Friday, March 14, 2008

I have a story to tell you

So sit on down.

You guys all saw the metrics I posted while writing my last book, a dark uf called Unholy Ghosts. I believe some of you posted the brief snippet I posted too (and have since removed, so no snooping!)

I wrote it. I edited it. I made my friends read it. Several of them offered (after reading it) to give me referrals to their agents, which makes them the most amazing people ever.

I sent out a couple of queries. I waited.

I was lucky. I got some full requests from the first few queries I sent, a short time ago.

So Monday I decided to go for one of my Dream Agents who was not a referral, who I didn't know and who didn't know me. Chris Lotts from Ralph Vicinanza Ltd.

I sent the query, thinking, "He's totally not going to be interested, but I'll give it a try."

Three hours later I got a very complimentary request for the full...with a week's exclusive. Of course, I couldn't give an exclusive. But I sent it anyway (crossing my fingers) and explained that several fulls were out and that I promised I wouldn't sign with anyone until I'd spoken to him first. I said I really hoped that was acceptable as I would hate to miss the chance to work with him. All of which was true--I think I barely breathed after sending it.

We exchanged one or two other emails, and I went to bed thinking I had totally blown it. Of course it couldn't be helped that I'd already sent out other fulls, and I certainly wasn't going to lie and say I hadn't, but...I was certain I'd lost his enthusiasm. This is an extremely busy man--surely he wasn't going to waste his time reading a ms by someone who could get a phone call from another agent any minute, right? In my last response I told him I would take an offer from him extremely seriously and that I had no interest in playing agents off each other--totally true--but would he believe it? Argh! I barely slept.

He emailed me back Wednesday evening. He was well into the book and really enjoying it, was I around for a phone call?


We talked for about an hour. I feel certain that at least one point I made a total dork of myself. In some places my memory is a bit fuzzy. But there is one sentence he said that I will never, ever forget:

"I really think this is great, and I'd like to represent it."

And I had an agent.

I sent a query.

I'd never met him. He'd never met me.

He'd never heard of me.

I don't personally know anyone he represents (of course I've heard of them, but never met any of them.)

I don't think he particularly cared about my credits. I'm sure he thought they were nice to have, and they showed him I could finish a novel and had at least a basic level of professionalism, but in the long run it was Unholy Ghosts that interested him.

I didn't pay him (of course). I didn't run into him at a conference or in an alevator somewhere or do an in-person pitch. He isn't a relative. I didn't show him a "portfolio". I didn't have an offer in hand from a major NY house.

All I did was send a query. And two days later I had an agent. (Who ROCKS!!!!, btw, and I still haven't started breathing correctly again and some part of me is totally waiting for him to email and tell me he made a mistake, or that I spoke to a Chris Lotts impersonator or something.)

That's all I did. So next time someone tells you it's impossible to get a good agent--a great agent--without any of those other things...they're wrong.

I sent a query and first few pages that he liked so much he kept reading. And kept reading.

I'm not saying my book is the greatest book ever written (you guys know I'm way too insecure and stuff to ever say anything like that, even if I thought it, which I don't.) But I'm proud of it. I worked hard on it. And if I can do it so can you.

I have an agent!! Squeeeeeeee!


ChristineEldin said...

Congratulations!!! That's a very nice story!!!

I'm coming from Bernita's....

Bernita said...

Simply that, Dear Girl.

pacatrue said...

Well, it's about time! ;) Congrats, Dec. May he raise your advances by 80%!

Anonymous said...

I have told every singel person who's walked past my desk since I found out!

The Man actually squeed.

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow. Cool! Congrats. That's wonderful news.

Karen Erickson said...

Congrats that's wonderful news!!! I'm so happy for you! :)

raine said...

Came over from Bernita's to say
That's great news!

kirsten saell said...

Squeeee! right back atcha!

And Chris Lotts? Holy effing damn!

Sam said...

FABULOUS News!!!!!

And hugs!!!
And I still think it's impossible, but I'm thrilled for you!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is where I'd say, "my man" if you were a guy.

You've worked hard and deserve it.

Mr. Lott, do your agent thang!

December/Stacia said...

Thank you so, so, SO much guys. I still feel like I'm going to throw up, lol. (Seriously, I almost did when I got off the phone with him.)

The most amazing thing happened today. I had a question--about how he'd like to be listed on my website, actually--and I emailed him. And he answered. Within, like, half an hour. And I sat there and stared at the email and thought, Holy fuck, I just emailed my agent and he replied to me. Because he's my agent. And he didn't reply to say "Who are you?" or "Um...I rejected you, you crazy person, you've imagined this whole thing" or "Actually, I've changed my mind." He just answered the question and said not to feel awkward if I had more questions because everyone did.

Seriously. It was amazing.

Anonymous said...

Holy fuck.

Dude, you're so cool.

(eee, we all get to fangirl squee about knowing YOU!!)

cyn said...

i saw this on AW! couldn't be happier for you. so jealous too. the query thing is kicking my ass. but you've got many more novels under your belt. thank you for inspiring me and CELEBRATE! can't wait to buy your book from the store! =D

Gabriele C. said...

Wow, big congrats!

I got an email today by a publisher interested in my work. It turns out he'd found my snippet blog.

At which point I clicked delete. :) Serious publisher don't browse the net for writers.

Anonymous said...

Squueeee! Hooray!! Congrats!! Now pass the luck! ;)
I hope this means bigger things for you.

Ello said...

I am so happy for you! Congratulations! You give all the rest of us hope. Awesome awesome news.

I will line up to buy your book!

Kerry Allen said...


Bring on the Downspeak!

Bernita said...

I keep coming back to re-read this post and gloat.

BernardL said...

Super blow by blow description, D. Great news! :)

December/Stacia said...

Thank you guys all so much! You have no idea how great it feels to have everyone so happy for me--honestly I think in some ways THAT feels better than getting an agent did.

Miss Snark said...

He's lucky to have you!
I'm thrilled for you.
Are those squees the reason there are cracks in my ceiling and KY is singing off key?

Seriously, congrats and best wishes.

December/Stacia said...

See, Miss S, you probably thought I was joking when I said you made me cry, but I wasn't.

Thank you so much. I couldn't have done it without you.

(And sorry, I'll stop squeeing soon so you can have some peace and quiet again.)

Devon Ellington said...

Congratulations! That's fabulous news!

McKoala said...

ecember, this is awesome, awesome news! I am so pleased for you! You totally deserve a fabulous agent who enjoys your great writing and appreciates your hard work!

Still got time for a guest blog?!

pacatrue said...

McKoala, you'll have to talk to her agent about that. Or perhaps you can contact the World Rights division.

December/Stacia said...

Thanks everybody! And lol Paca.

(Of course I'll still come guest blog, Mc! I'm getting started on all my guest blogs today.)

Precie said...

YAY!!!!!!! I guess I'm late to the party, but I saw your Absolute Write post and then McK's blog today. So...finally I get to say CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Demon Hunter said...

Congratulations, December!! That's wonderful news! I'm late to the party since the computer service died for a while! I'm so proud of you! :*) Yay! :*)

December/Stacia said...

Thanks guys!!

Angie said...

Woot! That's so awesome, hon! Congrats! [hugz]


December/Stacia said...

Thanks Angie! Oops I didn't see this one until now!