It happened over email. She peppered me with questions – almost like we were speed-dating.
Would I be open to making some serious edits to my book?
I was making major changes even as we emailed.
I had trouble convincing myself that she was actually interested in my book. Yes, she was asking me questions. But this thought kept haunting me: she’d change her mind.
I’d read interviews with her. That’s got to be a ritual for every writer who has signed with an agent since the dawn of the Internet: Google the hell out of them.
She said she gets 50-100 queries a day and signs maybe 4-5 writers a year. What infinitesimally small odds. What insane, ludicrous, absolutely mind-boggling odds. How was it that my flawed, hole-filled manuscript caught her eye?
It was a fluke.
Then, she wrote and offered representation.
I was at work.
Unable to focus on anything.
I walked outside and called my wife. I told her that I couldn’t have done it without her. I meant that, and I know it’s true.
After work, I bought two cigars – not one, two! I called my dad, my sister, my mom. I called my friends. I emailed editors who helped me along the way.
It was the next day when it really hit me, though. I posted on Facebook:
Still in disbelief that I landed an agent! Especially one who has repped over 30 NYT bestsellers! So #grateful and looking forward to working with The Bent Agency’s editorial team… Trying to enjoy every step of the journey.
Thank you to everyone who has helped and encouraged me over the years. If anyone has a lifelong dream they’ve buried, dig it up. Do the tiniest bit of work toward making it happen. Then, work on it more. And work on it more. And keep working on it. The universe is watching!
I want to write more books now. And more and more.
The night I got an agent, a friend reached out to me. He asked me to build a website for his business. I turned him down. That’s something I’d never been able to do in the past. I said no thanks to several thousands dollars so that I could focus entirely on my book. It was a turning point.
I signed the contract in blue ink. Scanned it. Emailed it in.
I put my daughter to bed. Spun up her mobile (10 revolutions every night). I rubbed her hair. Gave her my best fatherly advice: “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Then, I shut the door and went outside. I smoked the cigars. Both of them.