Tag Archives: The Call

The Analogy Machine, the-call-part-five, and other stories

Just to keep you waiting, other stories come first:

I sprained my ankle this weekend. Rock climbing. I fell off the wall and my ankle went snap. Now I am officially The Invalid. It’s kind of nice because my friends are very helpful. But it’s not nice at all because the health center is closed so I have no crutches — and I’m not sure how I’m going to get to my 8 am class. Bright side? Suddenly I have lots of time to revise.

Now for the Analogy Machine: There’s nothing like having an agent.

fireworks 5

Once upon a time, I submitted my TI query letter for the Kidlit contest. The next day, I got an email in my inbox from someone named Ammi-Joan Paquette. She’s an associate agent with the Erin Murphy Literary Agency and she really liked the sound of my query letter. One week later she’d read my full manuscript and fallen in love with it. The rest was history.

She’s awesome. She’s determined, passionate about my book, super cool. She’s been an agent since last April and she’s already a pro — I talked with some of her clients and they had nothing but wonderful things to say about her. And I am still walking on the clouds, pinching myself every now and then because I dreamed about this for ages — and it’s finally reality!

The scoop right now: we’re working on some revisions and then — I’ll keep you all updated! We both have high hopes…

(Tomorrow… will be awesome. Come back.)


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The Call (part four): Be careful what you wish for



The fireworks just won’t stop. Luckily I have lots of July 4th-esque pictures on my computer, so no sign of running out yet. But really, be careful what you wish for. I always thought it would be the coolest thing ever to have two agents want my book — and it is cool. Really really cool. But my fantasies forgot the stressful part.

Writers want agents who are:

  • passionate about the book!
  • convinced it will sell
  • knowledgeable about the market/industry
  • willing to spend lots of time marketing the book to editors, so —
  • passionate about the book!

What if two agents don’t just meet the requirements, but blow them away?


Well, yes. Fireworks.

Lots of time thinking, too. Researching. Thinking.

Will keep you updated. Off to think.


PS: I have to tell this Halloween story:

We were walking downtown on Saturday night, all cold and kind of creeped out because of Sketchy People (yes, capital letters!) — when this homeless man JUMPED out at us and yelled —


And as we were screaming and running away, he was like (in a smoker-gravelly voice) —

“Well hey, it’s Halloween…”

And it made my day. What a great guy. It was, after all, Halloween, and kudos to him for scaring us to death.


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The Call (part three)


My mind... still!

With all this craziness, I haven’t had much time to reflect. But after about three years of waiting and preparing for this moment, I want to take a look backwards. How did I (romantic-dreamer-college student with a huge passion for writing) get here (maybe-almost-sometime-soon agented)? I think I can pick out a few defining moments.

I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen. It was called THE CAPTIVES, and was some sort of fantastical journey about this girl named Brin and a love interest named Prindell. His nickname was Prin, and while I don’t think I meant for their names to rhyme, they are certainly the strangest-named leading pair ever. Fax paus? I think so. Anyway, I don’t remember why I started writing (or finished writing) this novel. But it sparked everything. I was hooked. I was a writer. I was going to be an author someday . . .

Summer 2008 (with a lot more words and a lot more determination on my side), I went to the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference. My grandparents and parents generously provided the opportunity for me to go, and it changed the way I wrote forever. I learned that much more goes into a novel than plain talent and thousands of words. Craft and technique shape everything. I learned about Donald Maas’s book “Writing the Breakout Novel“, learned how to structure plot (Blake Snyder’s fifteen beats), learned how to ratchet up tension and pull out all the stops and create unforgettable characters. I had the terrifying and exciting experience of pitching to an agent and an editor… and got to network and chat with lots of other writers.

Then there were the millions (probably not an exaggeration) of hours I spent researching how to write a query, query, what to do once an agent is interested, what to say when you get The Call… also hours spent reading agent blogs, publishing blogs, Publishers Lunch, industry news… also hours spent stalking all those lucky authors out there who have publishing contracts and published books. And hours spent on Absolute Write. That website saved my life. I’ll talk more about it later, because I need at least one full post, possibly more, to explain how brilliantly helpful those people are.

So love, yes, for writing got me here. Obviously. Do I want to count all the hours I’ve spent at the keyboard? No. Only a certain, crazy obsession for writing books could cause me to pour so much of my life into this dream. But craft gave me the gigantic heave-ho that somehow got me this far. And I can honestly say that I feel quite prepared to face whatever’s next.



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The Call (part two)



Today went like this:

Morning: Class (why is the clock so slooooooow?)

Afternoon: Work and class (why is the clock even slooooooower?)

6:15: Dinner at the cafeteria. (oh. my. gosh. what if agent calls?! what if my phone buzzes but I can’t feel it? what if I say something dumb? how do I still have friends when all I can talk about is AGENT?)

6:25: Time for some different food. Like ice cream or something sugary. My friend and I walk back into the cafeteria from the patio, chatting.

6:27: Phone rings. I don’t recognize the area code.

Me: Ooooooh my gosh–

Friend: Girl, you got this —

And then I run out of the cafeteria.

Me: Hello?

Mystery caller: Hello, this is AGENT.

. . . and then I talked on the phone with a real, live agent who loves my book. And I had to sit down on the ground because I was so shaky. And then I ran back into the cafeteria and all my friends started screaming, and I think everyone thought we were crazy, but that’s okay. Three big thoughts:

  2. I’ve been dreaming of this for three years — and it’s happening!!
  3. I wish I was home to celebrate.

More updates to come, so stay close. I’ve been running on adrenaline these last few days and now I’m crashing big time — so before I hit bottom I think I’ll do some homework to celebrate. C’est la life of a college student.


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The Call (part one)

Maybe I’m being presumptuous by labeling this Part One. But sometime in the next 24 or 48 or something hours, I just might be talking to an agent on the telephone.

Email: Wow — this is phenomenal. Are you available to talk on the phone sometime?


So today: seven cures for the endless wait.

7. Write a paper. Well… only if you have to. Yesterday I was so CRAZY that I would write one sentence and then check my email and then dance around my room, and then . . . But I did get the paper done, don’t worry.

6. Obsess over a new song, blast the speakers and dance. My song: Fireflies by Owl City. I think I listened to it twenty times yesterday while I *wrote* my paper.

5. Eat chocolate (Wrapper: Buy yourself flowers today. I didn’t, but — anyone?)

4. Lie in the parking lot beneath the streakiest, wildest sunset in the world (with the silliest, bestest friends in the world) and make up emo song-titles about the colors (we got: bruised sky, bleeding clouds) . . .

3. Revel in thousands of butterflies every time your phone rings.

2. Laugh.

1. SCREAM! The possibilities are endless 🙂


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