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 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.