Querying Memories

Recently my fellow Let the Words Flow blogger, J.E. Wyatt asked us to share our experiences querying, and I thought perhaps you guys might be interested as well:

I honestly didn’t get too emotional. I sent out 150 queries at once. Rejections came pouring in immediately, and that made me happy; I was actually doing it, I was actually getting responses! The next few weeks were exciting. I got some partials, more rejections… I was just happy that I had finally done it.

I had told people that I was ‘working’ on getting published for years. I didn’t actually know what that entailed, but I knew it involved writing books, first, and though I had no idea what came next I knew I’d figure it out one day. Someone mentioned literary agents. I started to research them, and decided they were definitely something to have.

I met Chris, my best friend and ‘true love’ I guess is the word. We upgraded our jobs, anticipating the future we would have together. I figured, now that I’m being an adult and all, I better take responsibility for my own future and actually get this writing thing done.

Months later, in December, my agent found me. She requested a partial, then a full manuscript, then the next three books. We had a phone conversation, which I took in the conference room at my office. She offered representation.

I was happy, but I didn’t cry or scream or jump up and down. Actually, I did jump up in down, but in private, and only because I thought I should. I tested it out, you could say. Yeah, not me.

I called Chris, then my parents. They were excited, but they’re worried about everything, and tried to lecture me on literary agent contracts (which they know nothing about, lol, but in my parents minds the world is out to get them). The extended family was proud, but they didn’t really know the significance of my achievement.

Getting a literary agent wasn’t one of the happiest moments of my life, perhaps because I understood it was the first big step in a long journey. But, I had proven to myself that I could do it. Finally, there was something more to qualify me as a real writer other than my word for it.

Six months later I began my freelance writing company. Having a literary agent lent me credibility, and got me my first job, then my second, and my third, etc. I’ve really appreciated it in that sense.

In other senses… next month will be my one year anniversary with my agent. We’re finally out on submissions (or subs, as Sarah affectionately likes to call them). It was my fault because I took so long to edit. I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but as time goes on my hope becomes more dim. Someone will love my book, probably, but there’s always that feeling of ‘what if?’ What if they don’t? What if no one thinks it’s a good fit for them?

I always use Fictionpress to back me up in my doubts here. I think, ‘surely all those fans couldn’t be wrong. Those editors are waaaay off if they think my book won’t sell.’

The big thing to remember in querying is that getting an agent is, like I said, only the first step. I didn’t get all fangirly about it because I’m a logical person, and overanalyze my emotions a lot, but I hope you non-agented writers out there go absolutely crazy when you get your agent. And then come and tell us all about it :-)