April 17, 2014

I shall tease you no more. It happened...I'M OFFICIALLY AGENTED @AKA_Lit!!! *spins* Dizzy now :P #bepositivehour

ME RIGHT NOW!!!!


But I'm totally trying to play it cool...

Working. Right? Thought so ;) 

Wow! All the words are in my head at one time!! Where do I start? Okay, breathe, Karen, breathe. This has been such an incredible journey. A six year journey to find the right agent. And, after five novels, one novella, and one short story, I've finally found The One!! Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary is the perfect fit for me. She's exactly what I've been looking for in an agent. I'm just so excited and happy and thrilled <insert a THOUSAND different ecstatic emotions here> to have the opportunity to work with her.


It's so amazing how things work out. I mean--even though I don't normally talk about my constant self-doubt, worry, and struggles--they are soo totally there. Always haunting me. Always making me question...everything. But! I have stories to tell and characters that are counting on me to bring them to life. Annnd, the voices. Ahhh the voices. If you write, you know about the voices ;) To be honest though, I'd started to think it wasn't meant to happen for me. I'd been at this a long time. Felt the cold hand of rejection. Watched doors open and slam in my face. Had promises fall short. Gotten breaks that soon disappeared. Faced my fears. Pitched (in person) to agents and editors. Queried so much I'd started going numb to it. And one of the hardest decisions I've had to make in this journey happened two years ago when I turned an agent down. Yup, sounds crazy, right? For a while I wondered if that had been a mistake, but I hadn't felt the connection with that agent...something in the back of my mind said they weren't the right fit for me. As hard as it was to say no, I did it. And I am SOOO glad that I did!!
 

I remember going to my very first writers conference in NYC with the very first book I'd ever written--which had only been read by two friends and a family member and not edited in the slightest--and thinking, I'm totally landing an agent here. Well, erm, yeah, so...
 

Two very distinct things stuck out in my mind during that conference. The first, one of the speakers said that for most writers it takes writing at least six books before you'll land an agent. The second, during a two minute/two page session where a group of writers read their first two pages aloud and an agent stopped us where they would normally stop reading in a submission, I was stopped on the first line. Yup, that happened. Needless to say I was devastated.  

But! I didn't let that stop me. Why? Because like an agent once told me, I'm plucky. That was after I professionally responded to a rejection email she sent and kinda, maybe, sorta begged for her to at least read a little more. Ohh, and she actually did because of my pluck--she said. (I don't advise that though, but that was six years ago when I didn't know better. lol) Ever since then, when I'd send out a query or submission I'd always chant my motto: I. Am. Plucky.

With motto in mind, I kept plugging away. I wrote a total of five novels before I landed my agent, but that was one less than the six I'd been told at the conference! I'm counting that as a HUGE victory :) My fifth novel is my dragon story titled Becoming. I completely stepped outside of the box and my writing comfort zone in that novel, and I am so completely in love with it. My only concern once I'd finished writing such a unique book was: How in the world would I pitch it? Thankfully I saw a pitch-honing workshop on Twitter and decided to give it a try. The pitch I started with wasn't bad, but it didn't have the reach-through-the-screen-and-grab-ya spark that it needed. But Jessa Russo tweaked it and helped me achieve that sparkling pitch I needed, which in turn caught many an agent's eye and landed me with over fifteen requests. The pitch (a LGBT new adult dragon story set in modern-day Charlotte, NC): After a transplant gives Zoe a dragon shifter’s heart, she learns that her online boyfriend is her donor and...a girl.

Thank you, Jessa!!


Of course, a pitch alone wouldn't have gotten me this far. Without my support system none of this would have been possible. A BIG thank you goes to my friends, family, and readers who believed in me and my writing. The BIGGEST of thanks goes to two very special people. My dear friends Danielle Fine and Sean McConnell. Dani (a writer and freelance editor/designer) edited Becoming and with her expert guidance and encouragement has helped shape me into a stronger writer. She's known about my dragons and believed in them ever since they were just an idea. I'm not sure where I'd be without her in my corner. Sean (a writer, graphic artist, and my agency brother) beta-read Becoming for me. He is one of the nicest most honest people you will ever meet, and his support and belief in me has been tremendous. Thank you guys!!!

Whew! All that to say... Writing is way hard. Breaking into the industry takes uber gobs of time. And there will be days when you just want to hide under your desk and eat all the cookie dough and drink all the coffee until maybe--just maybe--things start to work out. Believe me, I’ve had those days. Lots of those days. But it only takes one yes. And as many times as you’ve heard that... It’s. Absolutely. True. Whether it takes six months or six years (like it did for me), when it happens...when the day you land your dream agent finally comes, it’ll be the most thrilling and rewarding moment. There’s still work ahead. There always will be if it’s worth having. Just know: You’re worth it. 

To celebrate the occasion Sean has created a beautiful, custom piece of dragon artwork just for me!! Shall I share? Yes!!


Thank y'all for stopping by to read my post! So excited to share my dragons and other works with you!! Things are finally coming together!! I can't stop smiling!! 

If you're curious to know more about my dragons and where the idea came from, check out this post!

Okay, playin' it cool... Peace!

23 comments:

  1. Humbled, honored, excited, wow! You fairly summed up every emotion I've encountered since "that" day. Let's do this thing - together. Thank you! The future is bright and yes, it's your doing.

    Terrie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Terrie!! I am so excited and honored to work with YOU. Thank you for making this such a special day! <3

      Delete
  2. Wow, Karen, this was a great blog so heartfelt and full of emotion. It brought me to tears. I am so happy for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kellie!! I'm so glad you enjoyed! :D xx

      Delete
  3. WOOT! Congrats, Karen!!! *happy dances with you*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holla!!! Thanks so much, Andrew!! :D *happy dances*

      Delete
  4. I meant to also say how much I loved the art work by Sean McConnell. It is stunning and beautiful. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks you! He does beautiful work! :)

      Delete
  5. Big, huge, mondo congratulations, Karen! I never had any doubt that it would happen for ya. You are a fabulous writer with a brilliant imagination. And you're just awesome-sauce! I see big things for you, BIG things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *happy tears* Thank you, Marlene! I so appreciate that. :D

      Delete
  6. I am so, so happy to hear your news, Karen. You are on FIRE!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congrats, Karen. What wicked news. Loved the heartfelt post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. YAY!!!!!! I'm so happy for you!!!! we will celebrate at RT, I'll buy you a drink (of the non alcoholic kind of course)

    You deserve this!! you so do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwww!!! Thank you, Lucy! <33

      I'm so excited for you too! We MUST celebrate! :D

      Delete
  9. I've only just seen this Karen, and thoroughly enjoyed reading your account with the "so behind the scene" effect... so good. Wish you all the best in the future.

    ReplyDelete