Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I HAVE BIG NEWS!

So, um...I have an agent.


I know what you're thinking. Jess, I didn't even know you were querying! You know what? I didn't really know I was, either. It just sort of...happened.

Want to know the story? Well, here it is.

Back in March this happened over at WriteOnCon:


If you've been around awhile you know that earlier in the year I shelved my ms and then suddenly pulled it back off the shelf. Well, right before that I had sent Jill Corcoran my query to critique and then sort of...forgot about it. And in the meantime I got frustrated with my ms, deemed it a hot mess I couldn't untangle, and put it away. But then Jill emailed me back that query critique I had forgotten about...which ended up being less of a critique and more of a full request.

A full request? Well, crap. I had just shelved that ms because it was a hot mess. So I pulled it back off the shelf and decided I needed to make it work...somehow. I couldn't let a full request from an awesome agent just go to waste. I stalked ran into Jill at KidLit Drinks night and told her that my ms wasn't quite ready, and she told me to take my time, so I spent my summer trying to figure out all of my problems with my story.

It took awhile, a long while, but after a few great conversations with some great CPs I finally figured it all out. And then I wrote and wrote and revised and revised and on Saturday 10/29 I finally had a finished and totally polished ms.

So I sent it to Jill.

I decided at that point that I might as well start querying, since I did have a complete and polished ms, and if I was sending out the full, then I should just go for it.

So I sent six queries.

Within 24 hours I had two full requests.

And on Tuesday (three years to the day after I wrote the first word of this ms, BTW), just three days after I sent Jill my full, she called me with an offer.

Three days, you guys. THREE DAYS. Three days does not happen to me. I was thinking three months. Or three years. Or three different mss.

Jill loved my book, and I could tell how enthusiastic she was about it. And, because I'm a good little writer, I had done my research on Jill and I was way enthusiastic about her, too. One look at her client list shows how much she loves contemporary, and she actually repped one of my very favorite books that I read this year, DITCHED by Robin Mellom. (It comes out in January...I seriously can't wait.) I couldn't help but feel that if she loves my book and she loves that book, then she just gets me.

But there were still other agents who had the full...and some who had just gotten my query like 12 hours before. So I nudged everyone (one of those nudges turned into another full request), and then I waited. I really just wanted to accept Jill's offer, but I didn't know if one of the other agents would love it as much. I've heard of other writers being totally sure about who they thought they were going to sign with, until another agent totally took them by surprise. So I waited, just in case, even though my gut was telling me Jill no matter what. And as I waited, I saw things like this:


EEEK. The week I gave all of the agents to read just felt like forever. And here I was trying to NaNo, but I was totally unable to concentrate on anything but obsessively checking my inbox and sending epic emails to my writing group. 

In the end, though, I knew that there was no one else who would be as excited about my project as Jill. So yesterday, a week after she called me for the first time, I accepted her offer in the middle of fifth period class. (My students were very excited for me. They tried to use it as an excuse to celebrate all period instead of reading Ch 4 of To Kill A Mockingbird, but you know that didn't fly.)

You guys, I seriously can't believe that this is my story. I can not believe it. I'm beyond thrilled, but, dang, to say that I didn't expect this is like the understatement of the year. I had this big plan to query this project to 100 rejections, and I got an offer and then an agent from my very first query. And not even an official query, really...a query critique. That I sent without a full even finished and ready to go. 

So Gunner and I spent last night celebrating, as we often do.

There were also cupcakes involved
YAY!

102 comments:

  1. Congratulations! What a whirlwind, and fun that you shared the news with your students too. Looking forward to hearing more about your book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congrats, Jessica! This is wonderful news. I'm thrilled for you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations Jessica! GREAT STORY!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations! I've heard only wonderful things about Jill!

    Shelley

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am SO EXCITED for you! Can't wait to read your book! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. WOOHOO! I'm so thrilled and excited for you, Jess. And proud. Did I mention proud?? Rock on, sister!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am so PROUD of you Jess! You have worked so hard! I can't wait to read this book and buy a hundred copies to give to everyone I know!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. AHHHH SO THAT'S WHAT YOUR TWEETS WITH JILL WERE ABOUT LAST NIGHT---I WONDERED!!!!


    AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    I am so so so proud of you/happy for you!

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is fantastic! Congratulations! I look forward to reading the book :D

    ReplyDelete
  10. OMG!! I am SQUEALING for you right now!!!! SO amazingly happy for you Jess! I feel like my heart is leaping out onto the keyboard right now. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. SO happy for you, Jess! Huge congratulations, and well deserved!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a fabulous story. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  13. *HAPPY DANCES* *ALL OVER THE PLACE*

    I'm so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats, Jessica <3

    ReplyDelete
  14. That is such an amazing story! Congratulations!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'M SO STINKING EXCITED FOR YOU!!

    You deserve the dancing banana like whoa!


    *jumps up and down screaming*

    ReplyDelete
  16. Whee!!! YAY!!!! I'm so excited for you!! (Uhm. Obviously. Have my ridiculous emails not made that abundantly clear??) This is such an amazing story, and you TOTALLY deserve it.

    WOOTWOOT.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You already know I'm over-the-moon thrilled for you! Seriously, it's crazy how excited I am about this. Continued juju as you go out on sub - it sounds like you and Jill are going to make a great team!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Congratulations! That is so exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jessica - great news! Congratulations and can't wait to read it when it's published...and it WILL BE published!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations, what an amazing story! Dreams do come true! <3

    ReplyDelete
  21. Jess, that's wonderful! I'm so happy, (and a little jealous) for you! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Just saw this on Twitter from a mutual friend & wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS!! That's a huge accomplishment! So awesome!

    Corinne/OMGKore

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm right there with the dancing Banana!!!! **happy dance** I am so happy for you!! So what happens after one gets an agent?

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've been following your blog for awhile now. Congratulations! So excited for you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. That's such an awesome story!!! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  26. OMIGOD!!!! CONGRATS--and yours is such an awesome story. Good luck with everything :D

    ReplyDelete
  27. So happy for you! Jill is great - can't wait to hear more good news!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Congrats Jess!! That is so exciting!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. OMG, huge congratulations!! I am so excited for you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. CONGRATS. That is the most amazing three-day-agent-bagging story I've heard!

    Hope things go great from here-on.

    ReplyDelete
  31. WOW!! SO excited for you! Congratulations! So when do we get to hear more about your book??

    ReplyDelete
  32. OMG!!! That is so AWESOME!!! Congrats, Jessica! I can't wait to read your stories!

    ReplyDelete
  33. That is such a fantastic story!! Congratulations, that's amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  34. FABULOUS!!! I'm so excited to be sisters-by-agent and I can't WAIT to read YOUR book, lady!!! (And how adorable are you for calling Jill during your class!)

    ReplyDelete
  35. SUPER FANTABULOUS!!! Way to go, Jessica! :) Can't wait to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  36. YAY! I'm soooooooooooooo happy for you! Also I love that you used a dancing banana. Hehehe.

    ReplyDelete
  37. So excited for you! Congrats, congrats, congrats!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Woooooooooo!!! That is so freaking awesome!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Congrats! that's soooo amazing :D

    ReplyDelete
  40. Jill Corcoran is a DREAM agent, Jessica!!!! You are soooooo lucky!!! Congratulations! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  41. What an awesome story!!!! You know you've got something amazing when your story gets picked from a critique!! I'm so excited for you! And three days? Swimming in jealousy here, that is so rare!! YAaay!!!!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  42. YAY, YAY, YAY! Congratulations Jessica. I so love this story. And I can't help but think of your Blind Terror post from August. Turning point? I think yes! <3

    ReplyDelete
  43. Whoop whoop! Congrats Jess. You totally deserve this after all your hard work!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am so beyond thrilled for you! All of your hard work paid off and I love that you called and accepted your offer during fifth period. Such a cool thing to share with your students.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Aaaaaah, congratulations!! How exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  46. The news itself is exciting, but the story behind it is ah-mazing!! :D so so thrilled for you Jess! Big things are starting to happen for you and you so deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Congratulations Jessica! Jill is an awesome agent, for sure. Things are just gonna get bigger for you from now on. :)

    nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. EEEEE Congratulations!!!! That is SO totally awesome!!!!!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  49. YAY, Jess!!! CONGRATS!!!!!!!! °✩*¨*•.¸.•*☆∴*★∵∶。◦°✰*¨*•.¸¸✩ (<-sparkly confetti!) :D

    I love that your students were part of the fun. :)
    (now you just need Brandon Boyd! ;)

    Huggles <3,
    Lola

    ReplyDelete
  50. That's fantastic news! Congrats, Jess!!! I'm so excited for you!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Congratulations! You really deserve it, I'm so pleased for you :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Congratulations, Jess! Jill's an amazing agent. You're in great hands.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Stoked beyond stoked for you, Jessica!! I love your story!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. So unbelievably happy for you it's ridiculous! This is the just the first of many awesome things to come your way and you absolutely deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I'm totally doing the happy banana dance right now for you - congrats Jess!

    ReplyDelete
  56. You are amazing and I am so freaking happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Wow, what an amazing story!! YAY!! Congrats, girlie. :D Let's hope your manuscript sells just as quickly!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am so excited for you, Jess! Fingers crossed for a fast sale!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thats so incredibly awesome Jess!!!! Congrats!!!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Yay!!!! I can't wait to read your book(s)!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Congratulations! Awesome news, so happy for you and can't wait to put it on my amazon wish list!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Jeez, Jessica, 70 Comments already??! Well let me add my congrats to you. As a former high school teacher and somewhat recent (but dedicated) Follower of your blog, I'm SO happy for you. I wish you the very best with this manuscript, and that you'll nab a great publisher on the first try, too!

    ReplyDelete
  63. "Catch your magic moment and do it right here and now...it means everything." -Van Halen CONGRATULATIONS!

    ReplyDelete
  64. OMG! Congrats! That's awesome! and quick!

    ReplyDelete
  65. YES! Congratulations girlie! I knew you'd get there with all that platinum bliss of yours. So happy for you. I might have to drive up for a celebratory drink with you. Soooo exciting! Now your story has inspired to get my butty in gear.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Omg I'm so freaking excited for you!! And proud! Don't forget us when you're a big rockstar writer, ok?

    ReplyDelete
  67. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY! Sorry I'm so late to the party but I'm dancing with excitement for you.

    And Gunner is SO cute!

    CONGRATS and CHEERS! :) :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. I have just stumbled on your awesome news! CONGRATS!!! That's such an awesome story! Good luck with all the rest!

    ReplyDelete
  69. HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Yay! What an awesome story. I'm so excited for you :D

    ReplyDelete
  70. Yay -- Congratulations! That's such an amazing story. I'm very happy for you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  71. That so incredible! Major congrats!!!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I just gotta say: I TOLD YOU! Dude it was in the bag :D

    Now I can email you again lol

    ReplyDelete
  73. Congrats!!! That is so awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  74. I got chills reading that, because I am so excited for you!! Congratulations! I can't wait to see your name on the shelf and buy your book!

    ReplyDelete
  75. What an awesome story! I'm so excited for you. I can't wait to read this book of yours!

    ReplyDelete
  76. That's amazing!!! Congratulations! What an awesome "getting-an-agent" story.
    My Blog

    ReplyDelete
  77. JESSICA! JESSICA! JESSICA! I'm chanting - can you tell? Jill is pure awesomeness. You two will be a dynamic duo! Mucho congrats. xo

    ReplyDelete
  78. Oh! That's one of the best contest and/or signing stories I've heard. Yay, you! and yay, Jill!
    You and I "met" during NaNo 2009, but I don't think I ever had your blog address, so I wandered over from Dana's. So happy to see this!

    ReplyDelete
  79. I have NO idea how I missed this the other day, but CONGRATS!!!!!!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  80. I can most definitely believe this is your story. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm and you're enthusiasm is FDIC insured! Congratulations....author.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Huge congratulations, Jessica! I hope you're able to shout news of a quick sale soon. :)

    ReplyDelete
  82. Congratulations! This is such amazing news and an awesome WriteOnCon success story! Have you already shared it with the WOC ladies? I'm sure they'll be pumped to hear :)

    ReplyDelete
  83. That is so awesome I want to puke! Great story. Totally love it. Congratulations :)

    ReplyDelete
  84. Jessica, I'm so happy for you, but also not surprised! w00t!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Ack!! I missed this. CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!! So awesome ;o) LOVE the story.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I'm so thrilled for you, Jessica! I love hearing stories like this. Sorry I'm a little late on celebrating. *Happy Dance*

    ReplyDelete
  87. Congratulations, Jessica!! That is an awesome story and I can't wait to read the awesome Novel that made it happen!
    p.s. I love me some WriteOnCon!!

    ReplyDelete
  88. So, you know. A girl plans this ultimate trip to Ireland (smack in the middle of NaNo, mind you), comes back to house guests, a holiday, food babies (yes, plural), and finally gets around to going through her blog reader.

    Just to find a blog friend has had an agent now for ~2 wks and I didn't know! ACK! CONGRATS! Muppet arms are right! Catching up on all your blogs has been such a trip (um, hello? SHATTER ME release party? for reals?), but this? THIS?!

    This is awesome and gives me goosebumps. Congrats!

    ReplyDelete