I can finally announce the news officially that I’ve been hinting about in posts.


The news became official while I was out of town for Georgia’s Moonlight & Magnolia Conference so I could only announce my good news on my social networks. For some reason it won’t feel really official until I can post it on my blog (apologies to those who’ve already heard the news).

My agent! Maura Kye-Casella with Don Congdon Assoc.

I actually ended up with three offers of representation, but ended up going with the fabulous Maura Kye-Casella with Don Congdon, Associates. For those fellow sci-fi nerds out there, their founder discovered Ray Bradbury, how cool is that? In romance land, she represents Sophie Jordan and Colleen Gleason! It still feels a little surreal and that I’m talking about this happening to someone else.

I thought I’d share a little about how it all happened for those of you still seeking representation, so you can see that it can happen to you. Like I said last week, I have patience and hard work to thank for this moment. All three agents commented about how “clean and polished” my manuscript was, and that they could send it out on submission right now. Squeee! So if you read last week’s post, that’s what I was hinting at, that all that polishing paid off!

Two of the agents who offered were the two I pitched to at RWA, so there’s several lessons to be had there. One, to tie into last week’s post (again), thank God I didn’t give in to my impatience and send them those partials right when I got back from RWA. This is NOT, however, an endorsement of pitching an incomplete manuscript! That is soooo different from the phase mine was in. Anyway, onward with my list. Two, pitches do work! Both said during our phone calls that they remembered the pitch and were intrigued from the start. Three, do your homework on whom to pitch to. It wasn’t random, I don’t think, that this all fell out for me this way. When I got that list from RWA, I researched every single agent on that two page list and narrowed down my choices to the ones I thought were my best chance. Actually, this segues into: Four, get ballsy. I thought Maura was out of my league when I pitched to her and couldn’t believe I had the nerve to do so.

Anyway, this all started happening one week after I began querying. One of the agents I pitched to made me giddy by asking to have my partial converted to a full. I felt like if nothing else happened, I’d at least made that milestone–that an agent had seen the goods and STILL wanted to keep reading. The next night, I got my first offer (from a different agent), which left me stunned! I alerted the other agents who were considering me, to let them know and gave them a time frame to respond. Monday, the second agent (the one I pitched to and who had converted the partial to a full) offered and now I was reeling. Thursday, Maura emailed to say she’d finished, said some very nice things about MUST LOVE BREECHES, and wanted to set up a call for Monday (this past Monday). Now I’m on pins and needles, not knowing if she’d offer. Obviously, she did, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! This doesn’t automatically mean it’ll find a home with a publisher, but I’m one step closer and feel like I have the best advocate for me! For those non-writer friends reading this, most traditional publishers will not look at unagented manuscripts so this is my only way to get into their hands and on your bookshelves.

So this is not only me sharing my awesome news, but also my way of encouraging you. Yes, it CAN happen. I thought this day would never come. I’d read and heard all the doom and gloom about how hard it is to land an agent. But don’t give up. Every time I got a rejection, I picked myself back up again and kept going, knowing that others would not, so I envisioned it as an opportunity to move into thinner ranks. Many fine writers give up after only 5 rejections. Don’t be one of those. I wouldn’t be in this position if I’d done that. Instead of giving up in the Spring when I faced rejection, I realized my manuscript wasn’t quite ready and did another Beta round and then did all the hard work of polishing that puppy up!

Are you querying? Do you have any specific questions about my path? Do you have good news to share too?

  1. I’m so happy for you!! When queried Elizabeth Pomada, my agent, I too though she was out of my league. I was thrilled when I had an email from her the next day asking for my book. Woohoo to the fast yes.

  2. Congratulations! Your story of perseverance and patience is an inspiration to us all and definitely helps to keep the dream alive for us that haven’t got there yet. Really happy for you!

  3. Congrats!!! *throws confetti* I totally get what you’re saying about things not feeling official until you post it on your blog, lol. I got to post the cover for my novel coming out in 2 months on my blog this past week . . . check it out if you have time–the artist did a wonderful job (if I do say so myself, hahaha)~cheers

  4. Congratulations! I think Snoopy dancing pretty much sums up how I would feel! You give hope and good advice. I was being pretty stubborn about not moving forward until I had a nice ‘polished clean’ manuscript and you help me feel justified LOL Wishing you all the success in the world!

    • Glad I helped! Just make sure you recognize when it is polished and ready, don’t use it as an excuse to never send out. I basically worked on it til I was sick of it and knew that if I didn’t get an agent for this version, I couldn’t bring it any farther, and would move on to my next project. I just knew it was the furthest I had the desire to take it on my own.

      • Great advice! I killed my WIP last year, so I’m working on a new one and it’s going much better, I have to give credit to Scrivener, it’s been perfect for how I write. I need to join the RWA, btw, any good links about pitches? I tried giving pitches to the ceiling last night until my husband threatened me with a pillow!

          • Thanks, I’ll read it!

            As for the other WIP… well, it probably still has a pulse and is in a coma, I plan on resurrecting it after I finish the new WIP. I am working on a new novel that is going great (I credit Scrivener)

            The other one got out of hand, Character’s names changed halfway through the book, it was pointed out that one person actually gender when they re-appeared in the later half. I forgot a scene and then wrote a scene that contradicted the earlier one. Find and replace nightmares, like changing a guys name from Bill to Steve but then noticing a woman found nothing but a handful of Steves in her mailbox! ARGGH!

            Scrivener is great for the way I write, it keeps me focused and I avoid these dumb-bunny errors.

            Then I decided that the opening scene was too gruesome ( a woman being burned alive ) So, I write a few introductory chapters that diluted the gruesome death scene -which I now think was fine. Lucky for me, my backups method at the time was emailing a copy to myself in Gmail and they all sit in my archives to be resurrected maybe next year.

  5. Yes, I’ve already congratulated you on all the social networks, but you’re right–it feels more official here. :) So… Congratulations!!! *tosses confetti* Squee! *happy dance* I am so proud of how hard you worked. You totally deserve this. :) *hugs*

  6. This is so awesome!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m glad all your hard work finally paid off. This is the kind of post that encourages me to keep on working at it –hopefully I’ll have a post like this one day too. So excited for you, Angela. :)

  7. Congratulations, Angela. I sent queries to 8 different agents in the spring of 2010. One never responded, six sent a fairly quick rejection, but one requested a FULL. I sent the full and we kept up correspondence for about 8 months. Then she moved her office, posted a “no new queries” note on her site, and indicated she’d continue to go thru the submissions she already had (in the order she received them). Never heard another word. All my efforts to contact her evidently got caught in her “not taking queries” machinery.
    No, I’m not explaining this just to cry on your shoulder. I’m using my own sad tale to reinforce what a great job you did getting through to the other side! Congratulations … and best wishes.
    But, I’ve since published two novels with a new, small, “digital-first’ independent publisher, Astraea Press, and I’m very content. Astraea has about 100 authors and over 200 books, in hardly two full years of operation. Some of my colleagues there have agents but most don’t.

    • Congrats Jeff! And thanks! I’m glad you found your path! Each of us has a different one, that’s for sure. Sorry to hear about your woes, though. If you do still want an agent, keep at it. Contacting 8 is such a small sample–I went through more than that before landed one. I only say that because I’ve heard of too many talented writers who give up querying after only 5 or so rejections….

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