I'm still in shock, so Gabby is going to help me tell the story. I finished revising my YA sci-fi novel ALTERNATE back in September 2011, and queried Kate in my very first batch of agents. I was a bit cocky back then (oh silly, naive past-Liz), so naturally I queried my top agents first... and got rejected by all of them. Except Kate - she asked for a partial in October. I was so excited!
|Things are looking up!|
A week later I got a phone call from an agent who wanted to talk about revisions! She said she loved my book but couldn't offer because one of her clients was working on something similar - and then spent the next two hours giving me suggestions on how to improve my entire trilogy. I will always be grateful for the time she took to give me revision ideas and encouragement. But now I had more work to do...
|Time for more revisions.|
I stopped querying and spent the next two months revising my book based on this agent's suggestions. Once I finished I sent Kate the revised partial, and went to England and Wales for the holidays. When I got back in January Kate asked for the full! I couldn't believe it. It was my first partial to full request. I guess my revisions paid off, because my dream agent wanted to read my entire book!
|I tore it up and made it better!|
I sent the book to Kate and started querying again. And got many, many rejections. SO MANY. January and February were long, dark months. I checked Querytracker constantly. I got 3 form rejections in a row on my full manuscript, and thought, "I'm going to have to shelve this book." I was certain I would get a rejection from Kate any day.
|I has a sad.|
But last week, exactly six months since I started querying, Kate emailed me and said she wanted to talk! AAH! I got her email while I was at work and thought I might faint at my desk. I couldn't believe it! And a few days later Kate and I talked on the phone and she offered representation, and everything was SHINY!
Kate is my dream agent and I am so, so blessed that she loves my book. Not only does she represent some wonderful authors (like Maureen Johnson and Stephanie Perkins and Ransom Riggs), but she tweets about playing video games, and shares my love of Joss Whedon, and posts pretty pictures of shoes on her tumblr. I could not have found a more perfect match!
I am proof that you CAN get picked out of the slush pile, and that getting an agent usually doesn't happen overnight. It took me six months of querying, revising, and waiting, but it was all worth it. And just because an agent has your book for a few months doesn't mean she is going to reject it. It could mean that she is super busy selling her clients' books, and wants to read your book but doesn't have time yet. Don't give up!
I want to give special thanks to my four amazing critique partners (Rachel, Cortney, Karen, and Jessica) for helping to make my book as strong as possible and for keeping me sane throughout the querying process. And love always to my husband Gary, who kept telling me to be patient - he was right!