This story is a year in the making. I queried The Sheldon Fogelman Agency back in June 2011, sending along three chapters. The request for the full came in July. At the time I had a few other fulls and partials out and was happy to add one more to the list!
In the meantime I began writing another book. I continued to check the forums for any information on all the agents who currently had my work—you know, just in case there was a scathing update about them that turned me off. All the while I wrote and bit my nails to the quick!
Well, a few rejections came in. *Bummer* But my new philosophy was, all those who rejected me just made room for my agent to come.
After about two months, I knew I hadn’t heard from a few agencies, namely The Sheldon Fogelman Agency. I waited another few weeks and then sent out emails for status updates. Only one agency got back to me.
Three guesses which one.
That scored them major points with me, because not only did they get back to me, but they got RIGHT back to me—within a few hours. The submissions coordinator, Amy—who is now an assistant agent—assured me that I had not been forgotten and had apologized for the long wait. Um…I could totally be patient, cuz what was the alternative? Telling them that I wouldn’t wait for them to consider my work? Yeah, cuz I just went crazy, right?
Over the next five months I sent two more status emails. Both emails were responded to quickly and both gave me a bit more hope as they said things like, “The fact that we haven’t made a decision about your manuscript is a good sign.” Apparently, my manuscript received a very positive first read and needed to be read by the rest of the staff. Once I knew that, I was content to wait…well, content-ish.
Then one day in April I got an email from Janine Hauber saying she managed foreign rights at The Sheldon Fogelman Agency and was now taking on her own clients. She was very interested in working with me if Platinum Diaries was still available.
Hell yeah it is! ‘Course, I didn’t write that, but I was screaming it—in my head since I was standing in line buying some much needed summer clothes-lol.
Long story, short—I know, too late, right?—she asked for revisions and sent me the most wonderful email with her views on what worked and what didn’t. That email seemed to awaken all these ideas and thoughts I hadn’t even known I had about my manuscript. That has to be the most awesome thing about having an agent. She loves my story and can guide me in the right direction.
We actually had two phone calls. The first, I knew she wasn’t going to offer, because they are a very collaborative agency—which is something else I love—and she needed to talk with me first. You know, make sure I’m not crazy, or in my case, have my crazy well contained-lol.
We had a great conversation. She answered a lot of my questions and I answered hers. Then, she took the revisions I made and passed them on to her colleagues. After they read it, an editorial meeting was set to review Platinum Diaries as well as the manuscript I’d been working on in the meantime. While this was going on, I went on a 10-day cruise-lol. I came back from vacation on September 9th. Took the 10th to decompress and emailed Janine on the 11th. As luck would have it they were having the editorial meeting about my work that day!
She called me at 5pm that night and offered to rep me!!! I tried not to scream my acceptance, but I’m not sure I succeeded.
It was a long wait, but I think it was meant to be. And it really didn’t feel like a year, not when I kept writing and living and doing all the other things we writers do to distract ourselves. I’m just really happy with Janine. It’s a wonderful feeling to talk with someone who is excited about your work and gets your characters.
So there you have it, my “how I got my agent” story.