Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My AGENT news!!!!

(Let's all pretend it's January and this post isn't at all late. Come on. Pretending is fun.)

I'm sure most of you know by now that I have an agent. Yes, I have an AGENT!! It's been a couple months now, but it's still exciting! In fact, it's even more exciting now that things have calmed down.

Even though it's late I have to share my story. If your wondering how I can be so late to to post something that is such BIG NEWS, I blame it on a crazy month of revisions and having surgery. But I really should have just snuck in here and posted something. So, really, you should actually just blame me. 

Here goes...

THE MANUSCRIPT

was titled ADRENALINE JUNKIES while I queried but is now simply ADRENALINE. I didn't share info about this manuscript much on here or anywhere, although I did post my first chapter awhile back, and I entered two contests with it, which I got first in one (Ebyss's blog) and third in the other (Brenda's blog). The one I got first in was a romantic scene type contest. I'd entered one of these kinds of contests once before with a different ms (Gabriela's blog) and also received first place in that one. So I was feeling pretty confident I had my romance ducks in a row. Or something. (Which is good because that's my favorite part, anyway.)

If you're curious, here is my query: (which kept a steady request rate of about 60%)

***

No drinking. No drugs. No hooking up. Clean body. Clear head.

That’s what Ali hears at her first Adrenaline Junkie meeting. On top of that, good grades, too. Say what? Ali and the other recruits don’t think that sounds like much fun.

But they’re wrong. The fun is just beginning.          

Adrenaline Junkies, properly named The Liberty Ring, is an elite, secret society that meets in a hidden cavern under the locker rooms, and only the strongest are invited to join during their sophomore year. With Ali’s tendencies to stress over straightened refrigerator magnets and alphabetized bathroom creams, it’s no jaw-drop she barely makes it in after punching head cheerleader, snob extraordinaire, in the nose during their last halftime show. Which she so deserved, btw.

Ali should be looking for the fastest escape, which just happens to be a human-sized drain in the wall leading toward the Columbia River. She definitely shouldn’t be crazy-head enough to wanna stay.

But she does.

There are three sectors, and Ali wants the highest. When the Assessment period begins, she repeatedly puts herself in danger while pushing her strength, survival skills, and determination to their limits. Not to mention, adrenaline is totally addicting. Almost as much as the Lead, Treston. But she’s a fool because Treston is rude, unforgiving, and most likely wishing she’d never been invited to join.

Ali's got until Spring Break to release the grips of her social “Placement” and a parasitic jock so she can prove herself worthy, get her rank up, and grow stronger—mind and body. But Adrenaline Junkies is so much bigger than she first realized, and once you’re in, you’re in. She’s got the brand burned under her collarbone to prove it.

Now staying alive? That will be a whole other feat.

***

I started getting ideas for this story based on the incredible UGLIES series. The characters in those books got to do so many cool things. Things I, myself, would never do. N.E.V.E.R. Yes, it's true. I am so not an adrenaline junkie. But that doesn't mean I can't be one inside my head, late at night make my MC one. 

As soon as I decided to hunker down and actually start to write my ideas into a first draft I knew I had a winner because the ideas would come faster than I could type it. First draft spilled out in a month. Yes, spilled. It was as messy as orange soda spilled between the cracks of my hardwood floors on a hot summer's day. Of course, the revisions took much longer. I sent some queries right before the holidays, and I was surprised to see I had request after request rolling in. But before they'd started arriving in my happy little inbox I'd started making more revisions (of course) and with the holidays approaching, I decided to continue to work through the holidays and send the requests in afterward.

So I did. Right before New Year's could hit, I sent them off, hoping it was good enough. I also sent more queries throughout the long New Year's weekend. One of the first ones I sent off on Friday got an immediate response from an amazing agent asking for an exclusive full. After hearing I couldn't grant exclusivity she still wanted it, and after reading the query and first chapter, she said she knew an editor (at an awesome house) who would LOVE it.

I squealed and maybe even jumped up and down, banging the palms of my hands together like an idiot, but I tried not to get my hopes up.

Yeah, right.

So what do you do in that situation? Duh. Send more queries. Just in case, you need more good news when the bad rains down.

But that Monday I got...

THE CALL!!!

Double check that. Not a call. THEE CALL. But (of course) my phone was on silent when the call came in and I missed it. Gah! So it wasn't until later that I realized I had missed a call. From a strange area code. Could it be? Frantically checking voicemail. Yes! It is the very same amazing agent saying she wants to talk.

AAAAHHHH!!!!!

I called her back (my mind everywhere) and could barley believe she LOVED my manuscript. And I could barely believe how easy she was to talk to. It was simply awesome. AWESOME!

BUT I had to tell her I needed a week to notify other agents with my work. (Way hard to do that, btw) Remember, I had sent a few fulls recently and fresh queries had been going out throughout the weekend. I mean, by the end of the call I was already getting requests from those queries. So I started sending notifications to those with my query or manuscript.

I had a lot of interest but being the very beginning of January the timing was kind of crazy. Agents were just getting back to their offices with (I'm sure) very full inboxes. But I did send more manuscripts out. I had interest from another agent and we emailed back and forth a few times but I could tell it wasn't something I wanted to pursue, so we never did speak on the phone.

I spoke with offering agent again. Things were going great!

Then one of my dream agents (not just saying that) with my manuscript started tweeting about a manuscript that sounded like it could be mine. Saying that she was liking it more and more as she read, and that the romance was getting stronger, which was just her style. BUT she didn't like MC's name. Hmmmm....could that be my MC (formerly Simone) and my ms, or was I crazy? Of course dream agent had me waiting ALL WEEKEND to know for sure. *Insert more gaaahs! here*

Finally, we spoke on the phone. For like a long time. I could barely believe it. Thankfully, I didn't pass out, or apparently, come off as a "wingnut". But would she offer? Or would she decide it just wasn't right? We spoke mainly of the revisions she wanted to see, which were a great thing, not bad. Then she offered!!!! And I accepted. And super duper dream agent became...

MY AGENT!!

Laura Bradford!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so that probably felt anti-climactic to most of you since you probably already know that. But still. Laura Bradford! Yes, the very Laura Bradford that I hounded with questions whenever she did an #askagent on Twitter. Yes, the very Laura Bradford who was one of the very first agents I actually recognized as more than a name when I started researching. Yes, the very Laura Bradford who was the very first person I thought of to follow on Twitter.

I'm sure you all think of her as I do--The Queen Literary Agent of all literary agents, right? Well, not only that but she totally is the Queen Literary Agent that rocks romance the hardest, too!! Per-fect! 

We worked on revisions, which Laura is awesome to work with, and like I said this is one of the big reasons I wanted to work with her. I knew she'd push me and my adrenaline-crazy characters to be better. It took me about a month and now I'm all twitchy and fidgety waiting patiently while on submission.

Oh, and loving every minute!!!!

(You can also read my Success Story Interview over on Query Tracker here.)




11 comments:

  1. CONGRATS!!!!! I think I read part of this story somewhere...I remember a cheerleader getting punched!! LOL!! Good luck!!

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  2. Haha! You're so funny - loved your post! Congratulations! <3

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  3. Laura Bradford is awesome! Congratulations! Just having an agent is so much further than most people get.

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  4. So, so excited for you!! Congrats! Laura is a gem ;)

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  5. Better late than never--it's a great story!! SO glad you shared it. :)
    And congrats!

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  6. Awesome! Congratulations and thanks for posting your story. Everything I've heard about Ms. Bradford screams that you are in a great place now.

    I was astonished at the length of your query letter, after always being told to keep them short. There goes that rule. Great query though, it made me interested in the book. :)

    All the best,

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    Replies
    1. haha I know. I know. I think length is okay if it stands out and is at least somewhat intriguing. :)

      Thanks!

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  7. Thanks everyone for reading and especially to those who leave nice comments.

    Luv ya! xo

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  8. Ahhhh! Melinda! I've been meaning to read this forever! AWESOME AGENT STORY! Seriously! Laura is awesome and your manuscript sounds incredible. I'm calling dibs on an arc right now! Loved hearing your story, only wish I'd heard it sooner! ;)

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