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Hallelujah! I'm an agented author!

Wow! These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. I've finally snagged my dream agent, KIM LIONETTI at BookEnds, LLC. She's a member of AAR, and has been in the publishing biz for over twelve years. Eight of those she was an editor for Berkley. Then, four years ago she joined Jessica Faust and Jackie Sauch at BookEnds as an agent.  She's super intelligent, very professional, and UBER nice to boot.

There's an allegory in here somewhere, of persistence in the face of adversity , considering it's taken me over 2 years, 4 books, and well over a hundred rejections--some not so nice--to finally land a break, but I'll spare you those gory details and move on to the happy stream of vignettes that blossomed into my acceptance.  

First, I sent out an e-query to Kim for NOCTURNUS back in October 2007.  She emailed back with a request for a partial on January 28, 2008.  Just goes to show that even if you don't hear back from an agent within a few weeks, it doesn't necessarily mean they aren't interested.  This is a very busy business and agents have a lot of pressure and a lot on their plates.  

So, I sent my partial snail mail and had just received my self addressed stamped post card on March 7th indicating she'd opened it when I fell into my awesome new critique group (posted about in my April 5th blog--here).  Well, one night at crit, one of my writing buds (Linda Castillo) asked who all I had sent NOCTURNUS to, as that was the particular project I was bringing to group at that time.  When I named off Kim Lionetti, Linda said, "Oh my gosh, I know her! She was my editor at Berkley.  Do you want me to send her an email and tell her how much I like your writing?"  

Well, BOOYAH!  Linda did, and Kim, who had already been reading the partial, emailed me later that day and told me she liked what she'd read thus far and wanted the full, along with whatever else I might be working on at the moment.  So, I emailed her a partial and short synops for FORGOTTEN SILENCES along with my vampire MS, assuring her I anticipated being done with the ghost story by mid April.

As you all know, I finished my ghost book a little over two weeks ago (April 21st).  Having not heard back from Kim yet, I emailed  to check in. She'd been reading NOCTURNUS and said she loved my voice, but for some reason that story didn't seem to move her. But she'd read my FORGOTTEN partial and was really enjoying the more romantic aspects of it. When I told her I'd finished it and asked if she'd  like to be the first one to look at it, she was thrilled. I sent her the full on April 29th.  

On May 7th, I received an email from her saying she'd finished the ghost book, really enjoyed it, and wanted to talk to me about it.  She asked if she could call me on the 8th.  HECK YEAH!  The rest, as they say, is history.  She wanted to sign me with just a few minor changes in the book--I agreed with all of them, they were great suggestions and will make for an even better read--so I accepted her offer.

NOCTURNUS is on the back-burner at the moment, but I'm not too concerned about it.  It will have its day in the sun.  Right now, FORGOTTEN is the priority.   Just to give everyone a sense of how much I NEEDED this validation from the publishing world, I had just received rejections not too long ago from two agents that had shown A LOT of interest in my work in the past.  I was at the lowest I'd ever been.  One afternoon JUST LAST WEEK, my hubbie came home unexpectedly at lunch to find me bawling my eyes out with "Nickelback" cranked up on the sterio loud enough to wake the dead .  I was almost ready to throw my hands up and say "That's it.  No one's ever going to get me.  No one's ever going to love my stuff.  It's TOO DIFFERENT."

My voice blurs the lines between commercial and literary.  Not an easy thing to ascribe a genre to.  But Kim GETS me.  She even said she LOVES my writing.  LOVES it.  That's phenomenal.  I always told myself, that above anything, I wanted an agent who believed in me.  And now I've found her, and the feeling is ... indescribable.  Which is really something, considering descriptive writing is my forte.  :) 

All this to say, DON'T give up!  It can happen for you, just like it did for me.  BE PERSISTENT, NEVER LET THEM BEAT YOU DOWN.  Most important, believe in your work and stay true to your voice.  Ever heard that saying ... all it takes is one yes?  Well, let me tell you, yes is a beautiful word.

Now begins the next leg of my journey.  Trying to find a publisher that likes my story as much as Kim does.  I might still be in for a lot of rejections, but at least now I have affirmation.  I have an agent that believes in me.  And that's all the incintive I need to hold my head up high and keep the faith.

I'll try to drop by everybody's blogs later today to see how you're all faring.  I promise to keep you posted on everything, step by step along the way from here on out.  For now, I'm off to revision land.

Happy writing, everyone!

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
elisa_rolle
May. 10th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
Good Luck! I will wait for your success. Elisa
author_aghoward
May. 10th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, Elisa! I hope to be reviewed by you one day...:)
superwench83
May. 10th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
I'm so excited for you! Once I saw that you'd announced it on here, I went ahead and put an annoucement about it on my blog, too. Hope you don't mind. I'm just so proud of you! It's a great book. I can't wait to see it in print with a shiny, pretty cover and brag to everyone that I know the brilliant author who wrote it.
superwench83
May. 10th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, hey! I just realized that my userpic is so appropriate to this moment. Applause, indeed!
(no subject) - author_aghoward - May. 10th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - superwench83 - May. 11th, 2008 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - author_aghoward - May. 10th, 2008 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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author_aghoward
May. 10th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks newport. It's been a roller coaster ride!
jennifer_d_g
May. 10th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
I've been wondering about you for ages! No wonder you've been quiet - you've been busy writing and reeling in your big whopper agent!

Congratulations! I am so happy for you!
author_aghoward
May. 10th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks Jennifer. I've missed you guys. Everyone's blogs are so good that I get sucked into them and neglect what I NEED to be doing, so I had to steer clear for a while. My diligence paid off, but now comes the revisions.

Truth be told, I've never been this excited about rewrites! :)

How's your search going?
(no subject) - jennifer_d_g - May. 10th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - author_aghoward - May. 10th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
author_aghoward
May. 10th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks girl! I need to come over and add some query response times to your blog. I have several agents I can post on.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - author_aghoward - May. 10th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
mjdiem
May. 10th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Congratulations!
Yay!!! What awesome news!
author_aghoward
May. 10th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Congratulations!
Thanks! I'm floating in the clouds...
cathschaffstump
May. 11th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
That's a good story. And it shows how there are so many paths to breaking in.

Catherine
author_aghoward
May. 11th, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
Thanks Catherine. Yeah, you just gotta perservere. And sometimes that's SO hard to do...
(Deleted comment)
author_aghoward
May. 11th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
Maybe you should query Kim when you're ready for an agent. She seems to really like the literary slant.

She doesn't like straight fantasy, though. She wants a strong romance with the fantasy secondary to the relationship. Just a heads up...
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - author_aghoward - May. 11th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
watchmebe
May. 11th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! You must be so excited. ;)
author_aghoward
May. 11th, 2008 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I am! Oh, and I'm loving the sombrero! Very festive. :-)
mirtlemist
May. 12th, 2008 12:24 am (UTC)
Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! Can't wait for your book - I should books! - to come out :)
author_aghoward
May. 12th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! Yeah, BOOKS. I want to write lots and lots of them. :-)
ext_85154
May. 12th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC)
I came over from Katie's (Superwench) blog. Congratulations!!
author_aghoward
May. 12th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
Welcome! So glad you dropped by. Superwench is a good pal of mine. And thanks for the congrats!
green_knight
May. 12th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
Congratulations!

2 years, 4 books, and well over a hundred rejections

That is impressive. And inspiring. I'm not saying that people who send out five queries and get three offers don't deserve it, but I hate them nonetheless ;-)
author_aghoward
May. 12th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks Green Knight! I'm with you about the five query thing. I'm sure some of them do deserve it, but it still makes me want to pop them in the mouth a time or two so they can experience at least a portion of the angst most of us do. :-)

I hope my story is inspiring. I want others out there to realize that it might be just around the corner, so if they're thinking of giving up -- DON'T. Seems like it took me reaching my lowest point for it to happen.

Your user name sounds so familiar to me. Haven't I seen you around THE DEEPENING? Were you published there? Or maybe I've just seen you on the BookEnds' blog. It's surprising how many of those readers are also LJ-ers. I only realized that today when someone mentioned my blog. Blew me away. I don't know why, though. Considering how many of us are aspiring writers in LJ land.
(no subject) - green_knight - May. 12th, 2008 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - author_aghoward - May. 12th, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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