Happy 2012!! I hope everyone had a wonderful, fun and relaxing holiday. We were fortunate enough to have a white Christmas here near Denver, complete with ice-skating, sledding, and snowman building. The only downside to the last two weeks was eating my weight in cookies and chocolate fudge, but I've got a whole year to lose the weight before the holidays return!
While I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions, I do love setting new goals for the year. In reviewing my writing goals for 2011 (see last year's post), I had a variety of objectives I wanted to achieve. One of those goals was written exactly like this: SIGN WITH THE PERFECT AGENT FOR ME. (Apparently, the key to goal attainment is stating them in bold, all-cap lettering.) I'm going to try that with my 2012 goal of: HAVING THE PERFECT PUBLISHER BUY MY BOOK.
I signed with my awesome agent in mid-December, and she had her entire edit letter to me THE NEXT MORNING. Seriously. You can't get more perfect for me than that. I've also spent several weeks trying to say "my agent" without breaking into a ridiculous grin, but have failed so far. I feel so fortunate, lucky, and thrilled to say that I am officially represented by Jessica Regel from the Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. This is Jessica:
This is me with my signed agency agreement:
As far as details go, I was pulled straight from the slushpile. I knew immediately after speaking with Jessica that she was a great fit, but I had other fulls out there and felt I should notify those agents out of professional courtesy. Jessica was very understanding, and when I received another offer of representation the next day, she said she wasn't surprised because my "book rocks." I'll admit that hearing that from an agent was one of the coolest writing highlights of my year. I loved Jessica's enthusiasm, confidence, and game plan for my book. Speaking with one of Jessica's current clients validated everything my gut told me--they raved about her dedication, competence, determination, and overall awesomeness.
One huge reason I'm convinced I obtained representation when I did is because of something I did not do from my goal list in the link above. I had originally planned to attend a writing conference that I'd gone to in the past, but then had my arm twisted to go to a week-long writing retreat instead. I said at the time that it was the best writing-related thing I'd done in in my life, and it's true. The feedback from editors was priceless, and I am forever indebted to one editor in particular for the confidence they gave me. After coming back from that retreat in October, I had renewed determination and tore my book apart (again), put it back together in November, and decided I would send it out into the world until somebody said 'yes.' I also started working on a new ms in order to preserve my sanity during the wait.
I have a bunch of query posts planned about the whole process, but I also want to pay it forward and give back to the wonderful community of writers and readers out there. I'll be doing a query critique day for writers, a book giveaway for readers, and my awesomesauce agent, Jessica, will be doing a Q & A on the blog.
What are your goals for 2012? Feel free to use bold, all-caps like I did--it can't hurt!