Archive for the ‘Agent’ Category
I’ve been waiting to make an announcement like this for a long time, so I’ll get right to it!
But big news like this deserves the whole story. This is going to be a long post, so settle in and get comfortable, friends. I’ve EARNED this post.
As many of you know, I’ve been writing fiction for children and young adults for years. What many of my writing colleagues may not know is that after getting 2 degrees in engineering, I’ve built a successful career in the sciences and information technology. Yes, folks, I work as an engineering geek for my day job.
I still wonder why it took me so long to realize the obvious: Why not combine my love of writing for children with my professional experience in the sciences? Duh. What a natural transition for my writing goals!
I conceived of an idea for a science book series targeted at young readers ages 8-12. The first book in the series is titled IS IT OKAY TO PEE IN THE OCEAN? and is about…well, peeing. Before you start freaking out, no, it’s not a gross out book. Yes, there is much talk about peeing (I have three boys. Welcome to my hell) but the book also explores the impact humans have on the environment, marine biology, and the effects humans have on the oceans.
The thing is, I’d written 4 full length fiction books, but I’d never attempted to write nonfiction. So I stressed for a while, trying to figure out how to make this project happen. I quickly realized writing nonfiction, for children, is pretty much exactly the same as writing fiction. Children’s books need a unique voice to grab a reader’s attention and keep it. It doesn’t really matter if it’s fiction or nonfiction. I could do this!
So off I went. I drafted a few sample chapters and put together a proposal for my book series.
And I didn’t’ tell anyone.
None of my family, friends, or members of my writing circle knew what I was working on. My husband didn’t even know what I was working on. You see, I’ve been doing this writing thing for a long time and I was tired of people asking, “so when are you going to get one of your books published?” I know this question was not meant to hurt my feelings, but the question always stung. I’d get the same well-meaning questions from my (non writing) friends and family “You wrote a book? So why isn’t it a New York Times Bestseller yet?” or “Maybe you should self-publish? I hear lots of people are doing that?”
That’s nice. But that’s not what I wanted.
I wanted to be traditionally published.
So off to the query trenches I went with IS IT OKAY TO PEE IN THE OCEAN? But this time I didn’t tell anyone. I decided this was going to be my little secret until I had some news to share.
I queried the project and the first agent requests started coming in.
I didn’t get too excited because I’d been here before.
But then more requests started coming in.
And I still didn’t get too excited. I’d been here before.
It was still my secret.
Then an amazing agent sent me an email asking if we could “talk”.
This made me excited. It was time to tell my husband. He was over the moon happy for me.
I talked to the agent the next day by phone and had my first official offer. You guys, this was a big deal. I’d queried my other projects before but I FINALLY had my first legitimate offer from an amazing agent. I’d done it! I made plans to meet this agent for lunch a few days later and we were going to talk all about how to make the peeing book a smashing success.
I informed all the other agents who were still considering my work that I had an offer of representation. What happened next blew me away.
I received 2 additional offers the following day.
Multiple offers! WHAT??
But I still believed I was destined to work with the first offering agent. His credentials and experience were stellar. He was a rock star, practically a legend. But I agreed to have a follow up phone conversation with one of the other offering agents. The phone conversation was scheduled immediately before my lunch appointment with Rock Star agent. I parked myself in a Starbucks and waited for her call while trying not to be too nervous about my lunch meeting with Rock Star agent.
Clelia called, but she was in the vestibule of a moving Amtrak and I could barely make out what she was saying. Combined with the background noise in the Starbucks the conversation wasn’t happening. No big deal, because I was about to have lunch with Rock Star Agent.
And the lunch was fabulous. We had a great meeting and I was convinced I’d found the right partner to represent my work.
Except another few offers came in (holy moley!) and then I exchanged emails again with Clelia who offered to meet in person over coffee to continue our talk. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I should bother. I was convinced that Rock Star Agent was THE ONE, but my husband insisted I keep an open mind. Don’t tell him I said this, but he’s usually right.
It was a rainy, miserable day when I made the trek into Manhattan to meet Clelia.
When I sat down with Clelia I knew she was the real deal. We instantly clicked. I felt my goals and her vision for not only the IS IT OKAY SERIES, but for me as an author were completely in synch.
In the end the choice was simple. I know Clelia will be my champion and together we’re going to rock this publishing world.
And because I’m a math geek and it’s popular to post these statistics, here they are:
Agents queried – 33
Number of proposal requests– 11
Number of offers– 5
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- National Novel Writing Month National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000 word, (approximately 175 page) novel by 11:59:59, November 30.