I talked about how great my agent is on Agent Appreciation Day recently, but today I wanted to write about what happened on January 5th and 6th of last year. Tomorrow, January 6, will be the one-year anniversary of me receiving the offer of representation from the agent who I would sign with six days later. I know I've written about this in some detail before, but I found a note in my email that I thought would be fun to share to show how unexpected it really was for me.
On January 5, 2009, I received a text on my phone from saying something like: My agent read your partial and loved it! He wants to know it it's okay to contact you directly.
I responded with: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Or possibly something more detailed and/or dignified.)
A few minutes later, I got an email that said:
Phoebe Kitanidis passed your partial manuscript along right before the holidays, and I had a chance to sneak a peek. I’d love to take a look at the full. If you can send a copy along as an attachment, I’ll review promptly.
I turned to my co-worker and said, "Can you wait five minutes for me [before we leave to catch the bus]? I need to email my manuscript to an agent. Or maybe I should just wait until after I get home tonight to do it?"
She said, "It's fine if you want to send it now. I can wait."
I composed a quick email and attached the manuscript. My note said simply:
I got home from work after 8pm that night, stayed up for hours Google-stalking Jim, and decided that there was no way he was going to like my book.
The next morning, I got up, ready to work on writing! But first, at 9:11am, I sent a "Happy New Year" email to my MB instructor that said this (among other things):
My writing break is officially over as of this morning! The last two weeks have actually been kind of exciting in regards to Seth's story (which I'm currently calling "Scratching at the 8-Ball.") I was feeling very discouraged (as you know!), so I spent some time doing revisions that I've been pondering for a few months. (Yes, during my so-called writing break. But it only took two days.) Then I sent out a few more queries in a last-ditch effort to get this manuscript out of my mind and to tell myself I did everything I could do with it.
[Certain Agent's] assistant read the partial within a day, requested the full, got back to me saying she liked it and was passing it on to [Agent]. Days later, she got back to me saying that [Agent] liked it very much -- especially Seth's voice -- and had some revision notes for me if I am amenable. This is my first ever revision request! [Agent] is going to be out of town most of January, so she said she'd like to see a revision when she gets back, if possible. So, I'll be working on that this month!
Also, a writer friend passed on my revised partial to her agent about a week ago. He wrote to me yesterday requesting the full. I guess this story isn't dead just yet!
About four hours after sending that email, I got The Call.
(And, this isn't exactly the point of this story, but about four months after that, I got a different call in which I learned that my former instructor to whom I'd sent the above email was going to be my editor!)
In the movie, LOVE ACTUALLY, there are various stories that all interlock in some way. My favorite of all of those is that of Jamie and Aurelia. Without giving too much away for those of you who haven't seen it yet (but who are on your way to get it right this very second, yes?), I'll just say that she's living her life, doing her regular thing when he does something unexpected. I tear up every single time I see the surprise on her face. I think it's because I love the idea that something great and wonderful can happen and change your life when you're just expecting the ordinary.
That's why getting Jim's call is one of my favorite things that's ever happened to me. It changed everything, but I hadn't seen it coming.
All right. I suppose that's enough sappy stories about my agent for a while! I just didn't want to let this week pass without posting about it. :-)