Sunday, December 14, 2008

I am officially signed with the Bradford Literary Agency

Recently I had a wonderful reviewer go through the WW stories on Fictionpress and give them a hearty reviewing. I, reading these, and having given up on getting a literary agent, got inspired by these reviews to re-work the series and make it outstanding.

I was ready to get down to business.

The very next day, I received this email from a lit agency I had queried by snail mail back in July:

Hi Savannah,

I am really enjoying Woman's World! Would you mind please emailing me the full ms along with short synopses for the other 2 books in the trilogy? Thanks!

Now, it had been a long while since I'd heard from agents, and I'd had all rejects before, so I wasn't going to get my hopes up... but... no one else, having read a partial, requested a full manuscript. That was something.

So, of course, I sent her the manuscript. I also researched her and her agency. I saw a picture of her online, and something happened.

When I met my current fiancee, the moment I saw him it was like he was composed of more vivid color than his surroundings. He was just so /bright/. There was an instantaneous moment of knowledge that I /must/ get his phone number.

Call me crazy, but when I saw this agent for the first time, something similar happened: that spark of recognition. Nothing romantic, obviously, but perhaps the click of destiny?

Either that, or I was really more excited than I let myself acknowledge, but this felt right, like it /had/ to work.

The next day she wrote back with: Send me the next book, please.

Excitement mounting, I sent her Apostasy. And on the third day? You guessed it.

Finally on the third day she wrote me with this: I'd like to give you a call tomorrow for a bit of a chat. Can you let me know what time zone you are in and your phone number and a good time to call? Thanks!

This is a VERY GOOD THING. There were two outcomes, according to Either A) She wanted to tell me that she really enjoyed my work, but it wasn't ready, or just wasn't for her, or B) she wanted to represent me.

We scheduled a call for Friday morning. The hour came, my personal laptop and notes were set up in my office's conference room. She called. I took lunch break, went into the room, and closed the door.

Immediately I liked her voice. I don't like my own voice, and so am conscious of other peoples', and hers was lovely. I had done my research on her agency, which you should ALWAYS DO (see this article) so I was prepared to talk about her history, while she was just learning mine.

Her name is Laura Bradford. She told me she had spent the last three days doing nothing but reading my work. She loved it. It's got its flaws of course, but we were both aware of that. We discussed several things that had to change, and I was completely excited to begin working on it.

We discussed our personal histories, and her already signed writers at the agency, what her processes were, how publishing works, and then she offered to represent me.

She emailed me the contract (which I looked over, and contested a few points in email a few days later).

What you're supposed to do at this point is alert the other agents who are still considering your manuscripts that you have been offered representation so they have a chance to offer it too. I sent off four emails to agents who, to my knowledge, were still holding 'scripts. One no longer worked for the agency (juicy gossip, I'm guessing), one passed, and I didn't hear from the other two, so...

I signed it. On December 10th I officially signed my first agent contract and mailed it to her.

My family is thrilled and so proud, obviously, but I didn't have any jumping up and down moments. I wasn't 'excited' in the true sense of the word. I was very, deeply pleased, like a smug cat.

Yes. At last.

This is a moment I have been working towards for most of my conscious life. This it the moment I feared would never happen, the moment I knew I had to /make/ happen. Many writers go their whole lives without getting an offer. On the other hand, many get offers when they are not very good writers.

All in all, this is a wonderful opportunity. I'm taking the next month of college vacation to completely rework WW (for the absolute best, just trust me), and then we will begin submitting to publishing agencies. It could take as short as 24 hours to sell it, or it could take years.

Anyway, I had to tell, of course, my faithful reviewers at Fictionpress. You can keep up with me here on this blog. I'll try to keep everyone as up to date as possible.

Also, this allows for some wonderful learning opportunities. I'll be sure to share!


Drop me a review.

Copy and paste this review into the comment box if you don't want to write something personal, just to let me know you've been here:

Dear Savannah,

Congratulations! As one of your FP readers I am so excited to finally maybe one day see WW in print! Good luck!

-Reviewer X


Thing in the Coat said...

Hey, would you look at that? Congrats and the like. Here's hoping to see the words "Woman's World" embossed on some dust covers sometime soon.

Thing in the Coat said...

You know what, while I'm here, and not to direct the spotlight away from Savannah's accomplishment, but I've become suddenly curious: It's been mentioned time and again that Jaden's been published, but it's never been mentioned, to my knowledge, what it is he's published.

So, if I could be so forward, what exactly is it that he's published?


Thing in the Coat said...

I knew that it was said he had an agent, but I could have sworn it was mentioned that he was published. Hmm. Oh well. I just guess that, after 21 years, my memory is finally succumbing to senility.

mathilda said...

Congratulations! This is what you always wanted, right?
How very cool... keep us updated!

xynnia said...

I'm so, so thrilled for you. Getting representation by an agent is amazing!! It sounds like the hand of Fate/Destiny/God (whatever you want to name it) was totally at work in all of the events you related. It'd be so awesome to see Woman's World in print... I'd buy it for everyone I knew as a gift! :D Just so they could read the awesome!

Thanks for letting us know, and be sure to keep us up-to-date on future happenings ^^

Oh, and I'm curious: who was the reviewer whose feedback so inspired you to improve WW?

Hanner Marie said...

OK, so I just read the WW series on Fiction Press and I followed your link to your blog and skimming through it, I found this post. I have to say, well done. I'll personally be looking forward to seeing the book on the shelves sometime soon. I'm sure the revised version will blow me away.

Anyway, as someone who aspires to one day be an author, I wondered if you'd consider posting up or sending me the query letter you used. I've looked on many sites and whilst they provide some good queries, the way in which they are written differs so much that my brain gets confused. I see you follow the same advice site as me, so I suspect you follow their advice the most.

Anyway, your query letter would really help me in the future when I plan to start submitting my work to agencies.