Last summer, I made the decision to part ways with my previous literary agent. It was a hard decision but one I felt was best for both of us. Of course, that dropped me back into the query pool, and - in case you were wondering - no, it is not easier the second time around.
I was, however, excited and optimistic about my new manuscript. I dove into the query pool without any floaties and immediately got full and partial requests and celebrated. Of course, I also got rejections, and then I felt sad and questioned myself, but also sort of thought...
Then, along came Pitch Wars. I'd gotten some conflicting feedback from agents and decided Pitch Wars might be the answer. I could get some insight on the conflicting input and stop feeling like slamming the door on it.
I got in! Yay!
And I got to work with Dannie Morin. She's awesome and able to analyze plot and structure in a way I am not so good at. And she had a LOT of input, and some of it matched the input I had gotten from agents and some of it didn't, but 99% of it rang true to me. And THAT is what I was looking for... feedback I clicked with in such a way I could use it to make my book better.
So I did.
I made it better.
And after Pitch Wars, I sent the manuscript off to the agents who requested it as part of the contest. Then I sent it off to the handful of agents who were waiting on my revision.
And then I waited.
Luckily for my poor impatient soul, I didn't have to wait very long.
On a really icky day, I got my first offer of representation from an agent. I was on the phone with my best friend, being depressed over my really icky day, when the call came in. I'd like to tell you I am a very grown up professional and maturely ended my call with Leila and checked my voice mail and returned the agent's call.
But what I really did was squeal like it was Christmas morning as soon as I recognized the New York area code. I shouted at Leila, "I HAVE A CALL FROM NEW YORK!" Then I hung up on her, and because we have a drama-free friendship, she laughs about this and does not call me mean names.
At least, she only calls me mean names when we are using them as terms of affection.
From there, I had a two week whirlwind. Because I expected to get an offer (see, I do have some confidence) I had queried quite a bit, making sure any agent I really wanted a shot at working with had at least my query in hand when I got that first offer. So my next step was to let them all know, and then...
But, this time, my waiting involved me walking around checking my email every 1.3 seconds. I looked something like this...
I won't go into the details. It was a crazy stressful time. I am obsessive when making decisions. I will stare at the windshield debating what I want to eat until Corey gives up and picks a place. If he waited on me, we might eat after I spent three months listing the pros and cons of every restaurant in Tupelo. And this decision was a much bigger deal than Firehouse Subs or Sweet Peppers.
On the final day, I had page after page of notes on each of the offering agents. All of them were good agents. All of them had good editorial comments on my book. All of them were capable of selling it.
But one of them stood out. Our phone call lasted three times as long as any of the others. And there was more than one phone call. I talked it over with my husband and my friends and it was clear to them and to me...
my decision was made.
I am happy to announce, I have accepted an offer of representation from Peter Knapp at Park Literary.