If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen some exciting news from me in the last month! I’ve got an agent! I’m now represented by Paul Stevens of Donald Maass Literary Agency. This is a big step for me as a writer and I couldn’t be happier.
While this news has been out in the world for a little while now, things have been a bit crazy between signing with Paul and going on a long overdue holiday. So I’m actually writing this from my balcony overlooking Kings Landing… I mean Dubrovnik.
I’ve been trying to get an agent for a long time. A lot of people have been asking me about how it happened, especially my writer friends who are also looking for representation. While I feel like that’s a whole other blog post, I’ve been sending my work out for around a year to different agents. I did a big re-write of Victorianoir over the summer (that’s December-January for you northern hemisphere folks) and then started resubmitting.
The thing is, I kinda talked myself out of sending to Donald Maass Agency for quite some time, because it was one of the agencies I really wanted to work with! So it sat there on my agent spreadsheet, with a blank spot next to query date… but while I was trying to avoid rejection, I was honing my pitch email, re-reading my first 50 pages and challenging myself to send out to more agents.
I went to a “how to get an agent” panel at Continuum with Sam Hawke, and I realised I was on the right track with my proposals (I wasn’t sending out letters saying “REPRESENT ME I AM THE GREATEST” all in caps, so that was good). I also participated in PitMad, which helped give me some more confidence to keep pitching agents, even though I didn’t get an agent through that process. And it weirdly all happened for me in the weeks after that.
What I will say is don’t give up! If you’re looking for an agent, you really have to keep going and keep evaluating your work as you go along.
I owe many thanks to my friends and family, especially my nemesis Aidan Doyle who told me not to give up (not at least until I’d queried 40 agents), Elaine Cuyegkeng who suggested I try PitMad and many other things like eldritch tentacles etc, and to my husband who is always very supportive of my zany writing endeavours.
When I get back from Eastern Europe, I’ll also be starting work on a psychological horror/thriller novel, so watch this space. In the meantime, I’m gonna enjoy myself on this balcony a little while longer. At least until the White Walkers get here.