Monday, February 21, 2011

Yet Another Way in Which Querying Is a Lot Like Dating

I didn’t date much in high school--or rather, I didn’t date a lot of people. Honey Bear and I met the first day of my sophomore year (his senior year), and although it took a few months for a friendship and then a romance to develop, develop they did. By the end of that school year, we were talking every evening on the phone for hours at a stretch and going on group dates several times a month.

Which wasn’t exactly the blissful fantasy that TWILIGHT-reading teenagers might think it was. If you’re familiar with Mormon culture, you might already know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourages its young people to date nonexclusively in high school. Honey Bear and I were--and are--active Latter-day Saints who wanted to follow this counsel, so we both agreed to date around.

But that, as it turned out, was a lot easier said than done, at least for me.

As you might imagine, Honey Bear didn’t have a problem pulling this off. He just went on other group dates with other girls while I stayed home and played at writing novels. I did my part by asking other boys to the girls' choice dances, then waited, waited, waited for my other boy friends--note the space there, boy-space-friends--to ask me out.

But by and large, they never did. Any boy who knew me well enough to maybe want to ask me out also knew about Honey Bear and didn’t want to, I don’t know, invade his territory or something. Or maybe they just had no idea what he saw in me:) Either way, I didn’t date a lot of other boys in high school, and this, uh, caused me some emotional distress.

Then one day, when I was watching Little Women for what was probably the fifty-seventh time, little Amy March said something that struck me as particularly profound. “You don’t need scores of suitors,” she told her older sisters. “You need only one, if he’s the right one.”

Interestingly enough, the same is true of agents. As I’ve watched other writers land two or three--or six or seven--offers of representation over the last few months, I’ve thought back on those profound words. I don’t need scores of offers, or even scores of requests. I need only one, if it’s the right one.

Now I just have to find that one agent who’s willing to oblige… :)

29 comments:

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

In agree with that whole heartedly.

I remember having so many crushes on boys my first year in college and none of them liked me back. Heartbreaking! But then along came the Dashingly Handsome Sidekick and he liked me so much he pursued ME, which was such a switch from me pining after these other guys who couldn't care less. Anyway, I've often compared that to my agent search. When the time is right....

Fun post. Wow, you've known Honey Bear for a long time!

Amy

Kelly Bryson said...

All these comparisons of agents to dating makes me think it should be that easy to find the perfect agent, too! I don't want to be a writing spinster!

Magan said...

I love that you compared dating, Little Women, and querying and made it all make perfect sense!

Sometimes I get jealous when I see all these people get multiple offers of rep, or when I see someone get an offer or a full request from an agent I've queried and am waiting to hear back from, but I digress...it only takes one.

Jess said...

Awwww, I loved this post. It was sweet, romantic, and SO true when it comes to writing. I've heard about people who get six or seven offers too...I'd definitely be happy with one. Now if I can just get lucky enough to query the right agent at the right time :)

Matthew Rush said...

Interesting point. I'm glad to hear you found your one, may you enjoy the same success in seeking an agent.

Vicki Tremper said...

Hang in there, Krista! The right one man entered your life and the right one agent will, too. And I'll keep telling myself that, too, so I can eventually start to believe it for myself.

Krista V. said...

Amy, we have known each other for quite a while. I met him in the fall of 1999, when I was fifteen. In just another couple of years, I will have known Honey Bear for half my life:)

Kelly, ha! I don't want to be a writing spinster, either:)

Magan, it IS so easy to get jealous. That's why I write posts like this - to remind myself that I don't have to worry what everyone else is doing. I just have to focus on my journey and making it the best it can be.

Jess, great point. Those people who land an agent within a couple of weeks were simply fortunate enough to query the right agent at the right time. It's okay if it takes us a little longer to find Ms. or Mr. Agent Awesome.

Thank you, Matthew. Since I found Honey Bear so easily, I must be paying my dues now:)

Thanks for the pep talk, Vicki! I'm sending the same good vibes right back at you!

Jenilyn Tolley said...

Cute post! I love hearing stories of people getting together. Good luck with the search for the agent that's the right one for you.

Lori M. Lee said...

Aww, what a great post and an awesome way to put it into perspective. Thanks so much for sharing!

Pam Harris said...

You're so right, Krista. I had a few close calls, but when my agent offered me representation, I KNEW she was the one. I went through the proper protocol since others had my full, but I already knew she was the right choice even before I queried her. Not only if Mr. Right would come along... :)

Ben Spendlove said...

Whoa! You knew boys from space? And they wouldn't even ask you out?! That is a blow.

Sorry. Just being silly. I stole my wife from the boy she sort-of-dated in HS. Took him years to find someone else. :D (I may be exaggerating that story.) I wonder how agents feel when they get rejected.

Krista V. said...

Jeni, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Honey Bear and I have a long and fairly dramatic story. One of my college roommates once described our relationship as tragic (which, of course, just made my meloncholy writer self exhale a bittersweet sigh:) ). Happily, ours turned out a whole lot better than Romeo and Juliet's.

You're welcome, Lori! Thanks for the comment!

Pam, how could Mr. Right not come along for you? I mean, you're smart, you're pretty, you're about to be a world-famous author:) I'd say it's only a matter of time...

You're quite the villain, Ben:) Yeah, Honey Bear and I knew the chances of our ending up together were pretty slim (I want to say I've heard that only three percent of high school relationships survive the mission), so we approached pretty much everything with zero expectations. All our friends seemed to think we'd end up getting married, though. (And there's ANOTHER similarity between querying and dating: when everyone around is certain you'll land an agent, but you yourself are not so sure...)

Shari said...

Such a fitting analogy - one that's hard to remember sometimes, when you're in the midst of the journey, but also one that's so, so true. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration.

Here's hoping everyone gets a happily-ever-after :)

Liesl said...

Oh, the drama! Well do I remember.

Just look at some of the rejection stats for famous authors. Kate DiCamillo? Over 500. Hang in there! Mr./Mrs. Right Agent is out there somewhere, I know it!

Monica B.W. said...

I LOVED your story! You and HB must be like the perfect couple! ;) So You've known him for so long! That's so sweet!

And I'm sure you'll find that perfect agent match soon! You deserve it! :D

Krista V. said...

Shari, I hope we all get our happily-ever-afters, too. We may have to wait a little longer than we'd planned to, but I'm sure they're on their way.

Liesl, did you read that on a blog or interview or something? I'd love to check it out!

Thanks for your encouragement and enthusiasm, Monica. And at the risk of sounding egotistical, I think Honey Bear and I are about as perfect as couples come:) We just fit together so well. I'm glad we found each other (and sooner instead of later).

Abby Minard said...

Aw, you'll get it soon! Although I don't comment much, I've been following you for a while (okay sounds totally stalkerish) and I know your time is coming soon! It really does take that one to click with you and your work!

Stephanie@thecrackedslipper said...

It's so nice to hear your very sweet story...I'm on the opposite side of the fence...very glad I did NOT end up with the HS sweetie...the very thought gives me the willies!

Maybe my querying journey will be like that...said agent I would have died to have ask me to the publication prom will someday pale in comparison to Mr./Ms. Right...

I can hope, anyway! :)

You're getting tons of great response! Hang in there!

Esther Vanderlaan said...

Lovely story! I like it. Good point, too.

Jemi Fraser said...

Terrific analogy! It's so true - you only need one. Gotta say I don't remember Amy March being so sensible! :)

Krista V. said...

Thank you for your words of encouragement, Abby. I really appreciate them.

Stephanie, your comment reminded me of something Kiersten White once said. You never know who's going to turn out to be the perfect agent for you, so you should always keep an open mind. She hadn't even heard of her now-agent, Michelle Wolfson, when she started querying the manuscript that caught Ms. Wolfson's eye. Now those two seem as inseparable as PB and J. (Now you know what we have for lunch. Every. Day. Oh, I must be a mom:) )

Thanks, Esther! I hope whatever project you're working on is going well.

Jemi, it was the one worthwhile thing Amy March ever said. Then she had to go off and marry Laurie. Good thing he was sort of a punk by that point in the movie, too:)

Sierra Gardner said...

LDS and single so I totally get the awkward dating scene! Being shy totally gets in the way of dating (and I suspect querying as well). I love your point though - sometimes you only have to fall in love once =)

Krista V. said...

Sierra, thanks for stopping by. I think I knew you were LDS. Maybe... It's nice to know for sure:)

Marie Rearden said...

Great, great post! I'm right there with you. Marie

Myrna Foster said...

This analogy is so much more romantic than the quarter in the toilet one ;)

And I love your tweet about being the Paul Revere of querying. You'll find the right one, hopefully soon.

Krista V. said...

Thanks, Marie! It's nice to know we don't walk this query road alone.

Myrna, you've got to admit, that quarter-in-the-toilet analogy is particularly apt - but this one is more romantic:) And I hope I find the right one soon, too.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

That is the cutest story ever! High school sweethearts. Love it.
I hope everything is going well with querying! I'm rooting for you to find the right agent soon! :D

Caryn Caldwell said...

I love it! And you WILL find that agent! It only takes one, after all.

Krista V. said...

Chantele, I'm glad you liked it. And querying is going pretty well. Thanks for asking. I'm rooting for me to find the right agent soon, too:)

Thank you, Caryn. Your confidence is inspiring:)