Wow. I would be lying if I told you I haven't dreamed about writing this post. The thrill of actually finding a person that champions my story and my writing with as much passion as my mother does is, quite honestly, one of the most incredible feelings on Earth.
Two years. 9 revisions. Lots o'queries, the bulk of which were long before the book was truly ready to query. 16 Fulls, 3 partials, many rejections. I truly felt, at times, like I was on a roller-coaster. After all this time, and so many mistakes, the book was FINALLY ready and where I wanted it to be. But was it too late? And then, something happened that changed everything.
Do you ever meet someone and just know that they were brought into your life for a reason? Something about the moment you meet seems super-charged, as if the universe were orchestrating this moment into play for a very specific reason? I felt like that when I met YA author Jessica Brody at a writing workshop she led this past November. Our instant banter led to an easy friendship, and she was kind enough to pay it forward and offer me up a referral to her agent, Bill Contardi at Brandt and Hochman. She couldn't sing his praises enough, and she was also honest in saying that he had never once signed anyone she'd referred, but she encouraged me to go for it. I did, and Bill responded instantly, requesting the full, and then, last night, I got "the email", the one I'd read about on so many blogs where the agent says they loved your book and would like to set up a time to talk to you.
I have to be honest and say that I had to read the email three times at least before I screamed and called my family downstairs, because I'd grown accustomed to seeing, "I read BAND GEEK and I really liked it BUT . . ." This one said that too, but there was no BUT. Bill is an unbelievable agent. He not only represents Jessica, but Alyson Noel, who is one of my favorite YA authors, like, EVER! He's well respected and has worked in publishing for close to 30 years, including having a background in film and handling the film rights for clients like Meg Cabot and Ursula LeGuin. Holy cow!
The feelings racing through my brain and body were indescribable. How can you put words to that moment where suddenly everything you've worked for and dreamed of might possibly be one step closer to fruition?
Five minutes on the phone with Bill the next day, and I knew he was the right one for me. He loved the book, the voice, the character, and is as passionate about the project as I am. He has vision for where to send it and what it's future potential might be. In that moment, I got what all those blogs are saying. You shouldn't just sign with someone because they are interested in your project, nor should you mourn the ones that said no because you thought they seemed so perfect. You should go with your gut. The person you say yes to should be as excited as you are about your work, and not one iota less. And you can hope that when they send your work out into the world, their excitement can't help but be contagious. The "no's" are a gift, because they are clearing the path for the right one.
So the journey continues, and now the road merges in a new direction. I've never been so excited to hurry up and wait anew.