July 28, 2009

Real life

Filed under: Backstory — jenny @ 9:46 pm

Now that we’re back in the east, back in the burbs, back in real life, it’s time for me to start writing about writing again. I had left off as my agent search began. Here are the next eight months or so, wildly condensed.

I remember driving to Florida–my husband’s grandmother was ill and we wanted to see her–and seeing a license plate that said AGENT and taking it as a giant omen. At the time, Jean Naggar of the eponymous agency had first requested three chapters of Arugula’s Mother, and then the whole thing, and I was convinced that she would make an offer of rep upon our return from the south.

Alas, only a rejection and the actual snail mailed ms awaited me at home.

The day that I got my first real hint that I was actually going to find an agent was an all time low for me. We had no kids yet. The night before, we’d been to a movie with my brother (Oregon brother) who lived only a few country towns away then. When I got out of the car on our lumpy driveway late that night, my foot twisted in its clog, and I went down. I knew something was really wrong right away.

Turned out it was broken.

I came home, on crutches and in a cast, imagining trying to hop to FedEx with my pathetic ream boxes only to garner more rejections, when my husband hit play on our answering machine.

(Told you this was a while ago).

“Hello,” said a voice I instantly loved. “This is Anne Hawkins. You sent me the first fifty pages of your ms, and I love them. I would really like to see the rest. I’m going to give you my number at my country house, where I am now…{She wanted me to call her! On a Saturday!!} Oh, and could I have an exclusive on this?”

I’d had agents request the full ms already by this point, but somehow I just knew. This call was different.

I sunk down on the stairs, cast thunking, and literally lifted my head to the heavens. OK, the ceiling. Thank you, I whispered to Someone.

1 Comment »

  1. An agent called you from a partial on a Saturday? I can’t even imagine!

    Comment by Judy — July 29, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

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