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I have an Agent!

I have written thirteen novels. Eight are published, which leaves five unaccounted for.

I wrote them for a different market than the one my awesome niche publisher handles. Five manuscripts moldering away on my hard drive waiting for the light of day and the smell of ink to bring them to real existance.

So, I’m sitting here, wearing my “I love Boston” T-shirt and my favorite comfortable jeans that are slowly disintegrating even as I sit. Holst’s The Planets is playing in the background—though I’m not listening to it anymore.

I just got the call. THE CALL. If you’re a writer, you know what that means. It is one of two things. Either an offer of representation from an agent, or a book deal.

This is the first kind. The offer of representation. The phone is hung up. And I just now realize my hands are shaking. When did they start doing that? Were they shaking while I was on the phone? Or worse. Was my VOICE shaking while I was on the phone? Hands I can hide, but the voice? There would be no hiding that. Sadly—or happily, I will never know either way.

This call means that someone else thinks I am good enough. Someone who isn’t my mom, or my husband, or my kids (after their dad gives them the stern look that tells them they have to like everything I write no matter what). This is someone else. Someone on the outside of my sphere. It’s as if this new person has just walked into that same sphere, sat down, and put their feet up while they grin and ask me how I’m doing?

How am I doing?

I want to throw up.

And scream.

And laugh.

And cry too.

Someone outside said I am good enough. Something I’ve worried over, wrung my hands over, paced over, cried and cried and cried over. Am I good enough? What will I do if I ever discover I’m not?

It’s a relief to hear someone affirm with those sweet, soft words, “Yes. Yes, you are.”

That’s why I want to cry. And throw up. And scream. And Laugh.

Because so often I’ve heard a different answer. So many of my rejection letters have come in saying, “We love your writing, but . . .” “We love your characters, but . . .” “We love your story, but . . .”

I’ve just been looking for a different contraction. I just wanted to hear, “We love your writing, your characters, your story,  AND . . .”

And now someone has.

I don’t know what to do with this information. I don’t dare consider that this new person might be wrong. That will only lead to more pacing, wringing of hands, and crying, crying, crying.

And it’s strange how the reaction for today’s acceptance is so similar to the reactions from past rejections.

All this emotion bubbling over and spilling out. And I want ice cream. Rocky road.

She loved it, AND . . .

AND  . . . today, I have an agent. Not just any agent. I have THE agent, the one I’ve researched and kept coming back to and wishing was mine because she is just that good at what she does and because she is just that great as a human being. Sara Crowe said yes to *me*

And her email right after we hung up? “Hi Julie!  Just wanted to say YAY! Talk soon!”

Yep. After an email like that, it’s a good day. I toast this cone of rocky road to the road I’ve just traveled to get here.  There were rocks—more like mountains with sheer cliff faces, and I’ve tripped and fallen more than I care to admit.

But today . . . it’s a good day

I’ll tell how this all came about later, but for now, the moral of this story?

I didn’t quit.

I’m so glad I didn’t quit.

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13 Responses
  1. Karen Adair says:

    Congratulations!!!!! What a beautiful (and funny) account of what writers go through. You made it! So happy for you! And one more exclamation mark, just because. !

  2. Nancy Allen says:

    Jules, this is so, so wonderful! I’m so incredibly happy for you and this post made me all misty-eyed. HUGS HUGS HUGS!!!

  3. Daron Fraley says:

    That is awesome Julie! Congratulations!

  4. Robin Weeks says:

    Aw, congrats, Julie! You rock. Sara rocks. You’re going to make magic together and I can’t wait to read your new shiny books!

  5. a.l. Sowards says:

    Congrats Jules! I’m so excited for you!

  6. T.J. says:

    I’m so friggin’ excited for you! And jealous! But mostly excited! A little jealous still. But oh my (whatever-expletive-is-fitting), I’m so excited for you! (Jealous as well.) I don’t think there are words to express my excitement for you. CONGRATULATIONS! *internet confetti* Hugs abound! Yeah…it’s kind of that awesome.

  7. Alissa says:

    Congratulations again! I’m glad you didn’t quit! I’ll be starting the query process this fall for the first time. It’s a good reminder that it may take a LONG time before I find someone who loves my work as much as I do. So many great book (Dune, LOTR, even Harry Potter) were rejected by so many before they were accepted. I’m glad yours found an advocate, and hopefully a publisher soon! 🙂

  8. Lordvader says:

    What a fun ride to be with you on. So many don’t see the day to day. The break down, the depression, the tears, the excitement of a new idea, the many hours of writing to get there and still run a business, get your church calling done, be Mom and spouse and hope to actually clean your home one day like you like it done. It fun to be married to you. I want to stay together. This Pathway to Publication is arduous and still not over, but stepping up to the Sara Crowe step at least lets you look out over the valley and start to see what seems to be the peak up there. Watch the sunrise and maybe the sunset too, but then get back on that path. 150 rejections roughly is not a fun path, but sometimes a necessary one.

  9. Chris Miller says:

    That is so amazing! You’re a great example of hard work and perseverence (and a great example to me personally).

  10. Chris Miller says:

    That is amazing! You’re an example of hard work and perseverence (and personally, a great example to me).

  11. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I am so happy for you!

  12. SO VERY HAPPY FOR YOU, JULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You express the feelings and emotions of landing your Dream Agent PERFECTLY. I came so close to giving up so many times over 20 years, I can’t tell you. Hundreds of rejections, writing my derriere off – and finally, finally, the validation. Congratulations!!! You deserve it. Hope you’ve been wildly celebrating!

    Wish I could hug you right now! 🙂

  13. Sharee Wanner says:

    Julie~What wonderful news! I for one am so glad that you didn’t quit. As an aspiring author, I love to hear of the journey that others have had on their way to making their dreams come true. I can’t wait to hear how it all came about!

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