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« Does Your Novel Have A Theme Song? | Main | Guess What? I HAVE AN AGENT!!!!!!! »
Tuesday
Aug242010

How I Got My Agent and How Blogging Played a Role

 

Okay, so first I have to say I'm overwhelmed by all the congratulations, well wishes, and warm comments from everyone yesterday.  Thank so much, y'all!  My news was that much sweeter because I had so many fabulous people to celebrate with.  I've never come across such a supportive and genuine community of people as I have with writers.  I'm regularly amazed at how kind-hearted and giving everyone is to each other.

 

In fact, that online writerly support played a big role in getting the ball rolling with my agent.  At the beginning of June, I got an email from the lovely and fabulous Natalie Bahm.  (Btw, if you're not following her awesome blog, get on it.)  Natalie said that Sara, her agent, was going to RWA Nationals and was looking to sign a few more romance writers before the conference.

Natalie knew what I wrote because we were blog friends and she'd read a few excerpts I'd posted here and saw my contest wins, so she offered to give me a referral.  I also got a message from a Twitter friend (and another of Sara's clients) Miranda Kenneally offering to read some of my stuff and possibly offer a referral as well.  (See how wonderful and generous writers are?)

Unfortunately, my book (Exposure Therapy - the erotic romantic suspense) wasn't quite ready.  I had a few chapters to finish and then needed to put it through beta readers, revisions, etc.  As much as it pained me to pass up the chance with such a great agent, I didn't want to send something that wasn't polished.  Natalie (because she's awesome like that) assured me that she'd give me a referral whenever I was ready to query.

So I went to RWA Nationals, my book ready to go (thanks to my uber fast, super helpful beta reader J. Leigh Bailey), and set about learning any last details I could before I queried.  Sara spoke at the PRO Retreat on an agent panel and I really liked what she had to say.  She seemed friendly and approachable, and she was one of the few that talked about the importance of an author having an online presence while they are trying to get an agent.

So I came back home, chose my top five agents I wanted to query, then contacted Natalie to see if she was still cool with the referral.  She definitely was and had me send a query and partial to Sara (allowing me to skip the query only first step--yay!).  Sara contacted me a few days later and asked for the full.  I was beside myself, but knew not to get too excited yet.  Back when I queried my YA, I had a number of full requests that didn't pan out.  Not to mention, I follow Kristin Nelson's blog, so I know their stats:  Last year==38,000 queries, 55 fulls requested, 6 offers of representation.  Um, yeah.  A little daunting.

But then, four (yes, four) days later, Sara emailed me.  She said my book "spoke" to her (yes, now THAT is why I write.  I can't tell you how thrilling those words were to hear--makes me a little misty-eyed just thinking about it.)  However, she had a lot of thoughts on the changes she would want me to make to strengthen the story and wanted to see if I was on the same page with that.  The changes she wanted were pretty big things, but I really could see how those elements would deepen the book, darken it, and up the suspense.  So I sent her my thoughts on those changes and we scheduled THE CALL!  The rest you can figure out.  :)

Now, I'm embarking on rewrites.  Wish me luck!

Feel free to ask me any questions I might have not covered!  :)  And are you as amazed as I am by how awesome the writing community is?

 

**Today's Theme Song**
"A Little Help From My Friends" - Joe Cocker
(player in sidebar, take a listen)

 

Reader Comments (48)

I'm STILL excited for you today!!! Yes, the writing world is awesome, and you are one of the people that make it so. I remember you asked me to do a 50 page beta for Wanderlust and I remember thinking, "Dang, this girl is good!" Good luck with all your revisions!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Mann

Roni, I'm so happy and proud for you! This is the first time that I'm getting to follow a writer along through the process from the beginning. I'm so excited for that! As far as the support of the writing community - I really think that a lot of us feel that when one person makes it, we've ALL made it just a little bit, because it gives us hope. Hope that one day, we'll be lucky enough to meet the same good fortune.

And as a writer, hope and imagination are the starting point for most of our endeavors. Good luck with everthing! I'll be following along and asking a lot of (probably stupid) questions!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKiera Bryant

So amazing! I'm happy for you, getting misty-eyed myself because I know the journey well. Good luck!

Avril

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteraviashnanama

Wooohooo! Awesome story! I love hearing these! Still super excited for you. Congrats!!!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFrankie Diane Mallis

This is so wonderful to hear! I am sooooooo happy for you.

Congrats, Roni, and thanks for sharing your story!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTere Kirkland

I am so happy for you, Roni.
I wish you every success in the re-writes. Let us know how it is going, I'm sure you will.
(Let me know if I can help at all. I have freed up some time for fun, and lots of writing related activities :)

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElaine AM Smith

Hey, I'm a bit late to the party, but congrats, Roni!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBane of Anubis

It miraculously all works together. Congrats again! :O)

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

I already sent you congratulations when I first found out, but once again, YAY!!!!!!! You're so deserving! :) I'm so very, very excited for you, and I'm glad that you're letting us all live vicariously through you. haha

The writing community online is seriously amazing. It's full of support and love, and I have never felt so at home with complete strangers. heh But that's the thing. At the end of the day, we're not complete strangers. We get to know one another, support where support is needed (and oftentimes even when it's not), and essentially take care of one another. I know I probably wouldn't even think about writing professionally without that network behind me. :)

For some reason, I kind of made it sound like we're part of a mafia-like organization... haha

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStef

Great lesson on the benefits of blogging. Referrals give you a huge advantage.

And now your followers can watch you go through the process from getting representation to publication. Big rewrites for your agent are often part of the package,and your editor may ask for more. It can make you crazy. But we'll be here rooting for you!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne R. Allen

Congrats on getting an agent! That's so exciting!

Good luck on your re-writes. I'm sure you'll do awesome with such a strong support team!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteranjohnston

I completely agree with you about the writing community. I'm amazed on a daily basis by the generosity and genuine care everyone shows for everyone else. It's one of the most supportive environments I've ever been in.

Still sending you congratulations!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterE. Elle

Such a great story - thanks for sharing it with us. The support online is amazing and so positive too - I really enjoy it, its like being on a great journey but not being alone. I'm finding quite a few writerly friends have good news this week! Congrats again and good luck with the rewrites! ;))

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTalei

This is so fabulous. ENJOY the process. There is nothing like revising with a person who believes in you and is able to sell your work.

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline Starr Rose

Congrats, Roni!!! This is great news. Good luck with the rewrites!!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Greci

So exciting! Congrats again, and good luck with the rewrites! :)

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDawn Simon

How did I miss yesterday's post? A MILLION congrats going your way. I am SO excited for you, Roni!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeika

Way cool. (Now, a moment for me. "Everyone's getting an agent except me. Bwaahhhh." Sounds of lamentations.) Congrats, Roni!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTravener

You are such a sweetheart, Roni! I'm sure you would have signed with Sara with or without the referral, but it sure makes a good story! And you are my blogging hero. I'm always so impressed with your content. It's no wonder you are loved by the writing/blogging community.

Enjoy the next few months! It's all so exciting.

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Came over here from twitter but I love Natalie and her blog--So excited for you!! Congrats!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerri Tiffany

Congratulations. I love watching fellow writers dreams come true. I currently have three agents reviewing portions of my manuscript. I am excited but at the same time nervous to be excited. I don't want to get my hopes up.
Good luck w/ everything.

Maribeth :)

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterninidee

Congratulations. I love watching fellow writers dreams come true. I currently have three agents reviewing portions of my manuscript. I am excited but at the same time nervous to be excited. I don't want to get my hopes up.
Good luck w/ everything.

Maribeth :)

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterninidee

Congratulations again! I can't wait to read your stuff! It's so inspiring seeing other writers find agents. Gives me hope! :)

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShelley Watters

This is beyond awesome! Congratulations to you...your hard work and determination paid off!

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Musil

found you via twitter. great news! the writing community is awesome....but no matter how awesome it is, we still need the 3 P's (patience, persistence and perseverance)

August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmie B

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