“The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
I don't know who said it, but that quote was circling around and around in my head these last few months as I once again wound myself up to take on a new picture book project and see it through to the querying phase.
While I was busy bellyaching about the querying process over the years, quite a number of my peers have noted that they finally got signed just when they were ready to give up and quit trying. But I couldn’t even think about giving up…I had no answers as to what I would do if I did quit – making books and art is all I want to do! But, being the practical semi-New Ager that I am, I figured intentions were important: so I began fibbing to the universe, threatening to give up and move to a commune. I even made a Pinterest board called “Life on the Commune.” I was hoping that my research into better living with mason jars was enough to sway the cosmos in my favor, because I didn’t really picture myself becoming one with the goats.
And maybe this intention intervention worked, because, after what felt like quite a number of eons, I finally submitted to the right place at the right time. It was quite serendipitous. Because who knows why it happened now after five years of being skunked? (But really, we all know it had to have been thanks to that Pinterest board…right?)
Imaginary magical Pinterest board juju or not, the facts are: I got my agent’s interest when she was forwarded the dummy I had just begun querying to agents. Just begun, as in that very week. I definitely believe my “cutthroat” (see previous blogpost) strategy of networking really made the difference there.
Before the (at the time potential) agent and I spoke on the phone, I emailed her the two other picture book dummies that I had completed in the last year. Since agents can either sign you on a project-by-project basis or on your potential career as a whole, I figured showing her that I wasn’t a one-book wonder could lead to an offer of career representation – which is what I wanted. I was seeding the clouds.
The agent and I clicked on the phone, and it was a whirlwind from there. I let all the other agents I was out with know I had an offer, and gave them a short window of opportunity to respond, but really, I already knew. Two days later, I accepted her offer of representation.
And all of the sudden, a whole chunk of my daily routine – researching agents in order to personalize my query letters – was no longer relevant. It was a very strange feeling, and a good one. The absence of an onerous duty. I could finally focus on my art, and not scrounging around trying to get someone to pay attention to me, looking for connections that weren’t there, etc.
Plucked from obscurity, that’s how it feels.
While I am VERY aware that even with an agent, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be published, I am SURE that, just by having a reputable agent, I am a trillion times closer to being published. It’s like I finally got to the top of the first, very tall mountain, and while there are a whole bunch of mountains in the range, at least I’m up there and working my way across the Pacific Crest Trail or whatever, and not back at sea level just dreaming about hiking.
Wow. Talk about an overextended metaphor.
Long story short, I am now represented by Lara Perkins, of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
I have finally arrived to a place where I can finally arrive. ;)