That call? The one that makes you feel like you haven't been wasting your time and fooling yourself? It came in an email first, for me anyway. In the email, Carly said she really liked The Princess and the Please and thought it had great commercial potential. She asked what I wanted in an agent and could she phone me? Um, YES! So she did.
You think it went like this: once we went through edits and revisions, Carly sends off the manuscript, editors and publishers loved it, and Carly phones to tell me I have to decide which book deal I want to take. That's a lovely ending. But it's not the one that happened.
We did go through revisions and Carly did send it out to editors and publishers. They did not love it as we did. They did not offer any such deal but they did offer us best wishes. While this was happening and I was at home wondering, every single day, if today would be the day, I began writing more and more. I sent some of that writing to my agent who responded with feedback. Still, I waited. I wrote. Waited, wrote, waited, wrote.
What's the worst thing that can happen? This book isn't going to work so you and your agent get the next project ready to go and try again, right? Maybe. In a lot of cases, I'm sure it does. For me, I got another email asking about a good time to phone. I thought (hoped, prayed, and wished) that it would be to talk about my contemporary romance novel that I had sent her a couple of months prior. It wasn't.
For me, this part of the story ended like this: Carly phoned to say that while I was professional to work with and had done nothing wrong, Princess wasn't getting picked up and she wasn't in love with any of the writing I had sent her in the mean time. She felt that she was no longer the best agent to represent me and this would be the end of our journey together.
Questions and thoughts that jump around like mini madmen in your mind:
"It's me, isn't it?", "Will I ever get another agent?", "Is this a sign?", "Did I make this happen?", "Do I actually have talent or was this a fluke?" All of those questions, and more, looped through my brain and still do. Really though, it's just a matter of it no longer being the best fit. No hard feelings, unpleasant words, or mixed messages. I suppose it could have gone down differently but in the end, it's the most civilized "break-up" I've ever had and we didn't even have to give each other back our stuff. She didn't unfriend me on Goodreads or block me on Twitter. In fact, she said she'd give me some advice on the last thing I sent her and if I had questions, I knew she was always around on Twitter.
Was it easy? No. Was I sad? Yes. Can I do anything about it? Yes and No. I can't make her take me back but we parted ways gracefully so I can only hope that it means new things will come. I've spoken of the writing community many times in the past year and once again, they are this amazing group of people that don't hate you if you succeed and don't pretend not to know you if you don't. I emailed Tanya, spoke to Carolyn (storytime), and reached out to new friends made on Twitter. They offered regret on my behalf, words of wisdom, and positive encouragement. How much more can you ask for than that?
It's not the ending I wanted or any author wants. I doubt it's the phone call or ending Carly wanted either. So what now? Well, I still have the Children's Festival next week, which I thought I should cancel because I was feeling like a 'fraud'. Then I decided no, I still have things to offer, things that made Carly notice my work in the first place. I'll do that. I'll keep getting to know the writing community. I'll keep writing and reading. I'll keep hoping it wasn't a fluke.
Five things that wouldn't have happened if I had not gone to the writer's conference that weekend:
All Addison Cole Agency Mate A.J. Pine Amanda Heger Amara Amazon Am Writing Amy Trueblood Angel's Lake Appreciation Author Author Friends Author Interview Authors Awards A Way With Words A Writer Needs Balance BEA14 Becky Albertalli Behind The Scenes Belief Be Yourself Bliss Blog Hop Blogs Blog Tour Bonus Material Book 2 Book Blitz BookBub Book Deal Book News Book Release Books Busy Carly Phillips Caught Looking Chris Pratt Christmas Christmas Titles Cindi Madsen Co Author Co Authoring Co-authoring Coming Soon Complete Randomness Contest Contests Cover Reveal Cozy Mysteries Dahlia Adler Dangerous Love Dawn Ius Daylight Falls Draw Ebooks Editing Editors Elliot Email Entangled Entangled Bliss Entangled Publishing Entangled Under The Mistletoe Enter To Win Excerpt Excited Extra Faith Falling For Home Falling For Kate Family Fan Girling Father's Dday Forever Forgetful Friends In Many Places Friends To Lovers Fun Giveaway Giveaways Giving Back Goals Good News Grateful Gratitude Guest Blogs Happiness Harper St. George Holiday Reads Holiday Romance Holidays Hop Hope InD'tale Magazine Jaded Love Jennifer Blackwood Jennifer Shirk Jim Cangany Joanne Macgregor Jody Holford Julia A Webber Kara Leigh Miller Karma Brown Kat Colmer Kate Keep Believing Keep Going Keep Trying Keep Writing Kelly Siskind Kendrick Place Series Kensington Publishing Kids Books Kindle Learning Curve Lexi Lawton Life Lindsey Duga Listening Literary Agent Literary Counsel Looking Back Lori Foster Love Lovestruck Love Unexpected Meant To Be Mentor Michelle Hauck Moments Montlake More Than Friends Moving On Need To Write Networking New Beginnings New Release Newsletter New Year Novellas Office Parenting Parting Ways Penner Publishing Persona Perspective Picture Books #PitchWars Public Identity Publishing Publishing House Mate Publishing Mate Puppies Query Trenches Rafflecopter Rainbow Rowell Random Reading Rejection Rhyme Romance Romance Chicks RomCom Sale Self Pub Sequel Sequels Series Sexy And Sweet Shannyn Schroeder Short Stories Signed Paperbacks Small Press Sneak Peek Social Media Some Kind Of Christmas Song Lyrics Space Speechless Story Books Stuck In A Book Subjectivity Summer Summer Carnival Sun Vs. Snow Support Support Network Suspense Sweet Tasty Book Tours Teaching Thanks Thanksgiving Thank You The Bad Boy Next Door The Mending Hearts Series Tiffany Truitt Time To Write Toolkit Top Ten Toronto Romance Writers Trust Under The Lights USA TODAY HEA Waiting What Matters Who's Who Wednesday Word Bank Writer's Block Writer's Brain Writing Writing And Baseball Writing Community Writing Pal Writing Pals Writing Process YA