In early August, I attended the Willamette Writers Conference and pitched my novel, Fog of Dead Souls, to three agents. I'd chosen them because they represent authors writing thrillers and women's fiction and my book is a hybrid of both. If you've read this blog a while, you know that two years ago at the conference, I pitched my first novel and got very discouraged as I was chided by two of the three agents for not writing to genre (my women's fiction novel has a male protagonist). I didn't know enough at the time to just think that these were not the right agents for my book. I took it all too personally.
This time I went in with different expectations. I was well prepared, had written a great pitch, which I practiced and practiced and practiced. And I approached the agents not with hat in hand but looking for a champion. I actually said that to them: I'm looking for someone to champion this great book and I'm wondering if that's you.
Two were enthusiastic about the story; all three wanted pages. I worked on the manuscript another two weeks, incorporating changes from a police expert, and sent it off Aug 22. On Aug 29 Andrea Somberg, the most enthusiastic of the agents and who had asked for 50 pages, asked for the rest of the manuscript. On Sept 1, I got an email telling me she loved it and wanted to talk. Last Friday we started the agent/client conversation, Sunday I said yes, and now the ball is rolling.
I was high as a kite on the good news for days. Now I'm settling in to understand the contract and today I'm working with the revisions she wants (minor and not deal breakers). She's also reading my memoir and novel #1 and I'm thrilled to see what can happen next.