So, you want to know how I got my agent?
Short answer: The old-fashioned way. Via the slush pile.
Long answer: I’d like to take you all back to January 8th, 1985. I was born naked and helpless…okay, maybe let’s skip a few years. In January 2010, I had a baby (a wonderful, magnificent, sweet baby named Ben). He slept through the night from under 3 months old, in addition to napping 3-plus hours in the day. Being on maternity leave, I had an AWFUL lot of free time on my hands that I was COMPLETELY not used to having (a year—I live in Canada). So naturally, instead of relaxing, I decided to write a book—something I’ve always wanted to do, but had been too intimidated to try.
In 3 months time, I wrote a book. I joined a website, Writersbeat.com, where I met my internet bestie/crit partner, whom you all know as Ruth Lauren Steven. After an initial major bitch moment from me (which we shall not discuss!), Ruth and I began exchanging critiques and became fast friends. We moved on to another website, Scribophile.com, where I met a ton of amazing friends who were, in addition to Ruth, completely invaluable in honing my writing. This book needed the rest of the year to edit, as it was sucky. Boring and sucky and will never see the light of day. But I learned a lot.
After this book I began another, which I gave up after a whopping 26,000 words because I had AN IDEA. An idea for a YA Urban Fantasy that I couldn’t ignore. I needed to write it—now. So I did—3 months later, my 81,000-word book was complete. And it needed less than a week of editing until I felt ready to start querying. I felt confident! I loved the book and my query letter felt strong. I knew this was going to be IT. Then the rejections started rolling in. After the first 15, I was starting to feel pretty dejected. I know 15 is not that much in the bigger picture, but 15 in a row after I’d felt so confident? Well let’s just say my confidence waned. But then I got a partial. From a major agent. The next day, another partial from a major agent. A few weeks later, the first partial-requester wanted the full. I almost died! That meant she read the first 50 pages plus synopsis and liked it. My book??!! A huge happy moment for me. But it wasn’t the first. Over the next few weeks, the full requests started rolling in. Six in total (Nine if you count the 3 requests I got after I’d already landed my agent!)
Then came the holidays, when all of the literary world shuts down from December 23rd to January 3rd. This was a dark time. There was a lot of internet stalking involved, which I’m not proud of. Then came January 11th. I got a reply from one of those agents. She’d just finished reading the book…and completely loved it! She wanted to set up a time to talk on the phone. AHHHHHHH!! She called the next day and offered me representation (in addition to giving me a HUGE ego boost with all her compliments about the book). My initial reaction was to say “YES! WHERE DO I SIGN? MWUHAHAHAH I’VE GOT YOU NOW!” But there were other agents who had my full. In order to be professional, I needed to give them the courtesy of replying to my manuscript. I alerted the other agents, and holy crap, several of them were interested, too! But in the end, it was the first agent’s major enthusiasm and extreme likability that sold me. So now I’m repped by Adriann Ranta at Wolf Literary. Woohoo!!
Hey, it's me, Ruth, again. Isn't that a cool story? But never mind the amazing sleeping baby (not jealous of that. No, not at all) or the fact that said first book was neither boring nor sucky; no, let's dwell on the little moment that we shouldn't discuss, just briefly. In fact, oh, what's this I have here? A blog post on it, you say? Well, if you insist : D Post in which I recount the nature of Michelle and Ruth's first encounter
Right, now that Michelle may never forgive me, who needs a crit partner?? I kid : D
I couldn't be happier that you're all going to get to read Michelle's books, and I can confirm that she likes a stalker almost as much as I do, so here's her blog and right here is twitter
Thanks for sharing that with us Michelle!