Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Agent Story #4

My agent story is pretty typical, I think. I queried a lot. I got rejected a lot. Someone finally said yes.

Last year, I wrote a little about my journey to getting an agent on Apocalypsie Corinne Jackson's blog. That was a hard post to write, and involved more than a few tears, but here's the basic story.

After much trial and tribulation, I got an agent. And then we broke up. I thought it would be easy to find another agent since I'd already had one. I was wrong.

I got to know Lauren MacLeod via Twitter while I was working for another agent, and eventually did send her a query. She requested! And then rejected. Later, I sent her another query. She requested! And then rejected.

But we were still friendly on Twitter and I knew she liked my writing and ideas. I knew she was waiting for me to give her not only something she loved, but something she could sell. There's no point in taking something on unless you're confident it will sell -- I understood that.

During the time she was rejecting me, I was working on another story, then called ERIN INCARNATE, and I was hopeful it had everything she wanted from me, and more. But not exactly confident since she'd already rejected me twice. *g*

A few weeks later, Lauren -- who knew that I had an unusual sleeping schedule due to my husband's job -- was stalking my Twitter feed waiting for me to say something. She wanted to know I was awake . . . and when I posted, she immediately called me. I hadn't even had coffee yet, and she called to offer representation. I was stunned, overjoyed, and highly suspicious of this being a prank. But it wasn't!

Third time really was a charm. (Either that, or she realized I was serious about sending her books until she said yes. Regardless, it worked out.)


Dear Lauren,

I am seeking representation for my young adult science-fantasy, ERIN INCARNATE, complete at 80,000 words. Why no, I'm not giving up until you say yes. Because you're awesome.

When Erin was born, someone who should have been reborn was not.

For five thousand years, a million souls have been reincarnated into new bodies, retaining their minds and memories of past lifetimes. Erin is the newsoul -- nosoul, they call her -- raised in isolation. On her eighteenth birthday, she leaves her negligent mother and sets out to discover her origins, and whether she'll be reborn like everyone else.

A mysterious man named Sam offers aid. She wants to trust him, but he hides his motivations and theories about her existence.

Surrounded by people who see her as an ugly omen for the future -- what if more nosouls replace people? -- she must untangle Sam's half-truths and ward off her mother's newfound interest. The ruling Council forbade anyone to harm Erin, but someone is trying to kill her, or use her, and the only way to save herself is to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life.

ERIN INCARNATE is the first in a planned trilogy. ERIN ASUNDER and ERIN ETERNAL are plotted and ready to be written. In the end, Erin must decide what is more important: billions of people who never lived, or her eternal life with the man she loves.

To further my experience in the publishing industry, I read slush for the now-closed Rappaport Agency [www.rappaportagency.com]. Before that, Jenny Rappaport was briefly my agent. We parted ways on good terms.

Best wishes,

Jodi Meadows


  1. I imagine reading the slush must be really fascinating at first - but probably gets old fast.

  2. Awesome story. Twitter stalking, I mean networking. LOL.

  3. Lenore - it was fascinating! But you'd be surprised (or maybe not!) how many queries for similar stories there are out there. . . .

    E. Arroyo - yes, Lauren and I have pretty well-matched senses of stalk-- I mean humor. *g*

  4. Oh my gosh, I love this post!!!! First about your path, and then reading your query letter about Incarnate!!!!

    I feel like one of the biggest thing would-be authors don't realize when they start out is how much rejection is most often involved. How you write a whole novel, and then it is rejected. How you write ANOTHER WHOLE novel, and IT is rejected. And then, if you're slightly masochistic, you just keep writing. Like you, it wasn't until novel #3 that I hit pay dirt. Sometimes I wonder if I could have even started if I'd known from the beginning it would have taken so long, but then, the real truth about being a writer---you just can't stop writing, no matter what. And then, w/ enough sweat, tears, and determination, sometimes the magic happens, and you get an agent. And then the even more miraculous--a publisher!!!!

  5. Jodi, I'd love to hear about the types of stories that you saw queried most often.

  6. Heather - I agree. I think a lot of people go in knowing that lots of authors have gotten rejection, but never actually think *they* will be like that. I know I was hoping I could bypass all that rejection! But hah. :) Ultimately, though, I think it made me a stronger person, and more prepared for potential negative reviews of my book.

    Lenore - We'll talk some time. :)

  7. Wow, major props for slugging it out over three submissions. Especially after the agent relationship collapsed. You've got stones, lady :)

    I think we all come up reading amazing success stories about people who get picked up after half a dozen queries on their first book (yes, I'm looking at you, Stephanie Meyer) and hope that's us. But it's stories like this where truth gets found.

  8. Jay - Yes, the stories about people getting an agent in a few queries simultaneously thrill me and depress me. Well, less depressing NOW. But when I was querying, I totally had to stay away from stories like that. I wanted to be one of those people, but I wasn't. But you know, I'm okay with being the persistent person who didn't give up, too. Makes me strong. *makes a muscle*