I am now an agented author. On February 12th I signed with Lina Sion of Global Literary Management who will represent my YA novel, Driven.
I got “The Call” on Groundhog Day, which is interestingly coincidental. Groundhog Day is a secularization of Candlemas, which is rumored to be a Christianization of the Pagan holiday, Imbolic. All three of these celebrations in some way honor light and new beginnings. Groundhog Day the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, a time when we begin to see the days getting longer, the cold weather losing its bite, the first hints of spring. In other words, it’s a perfectly time to start a new phase of my writer’s journey by being offered representation.
The days after The Call were devoted to research, asking questions, and consulting agented friends. Then I signed the contract, sent it off to New York, and waited for my copy to be returned. I suppose I could have made this announcement on the 12th, but superstitious me, I wanted everything to be 100% official before I went public.
A part of me never seriously believed this could happen. I’ve been working so hard for so long that it seems a little surreal. And it changes many things. I’m now free to check my email without a burning feeling of dread. I’ll never again have to fear the sound of the mail carrier’s jeep. I can go to writing conferences without worrying about having to pitch. I no longer have to scour the Internet for information on agents to query. I can concentrate on my books, my landscaping, and my platform while leaving the selling up to someone who’s much more capable. I’ve been given the stamp of approval by the New York publishing industry, and while I’m sure I’ll continue to struggle with doubt—like every writer—I’ll always be able to look back on this and tell myself that somebody who knows books thinks I’m good enough. Probably the most important change of all is that I feel less cynical, more confident, and strangely calm.
It’s only been a few weeks, so I can’t say how long my optimism and composure will last, and yet I have a feeling that it’s going to stick with me. I’ve heard other authors talk about how much it sucks to be on submission, or how they constantly check their email to see if there’s any news. Maybe I’m being premature, but I don’t think it’s going to be that way for me. I don’t expect to sell my book overnight, and reality tells me that some books never sell at all. I’m perfectly content to have Lina handle this. I’m ready to turn the stress, anxiety, and hard work of submission over to someone else. I’m happy to be part of a team, to finally have someone in New York see in my manuscript what my writing friends noticed long ago.
Finding an agent is a lot like making it through to Hollywood on American Idol. It’s doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become a superstar, or even make it into the top 24. But you don’t have to be the #1 writer in America to be published, you just have to have a great story at the right time and get it in front of the appropriate people. Together, Lina and I think we have that winning combination.
I'm an author of YA fiction, a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. I live in Milwaukie, Oregon with my husband, four cats, and two giant sequoias.