Something really cool happened.
Something I’ve been working toward for some time.
…Your girl got a literary agent.
It’s been kind of a long story for me and this manuscript. There was the pitch contest, and then there was the waiting. And then invitations to resubmit along with some incredible notes. The ones I took and climbed back into my cave with. I wrote this YA Southern romance that was like a murder ballad meets a telenovela and it took some tweaking to get it right. Each turning the lock a little this way and that until finally it clicked.
I left the revision cave, emailing it to the agents who’d requested the revision, and then I queried a few more. Luckily it was right around a #MSWL (Manuscript Wishlist) event on twitter, which let me scroll through and see who wanted what.
I got more notes. More great notes.
I turned up my playlist, put on my headphones, went back to my orange grove, turned the lock and revised once more.
And then I queried once more, too. It was a new to me agent, but I’d heard of the agency. When you’re on Twitter long enough, faces start to become familiar, and I’d seen this agent mentioned when it came to YA, so I queried. A few days later I glanced through #MSWL again when I noticed that this agent I’d just queried had tweeted a #MSWL I hadn’t caught before.
She had Southern fiction on her wish list.
Hold up. Tiny butterflies went loose, landing on my ribs and flirting with my heart. I shushed them, because I was finishing this last revision and you never know.
Then I got a partial request.
Other things were stirring, but something about this request and agent felt like a quiet sort of magic. Being in the right place at the right time and running into the right person kind of magic.
Then came an enthusiastic request for the rest of the manuscript.
The butterflies went wild.
I sent that latest revision to this agent and a few others and then I sat back and chilled. I had pots on the stove and had gotten pretty good at waiting. I was reading through my TBR pile again and I was revising the new thing. I was busy while waiting on my TARDIS.
And then one random Monday I was in the kitchen when Lucy called out from the living room. Something about my phone. I made it too late to answer (although, let’s be real, I’m terrible about answering unknown numbers) but I sat down and fired up the voicemail expecting reminders about appointments or insurance things or maybe even school stuff about my son. But it was a pleasant voice introducing herself and my head got blurry, and then she named the literary agency. I stopped clicking the pen in my other hand and sat back, wide-eyed. But I waited. I knew how these things went. I understood revision requests. I waited for that. For her to say she wanted to discuss the book with me, because that could mean a whole host of things.
But then she offered.
I called her back and listened as she said things that clicked what I’d written and wanted to continue to write into place. When I got off the phone I blasted that playlist I’d listened to while writing, revising, querying and pitching and I danced with the girl who’d been in my belly when I first thought about querying this story.
Then came the part of letting the other agents know. There were emails and last requests and I freaked out with my writer friends in secret who helped me navigate this part. Grateful to so many, I knew I had to listen to my gut.
And I did.
There were a couple months of terrible queries and then a few more of R&Rs and thoughtful breaks, every stop on this winding path sharpening the tools I was collecting, but I’m so excited to be #TeamTriada and am now represented by Laura Crockett and Dr. Uwe Stender of Triada US Literary Agency!
The songs of my orange grove:
May we always have a mixtape at every turn in the road.