Well, she made her intentions very clear last week, but today she is sending me a contract!!
I am hereby, officially represented by Jodi Reamer of Writers House.
She is preparing a submission list and plans to send it out as soon as I finish this round of revisions. (probably in about a week)
So those of you who read this blog regularly may be bored by the rest of this post, but I have to do the obligatory "story" post. So here goes.:)
I finished this book at the beginning of December of 2005. My friend Stephenie, who's first book Twilight had just come out a few months earlier, asked if she could read it. Well, she loved it and asked if she could give it to her agent, Jodi. (Ha! Like I was going to say no.) So I sent off my baby and really started counting my chickens. She's going to love it, she'll get back to me soon with an offer, we'll shop it, it'll set for an exorbitant amount of money, etc, etc, etc.
Fast-forward six months.
I e-mailed Jodi (for the first time, I was way patient) and asked if she remembered me, basically.
So I wrote it off as a rejection. After all, there were so many more fish in the sea for this perfect, fabulous, all-hallowed novel. *rolls eyes*
I'd racked up about 50 rejections by this time, but those were easy to dismiss. My query didn't work for them, they just weren't quite the right agent, etc. The perfect agent was waiting just around the corner. On top of that, I'd had two agents request the full after reading the partial so I was feeling pretty cocky. I did get several rejections on partials during this time, so I decided to see if I could get a few betas from absolutewrite.com to look it over and see if it might need just a few little tweaks. I had a couple of people volunteer, so I e-mailed off my book and waited for the praise to roll in.
Only it didn't.
One of the guys thought it was okay. Loved my world and my magic system, but wasn't really taken by my main character. Well, that was okay, because his main character was very, very, very different than mine so clearly he just didn't like my type of hero.
Then Glenn's response came in. He had several nice things to say and said them right up front. Then he proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with my book. Down to minute detail!
I would like to say I was crushed, but I was still to high on my horse to feel that way. What the heck did this guy know? He wasn't published. He'd never had a NYT bestselling author read and recommend his book. Who was he? Nobody! I wrote him a nicely-worded thank you for his critique, but dismissed his thoughts without consideration.
Fast-forward three months.
I reached triple digits on my rejections. I had sent this sucker to every agent who might possibly be interested in representing fantasy. Every single one had come back a rejection except for the two fulls which had both been out for at least four months with no response. This was my low point. I finally had to admit to myself that there was something wrong with my book.
So I got out Glenn's critique and read it with new eyes. I spent two months revising what I thought had been a perfect manuscript. I actually ended up putting my first and second books together and cut almost 75,000 words by the time I was done. I took a lot of inspiration from Caitlin Kittredge during this time because she talked about how long and hard she worked polishing her manuscript (which sold like a hotcake, by the way.:))And when it was finished, I had a manuscript that sparkled. . . and I was completely sick of it. :)
I got out my spreadsheet and looked to see who I could send it to again. I picked six agents who had only seen the query and two agents who I really wanted a second chance with. I also e-mailed one of the agents with the full and asked if she'd like to see the revision.
Then I held my breath. I didn't expect anything expect anything at this point; my book was really long for a first-time fantasy (140,000) and I knew that would hurt my query. But I tried to be hopeful. I did get rejections, and this time it was hard. I really felt them, even if it was just those first five pages. But I had a couple of bites and was happy about that.
Then came November. I was just sitting at my desk and I check my e-mail and I have a message from Jodi. I'm like, what the . . .? So I open it and skim it expecting the same old not for me but thanks for considering our agency, blah, blah, blah. But the words I was skimming didn't make sense. Then I caught the words "enjoying" and "immensely." Well, that wasn't right. So I went back to the top and started reading again slowly. First were very long apologies for the huge delay (10.5 months) and then that she was halfway and done and enjoying it so much she was already starting to think of where to send it, and thought she should check if it was still available.
So I took a very deep breath and e-mailed her back to let her know that yes it was still available, but that she might want to see a revision. She wrote back and said that some of the things that I mentioned I had revised were things she was going to suggest so please send the revision right along by e-mail.
About a week later she called me and had lovely things to say. Then asked if I would do some revisions for her. Everything she suggested was absolutely spot on and just hit my gut and being exactly what I needed to do. (And what an experience that was, let me tell you . . . like sharing brainwaves!) So I finished my revisions and sent them in just before Thanksgiving.
A little word of advice. Never send stuff during the holidays!!!:) You just have to wait and wait and wait and wait. It is so maddening! But finally she e-mailed me last week with responses to the revisions and a few more notes. She made it very clear in her e-mail that she intended to send it out after this round if things looked good, and so I felt comfortable announcing to my very small blog audience that I had an agent. But not confident enough to announce it to anyone else.
We arranged a phone call to brainstorm a bit over the last set of revisions (it's going to require two new scene . . . about 3,000 words) and right before she hangs up she says, "Oh, by the way, I'll e-mail you a standard house agreement. Let me know if you have any questions. Okay? Bye."
By the way?!?!? I've been waiting for you to say those words for almost two months!
But she did say them. And so now it's officially official and I am telling everyone and their dog, "Hey, guess what? I have an agent!"
*Sigh* Hopefully the next couple of months will be very interesting for me. And exciting, I hope.