Sunday, July 24, 2011

Agent Story #7

October 2010 --- ALTERED was finished and ready to go. Except I was scared to send it out. I’d been at this thing long enough to know that sending out queries was an exciting, hopeful, stressful, crazy, sad experience and I wasn’t looking forward to going through it again.

BUT…my critique partners/writer friends said they liked it. They urged me to submit. Two of my co-workers read it. Yes! they said. We love it! Send it out!

BUT…as any writer knows, the pope could tell you your book rocked his popely hat off, and you still wouldn’t believe a word of it.

Thing is, you pour your heart and soul into something only to send it out and find out dozens of people don’t like it. Or they liked it, they didn’t love it. Or they loved it, but they already rep a book similar to it. It took a lot of angst and hand wringing to start clicking SEND on that query letter. 

I started subbing on a Monday.  I was prepared for a long wait. Everything takes forever in this business. Despite that, those first 24 hours felt like 524. But by Tuesday I had two full requests and a partial. By Wednesday, that partial turned into a full. By Thursday, four agents had fulls. By Friday I had an offer.

I couldn’t believe it. After years of submitting, it took only a week to receive an offer. That offer came from the incomparable Joanna Volpe who requested and read ALTERED in two days. She was so quick, so excited, I knew from those first few emails that I’d love to work with her.

The following week, we made it official and I got to shout the news from every available Internet rooftop. Joanna had a lot of good ideas for revisions and we tackled them right away. We went on submission two months later and had our first offer three weeks after that. After years of working toward publication, so much had changed in a matter of a few months.

So my biggest piece of advice whenever asked about writing and submissions is this: DO NOT GIVE UP. Because eventually it’ll happen. 



  1. So cool and inspiring. I was a person who'd done years of querying with other projects, but then when I started querying Glitch everything suddenly moved very quickly! Shocking after the years of waiting and rejections, but you're right--best advice ever for aspiring writers: DON'T GIVE UP!

  2. Thats amazing and heart lifting. Thx! Relentless persistence.

  3. Great story, Jennifer. Can't wait to read ALTERED.

  4. Heather --- I seriously thought I'd wait months before signing with an agent. SOOO glad I didn't! I think it would have killed me this time around.

    LC --- It's all about the perseverance, my friend! :)

    V --- Thanks! :)

  5. Love it, Jenn! Joanna is an amazing agent and a wonderful person. So glad you took the plunge. :)

  6. Thanks! BTW, is that a new pic I see? Are those your 'official' author pics? Your hair looks gorgeous!