I am so excited to announce that I have a literary agent and I am now represented by Elizabeth Harding at Curtis Brown. I just want to gush and gush about how awesome she is. She reps some amazing authors and award winning books (Karen Cushman, Gennifer Choldenko, Suzanne LaFleur) and I am honored and humbled to join her team.
My agent story is a bit twisty, most of you know the beginning part of it. How my story started off about guardian angel grandmothers, and then the amazing Brenda Drake let me have a Pitch Wars redo where I had the opportunity to learn from three amazing mentors. Joy McCullough-Carranza, Jessica Vitalis, and Rebecca Wells. With their spot on critiques, guidance, and line edits, I was able to produce a book that I am exceptionally proud of.
But then I had to query it. And querying stinks. Sending your work out to agents and hearing over and over again, “No thank you” or worse, nothing at all. It’s like having your dream stomped on over and over again. But inbetween all of that, there are the highs. When an agent wants to see the rest of the book! Yay!
That happened to me the day after I sent out my first round of queries. Elizabeth was actually my very first query request! I was floored. I’d emailed her because she was a dream agent, I didn’t really think I stood a chance with her. Even as I sent off the manuscript, I wouldn’t let myself hope. About six weeks passed, and I got more requests, and a slew of rejections to go along with them. I was beginning to feel like it just wasn’t going to happen for me. Then I got an email from an agent asking for a phone call. It felt like a miracle. She offered and I was thrilled. Thus began the longest two weeks ever!!!
Because it was all over Christmas break, I didn’t hear much from any of the other agents I notified of my impending offer until close to the end of the two weeks. And with only one day left before I had to make a decision, I’d only had a few step asides. Then I got two emails within ten minutes of each other. Both saying they loved the book and wanted a phone call. It was a busy day with emails flying and nerves going crazy, and two phone calls!
Every agent I spoke with was amazing, and I think I would have been happy with any of them. But in the end, I felt the most confident in Elizabeth’s experienced hands and I was really impressed with the way she spoke about my long-term career.
And so that’s the cliff notes version. The unedited version has a lot more screaming and exclamation points.
So for those who are interested (I know I always was) here are my stats.
Queries sent – 35
Requests from Pitch Wars – 12
Requests from querying – 10
Query request rate – 28.5%
Upgrade rate before offer – 50%
Total Offers – 3