I've sat on this news for a little over a month because a part of me is afraid it was all a dream. That it is too good to be true. That an email with the subject heading, "On second thought..." would hit my inbox any day. I signed with an agent, Alice Speilburg of Speilburg Literary. I met Alice at this year's DFW Writer's Conference and liked her immediately. Fate steered me to her table at lunch on the first day where we talked about New York, Hurricane Sandy, Detroit, the Kentucky Derby and mint juleps and the awesomeness of Lexington, her hometown and where my aunt and cousin live. The next day, I somehow ended up at a table with five agents (talk about terrifying) and luckily she was one. We were all recommending books to each other and debated internet book ratings and how easily they can be skewed by authors giving good ratings for promotional consideration on their books versus a valid, well-thought out opinion. (I'm sure everyone that reads this blog knows my view on that. If not and enough ask, I'll post about it.) When one of the other agents asked for me to pitch my book to them at the table, Alice had run off to I don't know where. It bummed me out because I wanted to pitch to her. (In my short conference experience, I don't pitch to agents at lunches because I figure they want to eat in peace. But, since they asked...) I didn't see Alice for the rest of the day. When the conference was over I was loitering at the edge of the ballroom, debating if I should go up to Alice or just send a query when she saw me across the room. We ran to each other in slow motion, arms open as the music swelled...
Okay. Kidding. She came over, said she'd been looking for me and wanted to hear my pitch and, after I blundered through it, asked for a full. The rest, as they say, is history.
To say I was shocked when I got her e-mail to talk about representation is an understatement. Not that I don't think the MS was good enough (it's awesome) or that I don't have the talent (my answer to that varies depending on the day, natch). Writers love to tell war stories about how many rejections they've received. Hundreds! Thousands! This is the twentieth book I've written! I'm on the eighth revision! I've been working on this MS for ten years! I figured odds were against me landing an agent so soon. All my rejections have been polite, some have even been informative. I haven't gotten one nasty rejection yet. I thought it was a right of passage.
But, there's still plenty of time for rejection! War stories! By my count, signing with an agent is maybe step four or five (completing the novel, revision, query, repeat as necessary) in the long, slow, slog to publication. I'm thrilled to make the journey with Alice. When we talked on the phone it was obvious she will be easy to work with. She came with excellent ideas for the MS and a firm plan of what we need to do to sell my little baby. I am confident Stillwater and I are in good hands.