is embroidering, illustrating, and chasing after her husband, daughter, and fluff beast of a cat on the north shore of Lake Erie.
She is repped by Ann Collette of Rees Literary.

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