Kody Keplinger organized an Agent Appreciation Day for today of which Lisa and Laura Roecker are helping us all keep track!! Here's mine:
Having Jim McCarthy offer to represent me was one of the the biggest and best surprises of my life.
The year 2008 wasn't one of my favorites. I spent nine months querying my manuscript and getting rejections on it. Other writers kept telling me they could tell by the content of my rejection letters, and by the fact that many agents were asking to see my next project, that I was getting close. I just needed to find the right agent for this story. I was having a hard time believing them.
The first business day of 2009 was Monday, January 5th. That afternoon, my friend Phoebe Kitanidis's agent emailed me after having received my query and partial a few days before Christmas. He asked to see the full manuscript. It was very exciting, but I'd been down this road before, so I kept my optimism in check. After work that night, I went home and read everything online that I could about this Jim McCarthy guy.
Now, I already knew the basics. Which agency he was with, several of the authors he represented, stuff like that. I'd heard enough wonderful things to know that it would be awesome to get the chance to work with him. But reading his blogs that night on the Dystel & Goderich site (every single one of them) was what helped me to get to know much more about him. This one, in particular, made me decide that Jim was, quite possibly, my favorite agent that I would never have. It was with a sinking feeling that I went to bed that night, knowing that an agent this cool would never love my book.
And this is where the big surprise came in. The very next day, I was at my desk when I got a call from a phone number I didn't recognize in the 212. I thought: There's no way it could be Jim McCarthy. He only got the full yesterday!
But it was! After he'd introduced himself, he told me he wanted to represent me, that he loved my book, that he loved the characters! By this time, I'd gotten up from my chair to stare out the window, trying to figure out how this could be possible. How I could have gone to bed wishing for something and to have it happen the very next day?
I was able to accept his offer the following week, and I have to say, working with Jim has been a pleasure from the start. He's positive, responsive, and always so helpful during those (many) times when I'm being clueless. And, hey! He sold my debut YA novel after only about five weeks on submission!
Every single day, I am grateful that I get to work with him and that I have him on my side. The opportunity he gave me in taking on me and my book has changed my life in so many ways. None of it would have happened without my agent.
Thank you, Jim, for everything you do for me. For reminding me to breathe when I'm being way dramatic, for always being willing to listen to me and offer advice, for using those smiley faces in your emails that look like "J"s in my browser. You really are my favorite agent ever!