Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Agent Story! (How Michelle Wolfson offered representation.)

As you can see, this is my very first blog post! And I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to upload it later… but I’ll do my best!

I just wanted to share with you, friends and fellow-writers, my AGENT STORY!

I’ve been writing for years now, and it has been a LONG journey since I began writing in Spanish. What? I hear you say.  Yeah, I’m a native Spanish speaker and my first two books couldn’t land an agent here, in Chile, because there are NO agents where I live.  Or well, maybe there are like two, but I couldn’t find any. 

So I said to myself, “Okay, I’ll write in English, then.” (I’d learned during an exchange program in high-school.) So I wrote what I thought was going to be the next bestseller--sure, you can laugh at me, I give you my permission. ;)

I had no idea everything was going to be so difficult!  First, I had overestimated my English knowledge.  Second, after I sent more than 50 queries and received just a couple of requests, I realized I didn’t know how to write. 

Despite feeling utterly rejected, I didn’t give up.  I wrote a second novel in English.  Got like 3 critique groups, critique partners, writing classes, you name it.  Held up my breath and sent 100 queries.  Got 7 requests, which later turned into rejections, and the rest, all big, fat Rs.  
I wondered if what I was doing was crazy—if I had wasted years of my life for nothing.  But then I realized that no matter what, I would still write.  Because I loved it.

So I got up from my sorrow bed, and wrote a third book in English.  And my query stats increased dramatically. I just couldn’t believe it!  

I was waiting impatiently for the agents to answer when I read about the Baker’s Dozen Auction.  I just couldn’t miss that opportunity! So I entered and was lucky enough to get chosen.  But I was scared to death because most of the agents in the auction happened to be the ones who had already rejected my query.  So I was pretty sure no agent would be interested in my ms. Boy, was I wrong.  In the end, even the agents who had already rejected my query bid for reading pages of my YA novel.  (What??) I know! So weird.  (I have a theory, though: my query wasn’t as good as my first page? I don’t know, otherwise I can’t explain what happened in the auction.  And I even got a shower of requests when the auction ended.)

I sent my fulls/partials that weekend and did what I always did and hated to do.  I waited.  Until one morning, I woke up, grabbed my iPod from my nightstand—without my glasses on—to check out my email. 

The first thing I saw was this blurry Twitter notification.  Michelle Wolfson is now following you on Twitter.  I squinted at the iPod, the room still a bit dark.  No way, I thought.  She can’t be THE Michelle Wolfson (who by the way, I already loved—because, c’mon, she’s an AWESOME agent! :D). Anyway, agents don’t follow girls like me on Twitter… I mean, I was still pretty new to it.  

Then I read the following message: RE: Authoress Auction Requested. It was Michelle's reply to my full!  I quickly fumbled for my glasses and read the email.  SHE HAD LOVED MY MS!  You think I smiled?  Laughed?  NO! I started to cry like a baby.  

I called my husband, who was on his way to work, and I just couldn’t speak because I was still crying so hard.  He heard my sobs and almost drove back to the house to, I don’t know, take one of the kids to the hospital? Call the police? But luckily, I could muster the words, “I think I have an offer.”

Only after telling my husband that, I smiled! And I guess I haven’t stopped smiling ever since!
And then Michelle and I scheduled THE call :D

To be continued…

37 comments:

  1. I LOVE this story!! It's so inspiring. I had no idea English wasn't your native language...I never would have been able to tell! I can't wait to hear the rest of your story :)

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  2. You inspire me (but I'm sure you already know that).

    Can't wait for the next part of this story...even though I already know how it ends!

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  3. Kara, thanks so much for your comment! My first comment ever! LOL :D
    And yeah, I'm not at all a native speaker, and that's why I took sooooo long to start a blog! :)

    Jenny!! Oh, but hey, YOU inspire me!! Thanks so much for stopping by :D

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  4. What an awesome story!! I've been waiting for the big reveal, and this did not disappoint. Loving the bilingual part of the story.

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  5. LOVE IT! SO PROUD OF YOU, MONI, and so excited you found an agent--you totally deserve one!!!!

    XOXOXOXO
    Deb

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  6. Aww, you girls, thanks for your comments! You've made my day! :D

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  7. Wow - such a great story! And to tell you the truth, I knew you spoke two languages but had no idea which you were native in. ;) You rock!

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  8. So inspiring! I love how you kept on writing even though you'd already struggled in Spanish and in Enlglish.
    PS: Responding to all the comments on your blog helps cultivate followers. Just sayin'. :)

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  9. Yay, Monica has a blog! Your story is so inspiring, I'm totally motivated by your dedication. Here's to many more successes (and awesome blog posts)! :D

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  10. Thanks Robin! You're so sweet! :D And I could have sworn you knew! I mean, all the prepositions "mix-ups" I always make? And ask you guys to correct me? Like, "I sit IN the couch"?? Well I guess sometimes I'm just paranoid about my mistakes, lol.

    And Yahongchi, Thanks for leaving your comment and thanks for the advice, too! I can take plenty of those since, you know, I'm still wearing blog diapers! :D

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  11. Thanks Caitlin!! YEAH, Monica has a blog, FINALLY! LOL. I <3 that you stopped by to leave a comment! :D

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  12. I love that I knew you prior to getting an agent and got to see this agent story from behind the scenes. I love you and your writing and am thrilled that you finally found the agent that loves your work as much as we do.

    So congratulations on your offer. Hopefully someday I can send YOU an email saying 'Psssst - I have an offer!' too! :)

    It couldn't have happened to a nicer person, and I think Ms. Wolfson is a pretty awesome agent too. I can't wait to see your book on the bookshelves at B&N :)

    Shelley

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  13. What a great story! Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Congrats, Monica! And wow-- I, too, never would have been able to tell English isn't your first language.

    Can't wait to hear more about your journey and look forward to reading all about it :)

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  15. Congrats, Primis! Te felicito por todo el esfuerzo, coraje y merito tuyo!! Donde podemos leer tu tercer libro??

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  16. Love it! Want to be my Wolf Pack roomie? LOL! I did the same thing when she started following me on Twitter. Ahhhhh all that waiting is worth it in the end. Can't wait to read the rest. (((((((hugs)))))))

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  17. So happy to say I knew you back when! And now you are on your way to fame and fortune. Such a great story.
    Buena suerte!
    XXOO Betsy (from Gotham)

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  18. Shelley! I loved your comment! Thanks so much. And you know what? I think I'll soon get that "psst" email from you! :D

    Alyson, and thank YOU for leaving a comment! I took a peek at your blog and I loved the title! Cute picture on the top, too, btw!

    L.T Host, thanks for stopping by, too! I love to meet other writers around the blogosphere :D
    (I want to feed a giraffe too! LOL)

    Primis!! Gracias! :o) si quieres leerlo ahora te lo mando x mail... pero le falta haaarta edición todavía ;)

    Hi Kimberly! I thought we already were Wolf Pack rommies, LOL. But of course! I couldn't be more thilled to share this experience w/you!

    Betsy! Thanks for good vibes! XXOO to you too! :D

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  19. Ay Dios Mio!. What a GREAT STORY!!!! Congratulations. Ugh, I still have chills from all that awesomeness. wow.

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  20. Awesome story. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait for the rest of it!

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  21. Congratulations Monica! What a great story! I'm so happy for you and I can't wait to hear the rest. :D

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  22. I love your story, and I <3 you because you have 11 hens.

    I only have five and a rooster. But that's all the eggs we can eat.

    Can't wait to read your story because of your voice. And I'm not much on YA (shhh--don't tell!).

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  23. Hahaha had to ask again because you're so awesome!

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  24. Melanie, Kelley and Jenn, thanks so much for your thoughts! I'm soooo happy you enjoyed reading it! You have no idea! :D

    Sally, thanks for commenting, too! And I love to meet fellow hen-owner friends!! I have lots of hens (and now I have 10 cute little chicks, too) because my kids love eggs, lol.

    Kimberly: <33333

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  25. I loved your agent story and am so excited for you! Thanks for letting me read part of your ms. I'll be waiting for your book to get published so I can read the rest!

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  26. Felicitaciones sis, te lo mereces!

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  27. Oh my gosh, I'm excited and I only really sort of but not really kind of know you (we were in the Baker's Dozen together... so I definitely don't know you, but it's six degrees anyway.) Anyhoos, congrats!

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  28. Alice, and thank you for all your help! I'm glad you were part of it :D

    Thanks, sis!!!

    Hey Empress Awesome! Wow, it's really a small world. I think we should call it 2 degrees instead of 6, lol! Thanks! And nice to meet you!

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  29. Can I just say I think it's flipping awesome you decided to write books in English? I so want to write a book in Spanish or French. <3

    Loved the story! CONGRATS, again. :)

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  30. What a great moment that must have been:) Looking forward to the rest of the story, Monica!

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  31. Thanks, The Name is Ashelynn! And if you ever write that book in Spanish, LET ME KNOW! :D

    Hey Krista! Thanks for stopping by! :D I just left you a note on QT ;)

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  32. Hi, Monica, I loved your opening from the Baker's Dozen Contest, and caught myself rereading it. So, I was thrilled to hear you received representation!

    And, girl, I have four boys and let me say I have no more excuses! This wasn't even your first language! :)

    Huge congrats! Can't wait to see how you got to the computer on the second floor...
    Kristin

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  33. Hi Monica- I'm trying to figure out how long it would take me to learn Spanish well enough to sell un libro en espanol...It's not looking good! Congrats on getting an agent. I've heard good things about MIchelle Wolfson. :)

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  34. This is a great story. Thanks for sharing! I love to hear about people working hard and having it pay off. Very inspirational :)

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  35. Gracias Monica! It was really great to read your story!! I'm also writing in English even though it's not my mother tongue. I'm currently looking for a literature agent... I'll remember your story and believe that I'll find my agent sooner or later =D

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  36. Hey Anon! I'm glad you liked my story :D And I wish you luck writing in English! I hope you get an agent soon :D

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(Sorry for the word verification--I HATE it as much as you do, but I was getting flooded with spam. :P)