It is time. It has happened.
I got THE CALL.
Let me preface this with a bit of background. I started querying when I was thirteen years old. One could say I was precocious. One could also say the book was terrible and I was out of my mind. But hey, I was a teenager with a dream and a terrible book.
Also, looking back, superbly queer with no frame of reference for the term. Regardless, I was trying. I continued trying. And trying. And trying. (There's a theme here). Last year, I got a call, it was an R&R. I was so hopeful this was my ticket. It was actually around this time last year even. Which is a bit funny. I half-shelved that project, spent November bleeding out a new book post-election and then devoted my time and energy to this new baby. Still, queries and fulls still lingered for the near-shelved project. It made a few contests even. I've made it into...four or five, curated pitch contests. Done the twitter pitches.
But did I get this call because of one?
Well, no. It was a cold query. (See? Querying is the bread and butter folks.) Anyhow. So I was in a peculiar position where I was actively querying Project 2 whilst waiting to hear back on the remnants of Project 1 and also starting to prep Project 3 for query should Project 2 not go anywhere. More than one full request took a year to get a reply. The average was about six months. See, it's a slow business. But I felt so close. I could feel myself just on the other side of that divide of unagented author to agented author.
I admit, despair hit me. I lost my job. I got incredibly ill pretty suddenly (and am now on the road to recovery). Then, the third week of October I felt...better. A lot better. I know part of it was coming out of a depressive episode. Part of it was that medication and time were finally doing their thing to heal my body.
An email appeared. I'd gotten to the point where I could judge based on the first five words whether it's a reject or not, but this one took me by complete surprise. I sat there, stunned, in awe of like three sentences and then I shouted for my roommate/partner in crime. I got up from my desk, rushed into her room and for a brief moment, I couldn't say anything.
And then I managed to say, "An agent wants a call." Now, these words had emerged from my lips once before, so I was skeptical. It could still be a just another R&R, I was pretty used to them by now. But a call was special. I was hopeful. Plus, I had a job interview the next day so it was already kind of a banner week for me.
I made the call. I heard the words. The first time she said it, the words were garbled a bit. I thought I knew what she'd said. But I totally didn't process it. At all. We talked and talked, and I felt myself getting excited and hopeful and then, clear as bell, she repeated it. "I'd like to officially offer you representation."
I was shaking. I, being a professional, told her I'd need some time to inform other agents of the offer and promised to talk again soon. And then I proceeded to call my family, my roommate and dance with my cat. He was unamused and bit me. It was fine. Admittedly, I'm still in shock. I'm still just processing that a day I've spent over a decade waiting for has come to pass. And I am so ready, so ready, to start the next stage of authordom. It's what I've been waiting for. I know the road ahead is still long. It's still going to be hard, but now I've got someone on my team fighting with me. Someone who can fight for my work, who believes in it. That's all I've ever wanted.
I am proud to say I've found my champion in Madelyn Burt of the Stonesong Agency.
My only question now is, what's next?