Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm Telling You It's True! I Got Agent!!!


I almost didn't want to do this post, because I know how it feels to be the writer who checks in to the blog-o-sphere only to read yet another "I got an agent" story. To be so happy for them while at the same time battling the "why them and not me" thoughts. I know how many hours us writers slave over our words, making them just so, only to get the query door slammed in our face over and over and over again. Believe me, I know.

So, yes, I ALMOST didn't want to do this post.

But I say almost, because while I don't want to seem like I'm rubbing it in, I also want everyone out there trying so hard to get a foot in an agents door, to believe that it IS possible! And that when it does happen, you deserve to be happy about it!

I wasn't one of those queriers with a 50% request rate. I didn't even have 30%. I got rejection after rejection.

Still I kept on.

I would enter contests and get ripped to shreds, or be given a chance...but just barely. Still, I kept entering them...and I'm here to tell you that the "just barely" is sometimes all it takes.

Here is my story if you want to hear it...

Back at the beginning of the year I wrote my goals out for the whole blogger world to see. One being that I would query Ripple (then Ripple Effect) and get an agent this year.

Soon after that I was blog hopping and came across Cupids fabulous blog and her Blind Speed Dating Contest. To get into the contest you had to get past the bouncers first. During this round there were submissions getting multiple comments from bouncers telling them, "you're in!"

I got one bouncer comment.

And it wasn't a straight forward, "Yes! You're in!" My bouncer was torn, but let me through anyway. Gennifer Albin, I will be forever grateful for you taking that chance on me!

So. Holy crapola, I was in the door! It was like being the wannabe who got entrance into the high school party that only the cool kids go to:)

Finally, the day came around for agents (who were going by undercover names) to browse the entries. If they liked yours, they'd shoot and arrow at you (hence the whole cupid thing). The more arrows, the better. Again, there were entries getting multiple arrows. Agents were bantering back and forth at how much they wanted this one or that.

I got one arrow.

It was from the Ryan Gosling cupid and the words were music to my ears, "Hey Girl, I know people are saying dystopian is over but I think you have something special here. You've been struck with Honorary Cupid Ryan Gosling's arrow (partial request; 1 arrow)."

My cupid turned out to be Sarah Lapolla, the unbelievably amazing agent from Curtis Brown of all places! I sent her my 100 page partial. Then she requested a full (telling me, by the way, that my story was more sci-fi than dystopian). And the rest is history. I couldn't be more thrilled if I tried! All because two people gave me a chance.

I truly felt like the underdog, and now I feel on top of the world!

I hope that if your feeling beat up and pushed around; ready to quit writing, querying or whatever it is you may be trying to do, that you won't. Because I'm hear to tell you...five years after I started this writing journey, that you can do this! Cheesy, but true:)

I know I still have a long road ahead and that is just fine by me. I have a lot to learn. I'm hoping my journey into the sunset continues on and on and on.

What about you? I'd love to hear where you are and how you're feeling about your writing journey.  

***
Speaking of getting an agent, don't forget about the second annual GUTGAA blogfest coming up in August. If you're ready to get Geared Up to Get an Agent or know of some agents, editors or authors wanting to pitch in and help, go HERE.

89 comments:

Brent Wescott said...

This is of course really great news. I don't exactly understand why Ryan Gosling is reading queries ;), but all it takes is one person to see what you've got. Congrats.

Kristin Rae said...

Deana!!!! This is GREAT NEWS!!! I love hearing stories like this (and I'm even more encouraged now to suck it up and enter blog contests)!

*throws confetti*
*throws cupcakes*
*jumps up and down*

YAY!!!! You deserve this, and I can't wait to continue to follow your journey!! :)

Kyra Lennon said...

You should never be hesitant about sharing good news because we want to share it! This is AMAZING! Congrats to you!

J. A. Bennett said...

COBGRATS!!!! That is amazing news! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Congratulations! I love reading success stories for the exact reason you wrote yours - it give us all hope that one day it could be us! Thanks for sharing and congrats again!

Randy said...

Congrats.

A.J. Locke said...

Congrats Deana! I often feel discouraged on my path to landing an agent but I am always happy for other's success, it's good motivation to keep going.

Angelina C. Hansen said...

Yay, Deana! I love a good "how I got my agent" story. Thanks for sharing. And best wishes with the "how I sold my book" story. ^_^

Emily R. King said...

You know how I feel about this.

AWESOME. JUST PLAIN AWESOME.

You're a rock star, Deana. I'm so glad you kept going. You inspire me!

Cassie Mae said...

Heck yes!!! I'm so excited for you girl! Here's your celebratory butt grab and fizzy drink. :)

And you're so right, it only takes one. And you got Sarah LaPolla!!! Holy awesome!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Congrats, Deanna! That's super! My writing is on the back burner while I deal with pregnancy and three little kids. I'll get back to it.

KatieO said...

Great story and big Congrats!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Oh, my heck, Deana! Congratulations! Is this the story we've gotten to read a bit of in Pied Pipers?

Jolene Perry said...

I saw her announcement on twitter paired with Christa who I can't seem to stop writing with (nor do I want to). Serious congrats, I want to read your book just cause of the title :-)

Gennifer Albin said...

Congratulations!

Lynn Proctor said...

how exciting!!

Angela said...

What an awesome story. Congratulations!!!!

Jenna Cooper said...

I love this story! Congrats on getting an agent, and someone so amazing as Sarah Lapolla!

Juliana L. Brandt said...

Lady, I have been waiting for you to be able to post this for a while! Every time you've posted lines from your MS, I've been struck by how great your writing is!

Congratulations, Deana :)

Heather said...

Congratulations!!! You should never feel bad about celebrating your successes. It's a long hard road and you earned this piece of happiness.

Tracey J said...

I love your story. Congratulations!

Matthew MacNish said...

Woot! Congrats, Deana.

NiaRaie said...

CONGRATS! I'm glad to hear of your success!

Cherie Reich said...

Congratulations!!

Aldrea Alien said...

Whee! Congrats!

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Wonderful! Congratulations! I heard your news through Kristin Rae. I have a friend and CP who also is repped by Sarah. She seems excellent! Good going and way to persevere!

Tara Tyler said...

that is a perfect story with a perfect ending! thanks for sharing and keeping the hope door open!

Nick Wilford said...

Congrats! You shouldn't be worried about feeling proud and wanting to share your story. Everyone knows it takes hard work to get there. I'm inspired!

Stephsco said...

Congrats!

I'm glad you shared your story. You mentioned your hesitation, and I think your humility is telling of how thoughtful you are as a person. As one of those unpublished writers who might get a tweak of envy upon hearing someone snagged an agent, this is overshadowed by happiness and genuine excitement for those writers. Another one of us made it through! You should be proud to tell your story, and I hope you don't hold back sharing it.

I found your blog in the first place because of a hosted query/pitch type event (of which I lurk to great degrees), so already you have given back to the writer/blogger community. If all you did was brag about how cool you and your story are, you probably wouldn't have as many followers and commenters congratulating you :) so way to go!

Hildred said...

Congrats! That is quite the story!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

So SO so happy for you!!
Posts like this give me hope!

Jess said...

Congratulations!! That is wonderful news, and of COURSE you're entitled to feel happy about it! And thank you for sharing your story. I've been feeling a little unmotivated lately and that was just the boost I needed!
Cheers!

Angela Cothran said...

YA!!!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU I CAN'T STOP TYPING IN ALL CAPS!!!!! THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!! SERIOUSLY! YOU JUST MADE MY DAY!!!!

Alex Villasante said...

Deanna! Big hugs and kisses and HUGE congrats! Your story just underscores the adage - it only takes ONE yes. It's so true. Everyone's journey is different - some people self-publish, some people go directly with publishers skipping agents and others have lots of agent offers. Everyone gets to success their own way. I got my dream agent in April and am now on submission - a whole other level of nail biting!
And I wonder - how many people who participated in GUTGAA last year have agents this year? I bet there are quite few of us.

Andrea Mack said...

I'm thrilled for you, Deanna!

Donna Hosie said...

Many, many congratulations!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Congratulations Deanna! You've worked so hard for this and been so generous to other writers in your pursuit. Well-deserved!

Jessie Humphries said...

Yeehah Deana! I am so stoked for you! Huge Congrats.

Carrie-Anne said...

Congratulations on finding an agent! Right now I'm feeling kind of annoyed because of the feedback I got from all three agents at the YA Lit Chat Pitch Slam, completely false suggestions that I don't write well-researched historicals, but I did get asked for a partial for one of those very books by another agent lurking on one of the contests I've done recently. It really just does take one yes, since what some agents reject for certain reasons is what other agents think sounds compelling.

Alleged Author said...

SO wonderfully happy for you!!!!!

Meredith said...

YAY!!!! So exciting!!! Congratulations! I hope you're celebrating. :)

Leigh Covington said...

WAHOO!!!!! Go Deana! I'm posting this on my FB page because we all need to congratulate you in your good news! This is awesome, and while I am jealous, I am totally stoked for you too!!!! Love that you keep sticking it out! It's all about perseverance!!! CONGRATS!!!

Shallee said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you, and so glad you found that great match for you and your book.

Botanist said...

I understand your hesitation. I know those posts and how they can make us feel, so I truly appreciate your honesty and humility.

And I'm glad you shared your story. It it heartwarming and gives me hope. Congratulations -- and enjoy the next stage of the process. This is just the beginning :)

Ruth Josse said...

YAY! YAY! YAY! Congrats, Deana! :D

Sharon Bayliss said...

Thanks for the wonderful story! I think it's good for people to know that not everyone who gets an agent has a high request rate. I would sometimes hear success stories like, I was rejected ten time before I got an agent, and I'm like...really, I'm so sad for you. All it takes is one "yes"! So happy for you.

Cortney Pearson said...

What a fantastic story! I'm so glad you decided to post it. :) Congrats again, Deana! Sooo excited for you.

Ink in the Book said...

I can only imagine how excited and THRILLED you must be right now! Your Gearing Up For an Agent Blogfest will have so much more insight this year! How exciting!!!!!! Congratulations, Deana. This is such a great inspiration to me. Have you thought about putting this article in the No Surrender Blog Fest?

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Congratulations!!! SO happy for you! :D

Peggy Eddleman said...

HUGE congrats!! I'm so very happy for you!!

Kaylee Baldwin said...

Congrats!!! That's an awesome story :)

Leslie Pugh said...

I'm so thrilled for you! And I'm so glad you shared your story. It gives me hope when I hear aspiring writers signing with agents. Now I'll be looking forward to hearing when you get a book deal!

Nancy Thompson said...

CONGRATULATIONS DEANA!!!!! That is so awesome! Best news ever! And you deserve it, too. I'm very, very happy for you. This is just the beginning of wonderful things to come. And Sarah LaPolla?! WOW!! I love her and follow her blog. Congrats again! You are on your way!!! WAHOOOOO!

As for me, I chose to pursue traditional publication but without an agent. I like the control I have and I LOVE my publisher. We are a very close, tight-knit family, and I always know exactly where I am and what will be happening next, and they give me so much control and power over my book's future. I was nervous, at first, when I chose this route, but now I couldn't be happier.

Loree Huebner said...

A big congrats, Deana!! Quite a milestone! Woo Hoo!!!!

I do love to hear the "I got an agent
stories. Even before I got an agent. It gives everyone hope!

Can't wait to read your books!

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Congrats! I LOVE hearing stories like this!! They keep me going!! I'm very happy for you - you deserve it! And Sarah LaPolla? She's amazing! I'm a new follower! I can't wait to watch your journey continue all the way to publication!

Kelley Lynn said...

Deana!!!! YAY!!!!!

I already sent you a little note, but why not another? :)

Congratulations!!! I can't wait to hear about your continued journey as an AUTHOR!!!

Melodie Wright said...

I love your story, Deana. Very happy you found your match. Good luc w/ revisions and going on sub!!

jamieayres said...

Wow, Deana . . . I already knew from Twitter yesterday but I'm still sooooo freaking excited for you! I understand your reluctance to share, I'm the same way. Sometimes you make more enemies than friends when you announce news like this. But everyone being super crazy excited shows what a sweet person you are and how much we all LOVE you. Congrats on landing a top agent~You're a rock star!

alexia said...

Giant SQUUEEEE!! I'm so happy for you! And don't you dare consider not posting a post like this again! You deserve your moment to shine, and to heck with people who can't handle that.

Can't wait to follow this new path of your journey!!

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing! It helps remind me to keep trying. :)

ali cross said...

Hurray and Congratulations! I love SCI FI! I hope your story sells super fast so I can READ IT!!

Martin Willoughby said...

The more I hear about people getting an agent the more it spurs me on.

There are a lot of stories about people who spend years getting rejected, but when you look at what they do, you're not surprised. The writing community we're a part of knows it's difficult, but hard work, patience and some luck, we'll get there.

Keep sharing the joy.

Connie B. Dowell said...

Awesome! All that effort has paid off. Can't wait for this year's GUTGAA blogfest!

Kristi said...

Congratulations!!!

I *love* hearing success stories! They're the best. Enjoy your moment...you've earned it. :)

Penny Freeman said...

Woohoo! Doing a virtual happy dance for you. Good on ya!

Laura Pauling said...

Congratulations and best of luck with signing a deal!

Jennie Bailey said...

Congratulations!!! I am so glad that you did share your story - it would have been sad to miss out on a blog post like this. Very inspirational! Gennifer Albin is WONDERFUL so I'm not surprised at all that she took a chance on you. So glad that it paid off with a kick ass agent like Sarah!! Congrats again!!

Stacey Trombley said...

Yay! I love Sarah. I met her at conference and she requested a full of my YA fantasy novel. Unfortunately it wasn't anywhere close to being ready. Still, she was awesome and sent a very nice rejection telling me to keep working on it (but she loved the concept). I've been going back and forth with whether I should re-query her with my new version (it's been over a year and it's had a TON of revisions.) Still haven't decided. Even if I don't I still think she's awesome, so congrats!! and good luck with the next step in publishing!

Jenny Morris said...

I already said how happy I am, but I wanted to say it again.

I've loved your book idea from the moment I saw it on Rachel's blog. Can't wait to see what the future holds for you.

Congrats!!!!!

Brinda said...

I am so excited for you! This is the kind of thing that keeps us all going. THanks for posting it.

Angela Brown said...

Hey, I am glad you got your agent and that you decided to share your story. It can be a little nerve racking to wonder why you haven't gotten an agent when others have, but knowing it's still possible helps, so yeah, glad you did the post.

Because I'm nearing the end of a first draft, about to embark on a revision of another story and have another story banging against my temple to be let out, I haven't hopped on the query trail yet, but I hope to soon.

Again, I'm extra thrilled you received your arrow and Cupid has made your connection. I see it as early payment for your "pay it forward" attitude for putting together this blogfest. :-)

Leslie S. Rose said...

I'm SO glad you did this post. I teared up with happy tears for you. Celebrate this to the max, Sistah. Fantastic! Let's hear it for perseverance. Now, I can't wait for the post about Ripple selling! xo

Bobbie Metevier said...

What a great story!

It's amazing the way you can get rejection after rejection until someone finally sees in your work all that you see.

I needed this story today. :)

ilima said...

Wow, Deana. I am thrilled for you. *jumping up and down squeeing* Yay!

Kathryn Purdie said...

WOWOWOWOWOWOW, Deana! We must've had some crazy good luck (and a freaking ton of hard work) in our little critique group at Storymakers. I'm just waiting for Ilima to be donned by the query fairy next. I'm am so happy for you, Deana! (Now we can stress over subs together!) Keep in touch. :-)

Wendy Lu said...

Deana, I am SO happy you told us! This is AMAZING news, and you should be SO proud of yourself!!! If anything, it gives the rest of us writers more motivation and hope for our work as well. :)

I think it's awesome you stuck it out despite rejections, because for every rejection you receive you so much closer to that one YES - which makes all the difference.

Congratulations!!!

By the way, I'm hosting an awesome blogfest and critique giveaway at my blog from June 22-24 if you're interested! :) Hope you have a great day.

~Wendy Lu

The Roarin' Twenties Poetry Blogfest + Chapter Critique Giveaway (hosted by The Red Angel)

David P. King said...

What a great success story! I was lucky to get into that contest, but had to back out because of exclusivity that ended up not going anywhere. Alas, but I've happy that Sarah picked up you! :)

Monica B.W. said...

I just heard the news!!! I'm SOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! WOOOOOOT!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS, girl!! <3333

Shiela Calderón Blankemeier said...

Deana, that is so great!!!!! I love hearing how I got my agent stories and yours is no exception. Love it!!!

Tanya Reimer said...

Right about now, when I read this, I'm feeling pretty damn proud of you! Look at you go girl!!!! Congrats on the agent! Whoo hoo! Happy dance.

Shahnila said...

I am so happy for you :D **New Follower** Yay Woohoo

Pk Hrezo said...

Deanna first off you are awesome for thinking of us UN-agented writers before posting this. But you gotta take this time to celebrate!!! I love hearing this and love how you broke the news. ;) you totally deserve this! You give me faith in the system. *raises glass to toast* :D

Elana Johnson said...

I can't believe I missed this! Congrats, congrats!! (Also, WHY DIDN'T YOU EMAIL ME??) :)

LisaAnn said...

Oh my gosh, I am so, so, so, so happy for you! This is AMAZING NEWS, and you deserve every glorious second! You have always been so supportive and helpful of everyone in the blog world, and I'm so happy you found such an amazing agent... WOOHOOOOOOO to you; I can't wait to hear your progress!! :)

LisaAnn said...

Oh my gosh, I am so, so, so, so happy for you! This is AMAZING NEWS, and you deserve every glorious second! You have always been so supportive and helpful of everyone in the blog world, and I'm so happy you found such an amazing agent... WOOHOOOOOOO to you; I can't wait to hear your progress!! :)

LisaAnn said...

Oh my gosh, I am so, so, so, so happy for you! This is AMAZING NEWS, and you deserve every glorious second! You have always been so supportive and helpful of everyone in the blog world, and I'm so happy you found such an amazing agent... WOOHOOOOOOO to you; I can't wait to hear your progress!! :)

Christa Desir said...

It's taken me TOO long to get over here to give you OFFICIAL congrats...but CONGRATS, agent sister, I'm thrilled/thrilled/thrilled!!! *happy dance*

Donea Lee said...

Deana!!!!! A-MAZ-ING!!! I guess I need to log in to Pied Pipers more regularly, but I just read your news and I'm soooo excited for you! I've always loved your story from that first rough chapter than no longer exists ~ :) Best of luck to you and can't wait to read the finished product when it hits the stores and explodes all over the best seller lists!!

Jennifer Hillier said...

This was a wonderful story and I'm so glad you shared. Your story is a lot like mine - I got a lot of rejections, not very many requests, and exactly one offer. But that one offer is the only one that matters! So, so happy for you. Congratulations, Deana! :)