About two weeks ago, I queried an agent (one of a billion I had already queried since May of this year, lol). A few days later, he requested 50 pages. Great! I was excited, but I'd been through this before. Many times, in fact. So, I submitted them (by snail mail). The evening after he received them, he emailed me again. He enjoyed the chapters, and requested the full manuscript. Even better! More excited, but still realistic, I printed off the entire manuscript and sent it. Of course, a Sunday and holiday (Columbus Day) prevented it from arriving at his doorstep until 6 days later.
But 2 days after he received the manuscript, there it was - an email in my mailbox. I saw his name and KNEW it was a rejection. What else could it be? He'd read another 50 pages, gotten bored, and decided it was a "no." Right? Wrong!!
I opened the email and skimmed through the first (very flattering) paragraph, searching for the "but." You know the one -- "I really enjoyed the story, the characters, the plot - BUT - it's just not the right fit for me..."
But the "but" never came. The second paragraph held words like "contract" "offer of representation" and "let's chat by phone." SQUEEEEEE! I literally hyperventilated, started breathing fast. I called my mom and read her the email. She was ecstatic, as I knew she would be (my biggest fan).
The next few hours were a blur of emails (responding to the agent, then informing the other 4 holding full manuscripts that I had an offer), and of course, real life called, and I had to go to work and grade actual papers and teach actual classes (blech).
It's taken me the past 5 days to realize it's REAL. That I have a full-fledged contract from a full-fledged agent. I can't even tell you how surreal it feels. Truly. I keep expecting him to send an email that says, "Just joking. Ha!" or maybe "I've changed my mind. I was mistaken and want my contract back." It's just so unbelievable...
As for the other 4 agents (see previous post), 2 of them never returned my email (for shame!!), and the other 2 graciously sent a rejection. Which is fine. MORE than fine. Because it only confirms what I knew the minute I hung up the phone with the offering agent - he was "the one" for me. Plus, and I know this is easy for me to say after the fact, lol - but I had already made up my mind to reject one of them if she were to offer representation. So, it all worked out very well in the end, and I'm at total peace with it.
In fact - and remember that "He's Just Not That Into You" book reference I made in yesterday's blog entry? Well, one of the rejecting agents (the one I'd planned to say "no" to) actually used the word "lukewarm" in her email. She wasn't being rude, just honest. And I was glad for her candor. She's right - in the months during our contact (she'd asked me to re-write and re-submit twice), she never showed that "spark" I was hoping for. Yes - she liked the book a LOT - or else, she would've let it go months ago. But she didn't love it. Not enough to fight for it. And I'm glad. Because just as she wouldn't want to feel lukewarm about a project, I certainly would not want a lukewarm agent.
And I don't have one! I have one who read the book in a day and a half, who didn't dilly-dally around and waffle about my book - no, he sent a contract right away! It's always how I imagined, hoped it would be.
In the next week or so, I'll be posting other little details of my experience (like the agent call, or how I researched that agent in the first place to query him, or the various reactions I've received from friends and family), just to continue documenting this writer's journey that I'm on.
And what a roller coaster it's been so far! *straps in for the rest of the ride*