Monday, June 12, 2017

Getting the Call with Alex Reda

What's a Call ™ story without some hospital drama?


It happened. I've graduated from reading the "Getting the Call" series to writing a guest post. And let me tell you, it wasn't the easiest journey. But I would've never gotten here without the constant support and advice I found in the writing community.

The manuscript that landed me my fabulous agent was actually written as a result of turning down an offer last year. That decision almost made me quit writing, but I knew that particular working relationship would derail my career, perhaps even halt it altogether. That period was tough. Long nights staring at empty pages and wondering if I'd just made the biggest mistake of my life.

Spoiler alert: I didn't.

After I shook the desperation off me, I decided I needed something fun to get back into my usual rhythm. I needed to write something I loved. And what do I love? Badass women reaching their goals. That's how my YA contemporary novel, LOVE, LIES, AND THE OTHER TEAM DIES got written in the dead of night. I gave up sleeping and lost myself in the world of competitions, video games, and teenage ambitions.

But the novel was far from perfect, so I entered Pitch Wars 2016. The universe smiled down on me and Marty Mayberry selected me as her mentee. We're now CPs and friends. #PitchWarsGoals

My inbox filled with "great novel, but not right for me", so I took another chance and entered #PitMad. In a past life, I must've bargained some cookies for good luck because an agent I planned on querying the very next day liked one of my tweets. And she was part of the first ever agency that requested additional material from me, so many years ago. Could this be it? The goal I'd been writing towards all these years, so poetically reached? I didn't want to get my hopes up (though I was unsuccessful; damn day-dreaming).

Then I got the e-mail of my dreams and I couldn't hit the reply button fast enough. Why, yes, I'd love to chat. Of course next week works for me. Yes, I'm over-the-moon excited. And, yes, I'm doing my happy dance as we speak (type?), but you don't really need to know that, so I'm just going to celebrate in private with my CPs.

Nothing could get me downexcept getting super sick and landing in the ER 3 days later, only to find out I'll have to stay in the hospital for at least a week. As you can imagine, the timing wasn't ideal. And it became even less so when the nurses let me know I'd be going in for a procedure the morning when of my Call ™ day. Anesthesia included, of course.

Still, I didn't freak out. I woke up, groggy and unfocused, a few hours before my phone call, I went over my list of questions, I gushed over the agent's #MSWL. You know, completely normal things. My laptop screen got away from me a few times, but I persevered. Then a nurse came in and told me I'd been scheduled for another round of tests, smack dab in the time frame of my Call ™.

Cue freak out.

My heart dropped. My face lost color so fast the nurse thought I was about to faint. I probably wasn't as coherent as I remember, since it's all a bit fuzzy, but I did everything in my power to convince the staff to bump the tests for the next day. I almost got down on my knees. Luckily, the situation was resolved before I did that. I was so loopy, I probably wouldn't have managed to get up afterwards.

With all that mess behind me, I waited with the phone in my hand, the pink cannula digging into the crook of my elbow, stinging my arm into numbness. When the phone rang, I was ready for it. I realized I liked the agent in the first ten seconds of our conversation. She was so professional and poised and funny and charming and awesome. The Internet connection might've been scratchy, but we understood each other just fine. She loved my novel, I loved her enthusiasm. Before I knew it, we were joking around and talking about my career. A writing career. Mine! She answered all of my questions before I even had a chance to ask them, and put me at such ease, I forgot all about the awful week I'd had and the soul-crippling fear that I'd somehow mess up the phone call. I almost heard angels singing when she offered rep.

Half an hour later, we hung up with so many wonderful promises, I wanted to hug someone. I called my Mom (who had absolutely no idea I write) and told her I'm going to have an awesome literary agent.

I wanted to say yes right then and there. I've always been a fan of gut-feelings and mine were telling me this agent was the right fit for me.

Which she absolutely is! I'm beyond excited to be working with Natascha Morris, from Bookends LLC. Right from the get-go, she's been a dream and everything I could've hoped for in an agent. She's counseled me on branding and name changes (I used to write as Amelia Creed, hello, blast from the past), on future projects, and everything in between. I'm one lucky girl.

Lucky to have such a stellar agent in my corner. Lucky to have the support of my friends and CPs. Lucky to be part of such an amazing community. And lucky to have never given up on my dream.


Alex Reda lives near the literary birthplace of modern vampires (and no, she doesn’t carry a head of garlic around every dayonly on weekends). Though she enjoys reading about the pointy-toothed bastards in other authors’ novels, she likes her own characters on the human side, always in creepy settings, always with a hint of romance. One of her goals is to create someone’s future OTP. When she’s not glued to her keyboard, she dashes between lecture halls, daydreaming about her plot bunnies and gorging on dark chocolate.

Twitter: @Alex_Reda

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