Do you know that feeling of putting on your winter coat for the first time in October? You reach into your pocket and . . . what’s this? . . . A twenty dollar bill left behind from the last time you wore the coat in May. (Time references, obviously, will make sense to fellow Minnesotans.) That’s what happened to me today–metaphorically–and on a much bigger scale.
Last April, I went to a writer’s conference in Madison, WI. My first conference. I was really nervous. I signed up for two pitch sessions and planned to pitch my Women’s Fiction. I did the first pitch to Katharine Sands, and it fell flat. She didn’t say she hated my premise, but she might as well have. My second pitch session was with Molly Lyons. But Molly got sick and sent her colleague Jacquie Flynn in her place.
Now, I knew Jacquie didn’t represent much fiction, so I just decided to wing it and pitch something complete different (and unrehearsed). I pitched Jacquie my middle grade fiction, FOR WEASEL. To my surprise she said, “That sounds cool. Why don’t you send me the Full.” So I did. And then, taking the advice of many writers to not obsess about it, I moved on and started a new novel.
Flash forward four months.
I’m in the Arby’s drive-thru and I get an email from Jacquie. She’s “enjoying” my book. She’d like to talk to me about it later in the week. I, very calmly, respond that that would be lovely (and then promptly spill my Coke in my lap).
Two days later, she offers to represent me and my book. Better yet, she says both her boys read the book and recommended she sign me! Better yet, she says her nickname is “The Ripper” because she loves to edit the heck out of things, but my manuscript is super clean and there’s not much she wants to fix on it at all!
Pinch me, please.