On Monday, I posted this on Facebook:
I just received a request, from AN ACTUAL AGENT OF ACTUAL BOOKS THAT ARE ACTUALLY ON SHELVES IN LIBRARIES AND BOOKSTORES, for my full manuscript!
I both can and cannot believe this news.
Thank you Jesus!
Most of you know that I finished my novel in September, then spent a week researching agents and writing (and revising…and revising…and revising) my query letter.
On Monday, about five weeks after my queries went out to six agents, I received one email requesting the full novel, and one email saying, “No thanks.” On closer look, another agent’s website stated that if four weeks passed without hearing from her, to go ahead and look elsewhere.
So, the score stands as follows: 1 maybe, 2 no’s, and waiting on 3.
This is starting to feel real, baby. And exciting!!! In fact, in a lapse of judgment I may move to regret, I wrote this back to the agent who asked to see more:
Dear Secret Agent,
It would not be stretching the truth to say that I screamed loudly enough to wake the neighbors when I received this email. Thank you for walking me through another milestone.
Just kidding about the Secret Agent part! But seriously, will I someday, in an interview, laughingly recount the time my agent decided to work with me based on the puppy-like energy I showed in my email? Or will I descend slowly into the bitterness of regret, knowing I had blown my one shot at greatness on a stupid impulsive email?
Ah, who cares? I meant what I said. Now I’ve just got to wait, what? A month? A week? A few days? How long can it possibly take to read my book, anyway? Really, friends are wondering when I “find out,” and I honestly don’t know. This isn’t like a recipe: Shut agent and book in oven at 350 for eight days. Results may vary.
Thank you, Secret Agent; I will always remember you as the one who wrote me my first “send me more” request. Thanks even to you, Agent of Doom, who wrote me that rejection email; that’s a first too! I’ve never been able to say, “I took a year-and-a-half to write a novel, and sent it to an agent, but she rejected it.” Now I can!
I’m feeling like less and less of a fraud when people ask me what I do and I say “writer.” I feel legit.
I like feeling legit. And so, that reminds me…here’s another thing I didn’t used to be able to say: It’s time to go work on my second novel!
Creepy illustration credit: Ben Crowder (Flickr: Secret Agent) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons