Squeee!!!! I have news!
I am now represented by Jim McCarthy from Dystel & Goderich Literary Management!!!!
Ok, I really have to stop with the exclamation points, but !!!!!
so, how did this happen, you ask?
Well, let me break it down for you.
For those searching for an agent, a piece of advice we often hear is "query agents who represent books you love." Can I just say that this is the BEST advice ever?
As you know, I LOVED The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan. So, I queried Jim McCarthy, Carrie's agent, on 1/2. Jim requested the full manuscript on 1/10 and I got The Call on 1/19.
Being the studious agent-stalker, ahem, I mean researcher I am, I mean was, I knew Jim usually read manuscripts in about a week (he's super fast). So, when a week had passed since I'd sent the full and I hadn't received a rejection, I was hopeful.
My cell phone rang on 1/19 in between 5th and 6th period (I teach high school). I glanced at the number, saw the 212 area code and thought, "Is that New York? Maybe it's Jim McCarthy calling to offer representation. Oh, hahahaha, Alyson you are SO funny." I declined the call. My students were walking in.
When I finally listened to the message, my head nearly exploded. It was like slow-motion. I kept looking around waiting for someone to say "just kidding." But all the message said was to call him back and I was completely unprepared.
I stayed after school helping a student. I went home. I paced, I had a snack so I wouldn't throw up. I looked up the right questions to ask. I called back. Voicemail. I don't know how, but I slept that night.
The next morning, I had an email from Jim saying he was sorry he missed me and when could we chat? I called him during my off-period. I locked my classroom door and closed the blinds. I paced among the desks and stammered.
Just hearing Jim say my title and how much he loved it, hearing him say my characters' names, hearing him talk about my book as if it was just that: an actual book, was such an enormous validation. I was no longer some crazy girl with people in her head, mumbling to herself in a corner with a laptop.
I was a blabbering idiot on the phone. "Umm, yeah, oh my god, yeah, thank you, umm, I'm exited, umm," but I tried to ask my list of questions. When he offered representation it took all my strength not to jump up and down and scream. Two other agents had the manuscript.
I emailed the other 2 agents, letting them know of the offer and that I wanted to make a final decision in a week. One of the other agents offered and I spoke with her on the phone, but it was never a difficult decision. I mean OMG, I have the same agent as Carrie Ryan! OK, I also have the same agent as many really amazing writers whose books have now moved to the top of my TBR pile. But like, I totally want to be Carrie Ryan when I grow up! (oops sorry, does that sound stalkerish? I'm not a creeper, I swear).
OK Junkies, thanks for letting me share my news! Good luck to all those queriers out there. It can happen, don't give up!