Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I am engaged in the search for a new literary agent. Two weeks ago (or so) I queried my "dream agent." Lo and behold, a few days later, she replied and wanted to see the proposal.

The proposal hit cyberspace within minutes. She responded the next day, saying she thought the book had a lot of merit but the concept was slightly too narrow for the market. It was a thoughtful, encouraging letter.

We exchanged several e-mails discussing alternate possibilities before I fired off a new title and a broader concept and asked if she'd look at a new proposal.

Days passed with no reply. Days and days. Almost a week.

Sure that no answer was her answer, I plunged down a log flume of doom and gloom. On Saturday, it came to me that this one woman's answer would not matter so much if there were other possibilities, so I queried the next five agents on my list. And I worked on the book.

Bright and early Monday morning, the dream agent answered. She loves the broader concept. Wants to see the proposal. Thinks it has "a lot of potential." In closing, she mentioned that she'd been away from the office but was now back in the saddle.

Imagine that! It took her a while to reply because there are other things going on in her world. I know it sometimes takes months--months--for agents to respond. Still, she wrote very quickly several times, and then...nothing. Yeah. Cause she has a stable of clients, a home, husband and children.

During the week of silence, I reread my final e-mail to her a dozen times, tearing it apart and picking through its bones. I was sure she hated the broader concept, hated the alternative title, thought I should eat dirt and die.

Turns out none of that was true. It also turns out that opening myself to other possibilities did help my mental state and continuing to work on the book did make sense, both energetically and practically.

They're attributed to everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Sam Goldwyn to Gary Player, but there's truth in these words: The harder I work, the luckier I get.

More soon. Got to get to work right now.


Michelle O'Neil said...

Awesome Jerri!


Thanks for the teaching.

Doubting Thomas said...

Great news my friend. See? Have faith and patience. In and with yourself.

Go Mama said...

Happy, happy, Jerri!!

Re: my previous comment on previous post:

Sounds like you just went from Time for all the elements to get into place, and landed yourself in Right Time!

Go girl!

Let's hear about the project...or are you sworn to secrecy?

Jen McGrath said...

Wow. I'm so envious. I'm at the point right now where I'm just figuring out stuff like "you need an agent". Best of luck to you. Sounds like you're on a roll.

Deb said...

Big big congratulations!!!! I'm so proud of you. So not surprised at what's opening up for you. So ready to celebrate with you (when you come to Portland)! Consider yourself hugged hugely!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

LOL! I SO relate to this way of thinking!

I'm excited for you, Jerri. SUPER excited!

Love, love and more love.

riversgrace said...

Reminds me of that quote: We see the world as we are, not as the world is.

And the great part is that the world manifested what your abundant vision and let you 'see' the limitation. You didn't need to have it all played out and knock you over the head.

That's a wonderful thing. You always inspire me.

Amber said...

Isn't that funny? We all do this! We all forget that the world goes on without us sometimes...lol! But good news, and congratulations! Yay!


Jenny said...


And too funny. My hubby teases me b/c I get distraught if I don't hear back on a pitch w/in 48 hours. Yes, sometimes people are out of the office, but mostly when editors see something they like they jump on it fast. . . which can make those other times agonizing!

kario said...

Yet another reminder of the first of the Four Agreements (that one is the hardest for me): Don't take it personally. It's not about you.

Sure enough, it wasn't. So pleased to hear about the agent. Go forth and conquer, my dear!