Holy cheesenips, I have an agent.
It actually happened a few weeks ago, but I’ve been sitting on the news because a) it was too new to share, b) I kept having anxiety attacks every time I thought about it and c) I was worried I would somehow retro-jinx it if I told. But now that I’ve got a few weeks distance between me and The Agenting I’m feeling pretty good about shouting it to the world.
The process was unusually fast. After I sent out my first three query letters I received one rejection and one request for the full manuscript (followed by a rejection, which made it that much more painful), both within the first five days of having sent the queries. Since the Guppies are full of stories of sending dozens and dozens of query letters before getting so much as a nibble, I was prepared. I had a long list of carefully researched agents I wanted to query and then, once they inevitably rejected me, I was ready to start the process over again. And because most sites tell you that you can be waiting up to six months for a response, I had mentally readied myself to wait that long each round. But then!
Only a couple hours after the second rejection I got an email from the third agent saying that she would like to talk to me and when was convenient for her to call? Of course, I panicked and sent back an ever-so-slightly rambling email saying that any afternoon would work for me. Then I texted everyone who knew I was querying and demanded immediate consultation on what this request could POSSIBLY mean. Could she have hated my manuscript so much that she felt the need to call and tell me, personally, to give it up and go get a job?
Fortunately for my mental health, all my terrified questions were answered shortly when I got a call from an unfamiliar number. The following is a representation of our conversation:
“Hi, is this Bess Carnan?”
“This is Dawn Dowdle, of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. I’m calling to talk to a little bit about myself, how I work, and to see if you think we’d be a good fit.”
And so on.
The end result is a lot of paperwork which I am thoroughly enjoying going through (with extra thanks that I took the time to read up on industry contracts because I know what so many of these terms mean now, you guys. There’s also a second person now invested in me getting this story exactly right which adds pressure, but also means that someone who knows books believes that what I wrote has an actual chance of being published. That’s pretty incredible.
I was so ready for a years-long slog on the road to agenting that this swift turn around has left me a little breathless. I feel ridiculously, embarrassingly lucky to have been picked up so quickly. Thanks, Dawn!
Do any of you have experience with this sort of shockingly good luck? Do you have any advice about how to stay on an agent’s good side? Let me know!
P.S. Yep, my manuscript is being meticulously, painstakingly edited. Wish me luck!