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I got an Agent!

So, this is The Moment that every querying author dreams of and it lived up to the hype. Sometimes you spend so long working towards a goal, wanting and wishing, that finally achieving it is underwhelming. This was not one of those moments for me. I'll start from the beginning.

I wrote The Smoke that Thunders from September to November in 2020. It's different from anything I've written in the past and I wasn't even sure what genre it would fit into. And it's also on the shorter side so I thought 'Does this even count as novel?' but anyway. I queried the book in November/December and Aida (my agent!) was one of two agents to request the full manuscript at the time. I'll focus on the process with Aida.

And, before I continue, I just want to say that I don't blame agents/I'm not mad that this whole querying thing can take so long.

So, I think Aida responded to my initial query after about three weeks, requesting the first 50 pages. About two months later she asked for the rest of the manuscript and about two months after that she passed and I was very disappointed. She said she loved 60-70% of the novel but the last third felt a little flat and if I ever revised it she'd be interested in looking at it again. And when I thought about it, I saw that she was right. The last chunk of the book was rushed. So, I took some time, worked on something else, and then went back to it. I ended up re-writing that last chunk and adding about 5000 words. The story was much better.

So, I queried Aida again, asking if she'd like to see the revised version. She said yes and I sent it through. About two and a half months later she email asking for a call (the famous Agent Call) and offered me representation. We got along really well and I knew almost immediately she'd be the perfect agent for me.

And that's my story. The initial rejection was a blow, of course, but ultimately led to a better story and here we are now! This process can take months and months, so I'd really advise any querying authors to be patient. I know that's not what anyone wants to here but it's really the truth. It will still feel good even if it takes awhile and even if it doesn't work out the first time. Believe in yourself and your story.


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