As I mentioned in my last post, I had started reading everything I could on what to do after you get a book deal. One thing I read is that a great time to get an agent is after you've gotten an offer from a publisher. A year earlier, I had started an agent search, with no offers in sight, but there was one agent who had liked the story I sent and asked to read more. She said she didn't like the other stories as well but suggested I write in prose and, if I did, I could contact her again.
Well, I had a new story in prose (I wrote it because of her suggestion) so I decided to contact her again. I told her about the contest and book deal and I sent edited versions of the manuscripts I'd sent before, along with my new story in prose. I'm happy to say, she really liked the stories and offered to represent me! So now, Jamie Weiss Chilton of Andrea Brown Literary Agency, is my new agent and I'm sooo thrilled!
Members of my critique group asked exactly how she made the offer - email? Phone call? How long did it take? Here's the timeline of how it happened:
January 14, 2009 - After several emails, I got "the call" from Jamie. I did lots of jumping and screaming (inside my head because I was in Target). I told her I'd call back after I got home and put away my frozen food. When I got home, we had a great phone conversation - I had my pre-typed list of questions (I was so proud of myself for being prepared)! I was too nervous and excited to read the list so I just flipped it over and wrote frantic notes on the back. At the end of the call, Jamie said she'd like to offer representation but had to run it past Andrea Brown first! WOW!
January 15, 2009 - I got a message from Jamie saying she spoke with Andrea and was officially offering representation. Lots of jumping and screaming in my kitchen!
January 16, 2009 - I called Jamie back and accepted her offer. We talked about the AB Lit contract (she emailed a sample) and said she'd send the real one in the mail. More jumping and screaming!
January 20, 2009 - The contract came in the mail. MJAS! I signed them and was at the post office in five minutes.
February 2, 2009 - I got the contract back - signed by Jamie and Andrea Brown. Also a nice note from Andrea welcoming me aboard. No more jumping and screaming - I was jaded by this point - not! Since then, Jamie has handled the contract for 1 ZANY ZOO (yeah!) and has two of my stories out to editors. She's fantastic!!
I'm not sure if anyone's reading this blog but, if you are, do you have any "how I got my agent" stories to share?