I've imagined writing this post way more than I should admit. Sometimes it was filled with excited pictures of me jumping up and down clad in all orange clothing. Sometimes it was in all caps with lots of squee's and eeeek's. Pretty much all the time I was giggling like crazy as I wrote it. Well, that one's still true (teehee).
I mean, that's what you're supposed to do when you finally get an agent, right? Wait, I didn't mention that yet? Oh, yeah—maybe I should tell you. I have an agent now! And his name is Nathan Bransford.
(I'll give you a second to reread that, because I'm sure you're in just as much shock as I am. No—for reals—you are totally reading that right.)
So, um, Nathan's my agent! Me. Like, the girl who writes about ninjas and wizards and cyborgs (Not at the same time! Though that would be cool...). I'm currently going between that squealing giddy laughter I mentioned and a kind of quiet awe.
Dude, I have an agent. (Warning: I'll be saying that a lot, mostly to keep reminding myself it's true.)
If you didn't know, I've been querying for a while. I try not to think about how long it's been. Funnily enough, I sent my very first query to Nathan at the end of October 2007. Yup, I got rejected the next day and it was well deserved. I was nowhere near ready, and poor First Book was quickly abandoned. At least I realized that I had much work to do.
So I wrote another book. And another. I queried both of those projects too (both of which Nathan also rejected, hehe. [Also completely deserved]). I also wrote a lot more books while querying that never made it to agent inboxes. Do I have to say the number? Okay, okay—Relax, I'm a Ninja was my 8th novel.
Yeah, my 8th novel. I'm definitely persistent.
It was just a baby of an idea when I decided to write the first paragraph for Nathan's contest. I didn't expect anyone to take interest—it was just a fun idea about a nerd boy who was actually a ninja in hiding. But, well, I won! And that was awesome mostly because I could get a real critique from a real agent. I never dreamed that he would become my agent.
Seriously, I needed a critique. I knew there was something wrong with my writing. I was trying desperately to fix it, but I just couldn't see it. I'd had several agents tell me my prose was messy, which was kind of helpful, but I didn't know what, exactly, made it messy.
So like a total dork I sent my 2nd draft material to Nathan for my partial critique. I figured I could use his advice to revise the whole manuscript—I didn't expect him to request the full instead. And stupid me sent it, knowing I really needed to revise. (Note: Don't be stupid like me. Luck isn't always there for you.) Let's just say I finally got my critique; it was brilliant; and I was very, very lucky he offered to take a look after I'd properly revised.
To make a long story short(er). I did a lot of revising—months worth. And it was the BEST experience ever. I am extremely grateful for how much I've learned through these revisions. I've learned how to truly craft a book, how hard I can actually push myself, and that good things come to those who don't ever give up.
Perhaps that's why I'm not filling this post with screams and silly pictures, as tempting as it may be. The celebration and joy goes so deep down to my soul I want to express it, uh, more maturely right now.
I did it. Oh my goodness, I have an agent! It was so much work—more than I ever imagined—but I made my dream come true. And it was completely worth it! I'm so grateful that Nathan took a chance on me, that he saw something there in all that mess of my writing. It is quite fitting that the first agent I queried would ultimately be the last one I queried. It's like a life chiasmus.
I can't wait for all the work following this step. I'm sure it won't be anything like I imagine, but great and life-changing all the same. Bring it on.
Oh, fine, one more time: I have an agent! (*Squee*)