Thursday’s Children July 18, 2013

Inspired by Firsts…

So, last week I screwed up and didn’t do my “Firsts” post. What can I say? I was a virgin when it came to co-hostessing an online writing contest. All inept and blush-y.

Which makes now the perfect time to publicly acknowledge Kristina Perez as

The Goddess of Coding, Subdomains and a Whole Bunch of Other Techy Stuff.

applause gif photo: applause APPLAUSE.gif

She was extraordinarily patient too, because I’m sure, especially after I tried to be helpful and ended up bollixing up a page, she was feeling like this…

surrounded by idiots

Thank you, my dear, for not turning me into a llama.

As my First, I’ve decided to share a Cautionary Tale.
About three years ago I’d finished my first book. Only my husband, a coworker of his, and the coworker’s brother read it before I began querying. No CPs, no betas. I didn’t even know they existed. I discovered QueryTracker and sent out ten queries. I got a couple of requests for fulls and partials. I thought, “Hey, maybe this won’t be so hard after all…”

Baby laughing hard animated gif

Right. Ultimately they all ended in passes. I squared my shoulders and soldiered on. A couple of months later, a few more requests – one of them from a BIG DEAL agent. She’d repped PILATES WIFE, brokered the MIB and WITCHES OF EASTWICK movie deals, film/tv rights for Tom Clancy, John Updike and the list went on.

She emailed to say she wanted to talk. I narrowly avoided cardiac arrest.

It went well. She said, and I quote, “This book is going to huge, but…” Yes, there’s always a “but”. Apparently because I was new to writing, there were things that needed fixing before she offered representation. She suggested a freelance editor. The agent said if I implemented even half of what the editor advised, the ms would be “there”. I did them all. The agent felt it still needed tweaking. Her assistant got involved. More changes. Still not quite right. Still no contract. The possible sub date kept moving into the future. A mysterious third person appeared on cc’d emails. The agent stopped returning my calls.

You can see where this is going, can’t you? You’re cringing, I know. Eventually, in response to my frantic emails, she emailed me. “I’m sorry, but I think your time would best be spent finding another agent.” Ouch.
I felt super SUPER crappy for quite a long time. If I hadn’t been taking a writing course at the time I probably would have quit writing altogether, but I had assignments due. And ultimately, I have a fairly wide stubborn streak.

Every so often I checked the agent’s website. You know what? She got out of the business shortly after jilting me. She’s doing marketing for non-profits now. That made me feel better, like maybe it wasn’t just my failure to fix the ms.

So, if you’re waiting for a first call with an agent this isn’t meant to discourage you, just a reminder that sometimes things don’t go the way you want or expect them to. But don’t let that be a reason to give up, getting a call is still a HUGE validation that you’re doing something right.

Here are the Codes for this week. I hope some of our Like A Virgin people will join us!

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23 thoughts on “Thursday’s Children July 18, 2013

  1. Thank you my lovely one. Back atcha for dealing with my neuroses. I would only turn you into a llama because they’re so fluffy and I like to pet them. That’s not strange at all, right?!

  2. I adored all of your .gifs, and was right there with you with each emotion. Day-um, that stinks, ma’am. But I can’t help saying that what started this ball rolling was the certain talent she saw shining through your work. You have style and a great voice and the pub market is more challenging than ever these days.

    Thanks for the share! I’mma looking forward to the day you post about your first published-book birthday. πŸ˜€

  3. Wow. What a story (I’m sorry you had to go through it). I’m sure “super crappy” for quite a long time is about what would’ve happened to me, too. I’m querying right now, and I just had a *much* more minor experience that was upsetting enough to me, and since then I’ve really tried to be more distant from the process. Your story helps drive that home even more. Now I’m just continuing to query and moving onto new projects. Thank you for sharing your cautionary tale!

  4. Wow. That sucked. Obviously her eventual brush-off was more to do with her than your book. Good for you for not quitting.

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