Wow, I can’t believe I just typed those words. (Be prepared…This post is REALLLY long.)
Many of you know that I’ve been writing novels with the dream of seeing them published someday (and if you didn’t know, SURPRISE!).
So usually the first step for someone seeking a traditional publisher is to find a literary agent, someone who will champion the writer’s work and find the right publisher for their books. An agent is a huge step in a writer’s career because they’re the gatekeepers of our work.
Anyway, back to the story. I had a list of 3-5 agents that I felt could be really good fits for my work, and last fall, I sent out query letters and started the back-and-forth game of sending requested materials, then waiting a few months, then following up, then waiting a little more, and…Well, you get the idea.
So for the past year, I’d received some promising leads sprinkled with some immediate rejections. And eventually the promising leads dwindled down until I had my manuscript out to two different agents.
Then I had the following discussion with God (not necessarily verbatim, mind you).
Me: “Lord, I’m really struggling with this call to write. I’m getting rejections and I feel like this story just isn’t meant to go anywhere. Maybe I shopped it too soon. And besides, my kids are so young. Maybe I’m supposed to set aside writing for a while so I can be a full-time mom. And then maybe I can come back to writing after my kids are in school. Is that what You want for me?”
God: “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (Lam. 3:15)
Me: “All right, I’ll keep waiting for these final two responses. But if they’re both no’s, then I know you want me to step away from writing. And if I get a yes, then I’ll gladly burst through that door.”
[A month later: I receive a rejection from one of the final two agents.]
Me: “Okay, Lord, I’m getting the picture. I’m ready to lay it all down. I can see where this is going. Well, I guess I do have this last agent. But did you see those contest scores I just got? That judge totally blasted my story. So, yeah, I know it’s probably not gonna happen. And I’m okay with that, Lord, I really am.”
God: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Ps 34:8)
Me: “Okey-dokey. I’ll keep waiting then.”
Fast forward to a morning three weeks ago. I got out of bed, walked downstairs with my eyes half-shut and bumbled through the cabinet for my coffee cup. My laptop sat on the counter, so I opened it. *Yawn* “I might as well check email and see what my day holds.”
Hubby and Little Man are at the table eating Captain Crunchberries and reading the newspaper.
I open my Inbox and see a response from the final agent, with the words “talk about possible representation.” I immediately stop breathing. Well, not really but almost. My neck does that weird jiggly thing when your heartbeat pounds like crazy, and I put my hands over my mouth. “Oh my goodness.”
Me: “Oh my goodness. Oh-my-goodness, oh-my-goodness. That agent…that agent wants…Oh my goodness.” My eyes fill with tears, and I look up at the ceiling. Okay, Lord, I got the memo. I hear You.
I set up a call with the agent to talk a few days later. (My kids happened to be at their grandparents for the weekend, so I had a quiet house all day…Yes, even the Lord can orchestrate something so little.) We had a good chat, and she wanted me to send her a few more items so she could look at them over the weekend. Then we scheduled another call for Monday. (My kids were coming back Monday night…Again, a total God thing.)
So the call came on Monday, and I was nervous, but I also knew I’d placed it in the Lord’s hands. Before both calls, I asked Him to overwhelm me with a sense of peace if this was the right step. And after talking on Monday, I knew without a doubt that this was the right step.
And so, I’m happy to report that I’m now represented by the wonderful Mary Keeley of the Books & Such Literary Agency
! To say that I’m thrilled to be part of the Books & Such family is an understatement. They represent authors who are the very reasons I ever picked up a Christian novel in the first place. Their reputation is stellar, and now I just hope I can live up to it.
Oh, and you wanna hear another cool thing?
Last weekend, I took my little research trip. And in a roundabout way, I ended up in the direction of where Mary happens to live. So I got to meet her in person! She picked out this great local coffee shop, and we chatted over non-fat almond lattes (Yes, we ordered the same drink…not on purpose, mind you). She was just as sweet and smart and business-savvy in person as she was on the phone. Here’s a picture taken by the gracious barista (after we’d overstayed our welcome 30 minutes after closing time…oops!).
So that’s my month in a nutshell! How about you? Do you have any fun news to share from your month? Even if it’s reaching a potty training milestone with your toddler…Trust me, I know how big of a celebration that deserves!
*Book photo by thephotoholic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net