Monday, October 13, 2014

I have an agent!

The paperwork is signed, so now it's official: I have an agent! Lana Popovic of Chalberg & Sussman... Can't wait to work with her on my YA sci-fi romance, Butterfly Dome! This is a project I started writing about a year and a half ago, and that has been in various stages of revisions and whatnot ever since.

Alrighty, I came on here to spill the details, but honestly, there aren't many! I wrote Butterfly in an unexpected frenzy last spring... and when I say frenzy, I mean broke-my-brain-from-writing-too-much (it was nuts). After that, I let it sit to give my brain a break, and then I got wrapped up in other projects, so it sat some more. Which was actually a good thing, because I came back with fresh eyes a few months later and cleaned up the writing with no mercy.

My constant state of being

I must admit, I was terrified at the prospect of querying because I know it means facing lots and lots of rejections, which isn't easy to take. But hey, you only need one!

So I settled down to craft a query letter. And I spent weeks on those damn 200 or so words. WEEKS. I pestered everyone who would listen to read it over, and even when they insisted it was fine, I refused to believe them and reworked it again. And again. And again.


Finally, I got it to a satisfactory state and started researching agents, writing down the names of those who rep'd YA sci-fi/fantasy. I must've read dozens of agent bios. In the end, I wound up with a list of thirty-six who might be a good fit. Then, I emailed out my queries and any additional requested materials (sample pages or synopses) and prayed.

I pray to my dear and fluffy Lord that someone will like this...

The first round of rejections came fast and furious, and, as expected, that hurt. 

But I worked so hard!!!

Then, Lana emailed saying she'd be interested in the manuscript, and I got all bouncy. And nervous. What if she hated it? So much worry!

Off it went, and I crossed my fingers and tried to focus on other things to keep from freaking out. Then, she emailed me back. I refused to open the email at first, because I was terrified that it would be a "no." For about an hour, I just stared at the unread message. Finally, I realized how ridiculous I was being and opened it.

Then came the scream heard across Facebook, because she loved it! I had to read the email about five times to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. And then it took me about five tries to write back and set up a call, since I was too busy grinning to type properly.

Happy dance!!!
The call basically confirmed everything I was hoping for. Lana was totally awesome, and I was ready to sign the agency contract right there and then. But, being a stickler for process (I'm a project manager by day), I asked for the customary week to check up on references and do my homework (and by that, I mean online stalk the heck out of the agency, mostly via Publisher's Marketplace). And to read over the agency agreement I'd be signing. In addition, I needed to give a head's up to a handful of outstanding queries, as per query etiquette (I had two partials out, and a few agencies specifically requested in their submission guidelines that you inform them if you have an offer if they haven't responded to you yet).

After what must have been the longest week of my life, I wrote Lana to say that I would love to work with her, and she sent over the paperwork. And now it's all signed and official, and I cannot cannot wait to get started!


  1. OMG THAT IS SOOOOOOO AWESOME!!! score one for Mary and writers everywhere!! Happy Dance it up!!

  2. Congrats, she seems like a great agent! Lana was on my list too, and I queried her for MTS in January 2013 when she worked for another agency, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. She's a Yalie, LOL, so her reply to me was "Your mss sounds intriguing (even if you are a Princeton grad; gross), but I’m currently swamped with submissions and am afraid I wouldn’t be able to give it enough attention. Perhaps you could re-query in a month or so? Alternatively, you could send the mss along with the understanding that it might be a little while, if you’re comfortable with that." I decided to take her second suggestion and send her my full MS, but after over three months with no response, I got the contract offer from Pen-L Publishing and notified her of the contract. Congratulations again.