UPDATE: I have since parted ways with this agent; although we like and respect each other, it turned out our business and communication styles did not match up. I sincerely wish him and his clients the best, and am leaving this (slightly edited) version of this post up because it represents an important part of my writing journey. Hopefully, other good news will follow this somewhat regretful news!
I can't tell you how long I've been waiting to have my own "How I Got My Agent" story! And what a weird and wonderful tale it is (with some salty language included for realism):
Wednesday, November 6, started like any normal day.
Normal for me, anyway, which means I walked past the pool and entered the locker room, only to be confronted by a pack of my giggling friends. One of them said, "There you are! We saw this and thought of you."
And handed me a persimmon that was clearly happy to see me, judging by the appendage it was sporting. I accepted it with due pomp and circumstance, and we all went out to the pool.
It was later, as I was one-foot-through my undies, when my phone rang. The number showed as "unavailable", but since I was waiting to hear back on submissions I answered. And knew immediately that it was an agent.
Mainly because that's how he introduced himself, but still, it echoed mightily in my head. "Omigawd, it's an agent calling me!" followed closely by a heartfelt prayer that nobody flushes a toilet in the adjacent bathroom. Those things sound like jet engines, while simultaneously being completely obvious it's a toilet.
In any case, I knew a locker room was not the sort of place I'd be able to conduct any kind of useful conversation. I politely asked if I could give him a call back in a few minutes and took down his number with a shaking hand. And made really sure I had hit "end call" before I shrieked "That was a fucking agent on the phone!"
At which, all my friends still in the locker room laughed and said, "We knew it was important--you didn't sound at all like yourself." So I rushed to finish getting dressed and went out to my car, where a bit of phone tag ensued until we connected.
He had some great things to say about my book--how he loved the voice, thought the relationships were true to life-- and there was more but all the blood pounding in my head made some of the words sound like the teachers on a Peanuts special. But I felt like he really got my book, and my main character, which all joking aside is absolutely crucial.
And then we moved on to the compatibility portion of the conversation--or as he put it, seeing if our "crazy matches up". He asked why I had submitted to him specifically; I knew from his Twitter feed, and various online interviews, that he has a wicked sense of humor and is actively creative himself. His clients write some gritty, sexy, amazing stuff.
He had actually been on the top of my "agents to query" list, but when I started to send out Crow's Rest, he happened to be closed to submissions. Once I belatedly realized he was open again, I sent my query off with crossed fingers.
Sigh. If only I had said any of those fangirly things when he asked why I'd submitted to him, instead of getting flustered and
blurting, "Um, I think your name came up during the LGBQT panel at the LA
SCBWI conference last year?" Which is a pretty good reason, but not quite as personalized as he might have been looking for.
And yet, he overlooked it and offered me representation.