So, in most-exciting-news-ever, I am now represented by Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency. I met Mandy at the SCBWI Western Washington conference, where I’d signed up for the Roundtable Critiques. I was assigned to Mandy’s table and had a chance to read the first bit of my middle grade novel in letters to dead people, about Sophie and the magical chickens she inherits when she moves to her great-uncle’s farm.
Mandy (who has two cows herself and clearly needs some chickens) seemed intrigued. I really appreciated her comments on my book and the other novels being presented. So, I followed up with a query.
I queried other agents. Mandy requested the full. I made some tweaks and sent it. Then, I got an email: Mandy loved it. She wanted to find time to talk.
Suddenly things started moving fast. I was following up on submissions and notifying agents, collecting questions that were important to me, and having conversations I’d barely dreamed of. It’s so strange, how 8+ years of learning to write novels and 2 years of writing this book suddenly crunch down into a week of intensity. It’s terrifying, too, knowing you’re basing the next phase of your writing life on a few emails and conversations, however in depth they are. I really do recommend asking a lot of questions when you’re talking to agents!
When I talked to Mandy, it was clear she loved the book and middle grade novels in general for the same reasons I do. Farm Girl is not an easy book to describe, yet she immediately got it, down through all the levels I hoped were there. She valued the things that were most important to me about it, and she had visions for where it could go.She offered representation, and after careful thought (and a million questions), I accepted.
People say persistence is important, and it is. But I would also like to say that without all the writers and readers and generally great folks who have helped me and believed in me and my ideas, I couldn’t have sustained that persistence.
So, thanks to all of you for helping me make it here now.