Thursday, April 5, 2012

How I Got My Agent: Part Two

All right, so I left off at the e-mail. (Here’s the first half of the story, in case you missed it yesterday.) As I mentioned before, the e-mail went something like this:

“I’m leaving for Bologna in a few hours, but I don’t want to do this long distance, and I don’t want to wait.”

The Call There was more, of course, but that was about as much as I got on the first read-through:) I ran into the living room and did a little boogie, with much screaming and fanfare, at which point my two-year-old panicked and dissolved into horrified tears. (I guess I’m not very good at emoting excitement over terror.) Then I e-mailed Kate back and let her know I could talk whenever. (Happily, I’d just fed the baby, but even if I hadn’t, I probably would have said the same thing.) She called me not long afterward, and I did my best to act casual again.

At the end of our conversation, Kate assured me that the offer wasn’t going anywhere and that I could take whatever time I needed to make my decision. (Loved that.) We agreed to talk again the Monday after she got back from Bologna.

The Other Offer After I hung up (and after I fed I-gots and Lady, lest you think I’m a delinquent parent), I e-mailed the other agents who had outstanding manuscripts or queries. I’d gone on a query binge the week before, so there were a few more of these than there would have been. A lot of them e-mailed me back within a couple of hours to wish me well and step aside. But the next morning, another agent, who was also on her way to Bologna, got in touch. She was very interested in the manuscript and wanted to talk when she got back.

Frankly, I was shocked. I’d spent the last few weeks telling myself that Steve wasn’t going to be the One, either, so I had a hard time processing the idea that not one but two amazing agents were interested enough to offer. It definitely fell under the category of Too Good to Be True.

But it wasn’t. I talked to Agent Amazing the following Friday, and we had a lovely chat. To be honest, I hadn’t expected to like Agent Amazing as much as I did. And for about twenty-four hours, I was a basket case. I reviewed my notes from both conversations. I went back over the e-mails Kate’s and Agent Amazing’s clients had sent. (I firmly believe that every writer should get in touch with one or two of an offering agent’s clients. You need to know how the agent operates behind the scenes so you go in with your eyes wide open (or so you don’t go in at all).) Then I talked the whole thing over with Honey Bear. And in the end, I went with my gut.

I signed with Kate.

Things I Love About My Agent

1. She’s familiar with my other projects and likes the kinds of stories I write.
2. She sees this manuscript sitting in the same place on the shelf that I do.
3. She caught the FRANKENSTEIN allusions and connected with Ella Mae as a reader as much as I did as a writer.
4. She wanted Steve enough to forgo packing another pair of shoes and pick up the phone instead:)

If you’d told me a year ago it would take another year for me to finally land an agent, I probably would have screamed and thrown the keyboard across the room. But if you’d told me that agent would be Kate Schafer Testerman, I would have put the keyboard down and slowly backed away. Some things are worth the wait.

59 comments:

Traci Kenworth said...

Congrats!! What a wonderful story to have happen. I'm glad you waited and made the right choice. Good luck!!

aberthot said...

What a wonderful and inspiring story! It really gives me hope. Thanks for sharing.

Andrea

Brenda Drake said...

Such a fun and wonderful story. I'm so glad you found a match! Congratulations! <3

Rachel said...

I love this story, Krista. As long time follower of your blog (without having a blog myself lol)...it was bound to happen to you sooner than later...and it did. What a wonderful way to end March and begin April :-)

Theresa said...

What a great story. Huge congrats. I've read your pitch before and fell in love with the concept. I can't wait to read it :)

Kaitlin said...

I never knew getting an agent could be written with such suspense, but as you showed, it can! Congrats again, and I can't wait to read your book.

Jenilyn Tolley said...

Yay! Congratulations! I know I've said this, but I'm so very, very happy for you!

Hannah Bowman said...

Congrats to you, Krista! I'm so glad you've found a great agent.

Chelsey said...

So, so, so happy for you!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Congratulations, Krista! I'm SO happy for you! :D

Janice Sperry said...

Fabulous news! I look forward to hearing about your first sale. :)

Maggie Hall said...

Yay yay yay, Krista!! So, so happy for you. :D

Vivi said...

Wow, that is such an awesome story! And a dream come true. From one struggling mommy writer to another...CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :)

Riley Redgate said...

It's not a real celebration until you've terrified an infant or two. ;)

Pam Harris said...

Great ending! Congrats again, Krista! :)

Amber said...

congrats! that is so exciting!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks, Traci, aberthot, and Brenda! I'm still ecstatic!

You have been around for a long time, Rachel, if you've been reading along since 2009. Welcome to the blogosphere! I hope you find time to get some writing done... :)

Theresa, I can't wait for you to read it, too! Fingers crossed it sells soon!

I do my best, Kaitlin:)

Thanks, Jeni! And thanks for hanging in there with me when I needed a (virtual) shoulder to cry on.

Thanks, Hannah! And thanks for stopping by!

Thank you, Chelsey and Chantele!

And I look forward to sharing it, Janice:) Fingers crossed it happens soon!

Maggie and Vivi, thanks!

Well said, Riley:)

Thanks, Pam and Amber! It's good to hear from you.

Bethany Myers said...

Congratulations. I've heard nothing but amazing things about Kate. Good luck with revisions and all that stuff.

Jeff Chen said...

Congrats! Very exciting news.

Out of curiosity, how many queries did you send out?

Angie Sandro said...

Whoo hoo!! Many, many congrats. What a wonderful story. I can't wait to read Steve! Your plot sounds fantastic and something I would love.

Julia K said...

Talk about a warm and fuzzy story :) Thanks for sharing with all of us!!! and of course Congratulations again :)

Kelly Bryson said...

Yay! I'm so happy for you Krista! Steve is such a nice guy, I'm sure he and Kate will be happy together. WOw. Editors and revisions and deadlines...that's kind of intimidating! Esp. deadlines! Much cheering for you going on here!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Wonderful story. I wish you all the best. I like your suggestion to email other authors represented by an agent you are considering.

Sierra Gardner said...

Congratulations Krista - this is FANTASTIC news! I love it when other writers succeed! I look forward to more posts in the future about 'Steve's' progress toward publication =)

Bethany C. said...

Query Binge. LOVE IT!

Sounds like you found a great home with Kate. Congratulation's!

Shallee said...

Congratulations on your awesome news! So happy for you. :)

Escape Artist said...

Aw Krista, I got a real flutter in my heart reading this.
So lovely! So exciting!

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story! And big congrats :) I'm very excited for you and look forward to your journey from here.

Myrna Foster said...

I loved reading the details.

That last post was naughty. You know how I feel about waiting. ;o)

Jemi Fraser said...

So wonderful! Sounds like you made the best choice for you and Steve - glad you've found a home! :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Congratulations, Krista! I'm so pleased for you. :)

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Oh, love that last paragraph. So sweet, Krista! :)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Bethany, I've heard great things about Kate as well. So excited!

Jeff, I ended up sending 77 queries, but I sent 15 or 20 of those in the week before Kate offered.

Thanks, Angie! I hope you get a chance to read Steve someday:)

Thanks, Julia! And thanks for spreading the word!

Kelly, no editors or revisions or deadlines yet. Of course, from where I stand right now, those are problems that I'd love to have:) (All you published or soon-to-be-published authors out there, feel free to correct me on how naive that kind of thinking is.)

Yvonne, I think a lot of writers feel like they can't ask an offering agent for some client referrals, but the answers I got from both sets of clients were so helpful. It's definitely worth asking about. (And you know, if an agent refuses, that's kind of a big red flag right there...)

What a gracious thing to say, Sierra. Definitely no pride issues going on with you.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Bethany #2, I figured it was now or never. If I didn't send a bunch all at once, I was probably going to lose steam and quit querying altogether. I'm glad it didn't come to that:)

Thanks, Shallee!

Thanks, Linda! You've been so encouraging over the last year. I've really appreciated your enthusiasm.

Thanks, Shiela! As you might imagine, I'm pretty excited, too:)

And you even had a behind-the-scenes sneak peek, Myrna;) Thanks for forgiving me for making you wait--and for everything else, of course.

Thank you, Jemi and Sharon!

Thanks, Amy. It never ceases to amaze me how much more God can make out of my life than I can. And yet for some silly reason, I still think I know best a lot of the time.

Beth Christopher said...

Wow, how I love to read these stories! Congratulations, Krista. You've worked your keister off and totally deserve to bask in this wonderful feeling! Thanks for all you've done for the writing community. I've utilized your interviews countless times. Can't wait to see your book on the shelves!

Anna said...

I knew all the good you do for the writing community would come back to you. I'm so happy to hear the good news! I can't wait to buy a copy of Steve.

saturnbull said...

Wonderful. Exciting. I'm a bit pumped up just from reading about your story - might have to go dance a boogie in the living room just cause :)

Congrats! I've relied on your agent interviews for a while now - thank you, btw, (omg) thank you - so I'm thrilled to hear about your success.

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Beth, thanks for reading the interviews! I'm glad you've found them useful.

Thanks, Anna! Believe me, if Steve ever sells, you guys will be some of the first to know:)

Saturnbull, I'm glad you've found the interviews helpful. I've relied on them as much as anyone over the years:)

Lauren said...

Congratulations!!! That's so, so, so exciting! I remember reading (and enjoying!) your query on Cupid's site. :)

Leigh Covington said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is so exciting and i love that you share your story. It's always nice to have a heads up of what we might expect when our turn comes around (hopefully!) Kate sounds wonderful. I'm so excited for you!

Huntress said...

WOO HOO! Congrats!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Lauren, I had a fun time participating in Cupid's Blind Speed Dating event. Was your entry in the mix?

Thank you, Leigh! Best of luck to you in your agent hunt.

Thanks, Huntress!

SGF said...

Congratulations! And thanks so much for sharing your story and for everything you do with your blog. I hope a publishing deal is right around the corner for you.
I was going to enter your new contest, but couldn't quite figure out how to get a link to my facebook to work. Oh well, at least I had something to write about on facebook for once!

Jodi R. said...

Congratulations, Krista! I am so happy for you - well deserved agent love for you!

Jodi R

Krista Van Dolzer said...

SGF, thank you! And I'm sorry you couldn't figure out the Facebook link! I hope you'll drop by again toward the end of the month to check out these other contests.

Thanks for your well wishes, Jodi!

Kristi said...

Thanks SO MUCH for sharing your agent story with us! I love reading these happy sagas and how it "all went down".

Totally agree...definitely worth waiting for. Congrats again!!!

Ryann said...

Such an awesome story! I've been reading your blog for a while, and your interviews are always a go-to place for me to look when starting to compile query lists. I'm so happy for you!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Kristi, thanks for making it through both posts:)

Thanks, Ryann! And I'm happy to hear that you've found the blog useful.

Bittersweet Fountain said...

I'm totally late to this but CONGRATULATIONS! From what I know of Kate she's an awesome agent!

I'm totally doing a happy dance for you right now. :)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks, Mandy! And how are your projects coming? Whatever happened to that one I read a bit of?

Bittersweet Fountain said...

My projects aren't coming along well right now *sigh*. I had to do a ton of traveling this semester for work and it's just not the sort of person who likes pulling out my laptop on an airplane (there is never enough room and the person in front of me always leans back their seat).

But I did finish the first draft of the project you read and I'm about to embark on the great journey of revising(definitely taking into account everything you said, because it was good advice!). I'll keep you in the loop when I finish my revision. Hopefully it'll be leagues better than the messy first draft!

(And I can't believe you had a baby and got an agent this semester! That has to be one of the most successful semesters I've ever heard of!...and yes, though I'm no longer in school I still think in semesters. lol)

Bittersweet Fountain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael G-G said...

Best of luck with Steve! Wouldn't it be great if the year bookends with yet more success...!?

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Mandy, ha! It has been a pretty successful semester:) And I can understand how hard it is to write when life is crazy. (I haven't written much in the last few months, either.) I'm happy to hear you finished the first draft of CHRIS CHAPPELL, and yes, do keep me in the loop!

Thanks, Michael! Best of luck to you, too. I'm looking forward to reading SHAKESPEARE ON THE LAM someday:)

Suzanne said...

Ohmygosh I'm so happy for you! That is amazing, and yes, totally worth the wait. Congrats, congrats, congrats!!! lol

J. B. Kantt said...

CONGRATS AGAIN KRISTA!!!!
I really am SUPER happy for you!!!
I can't wait to see Steve on shelves!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thanks, Suzanne and J.B. Kantt! Fingers crossed that Steve ends up on a bookstore shelf someday!

Kristin said...

So thrilled to read all the details! And hahaha on scaring the toddler! I saw the twitter exchange and my eyes were bugging out of their sockets. I was sincerely hoping something good was coming your way! ;) Also, at one time, we'd talked about swapping beta reads. I may have to hit Myrna up now. J So happy for you, Krista!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Kristin, thank you! As for beta reads, do get in touch with Myrna, because she's plain fabulous. And I don't need a new pair of eyes at the moment, but if you ever need someone to look over a few chapters, feel free to get in touch!