Friday, December 11, 2009

Unofficial Official Agent Day

Among the weary, frustrated querying masses (and yes, I was part of your ranks--I'd even been promoted to a Lieutenant after spending nearly two years in the trenches), there's an insidious idea that tends to creep in. Much like the rats that eat our rations, negative ideas nibble at us and we begin to view ourselves as almost in opposition to agents.

If they'd just give me a shot!

If one--ONE--would just read this!

If THEY'D QUIT RUINING MY DREAMS!

I remember what an editor said at a conference I once went to. She said, "We're not your enemies. We want your book to be good. We want to love it. You just have to give us something we can love." That completely changed the way I viewed myself in relation to agents. It wasn't a matter of somehow tricking them into representing you. It was a matter of finding that person, the right person, who loves what you write.

Writing is lonely. It's frustrating, and disappointing, and rejection combined with waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting and then STARTING COMPLETELY OVER TO WAIT AGAIN) wears you down to the point that you begin to question why you write in the first place and whether or not there is anything redeeming in your writing.

I will tell you this right now: Even if you never get an agent or book deal, your writing is worthwhile. Always. Never doubt that.

But I digress. Because this isn't about you. Or me. This is about my agent, Michelle Wolfson.

Michelle, who plucked my query from her slush and wanted to read more.

Michelle, who about gave me a heart attack when she called me to rave about my book.

Michelle, who put together a thoughtful and smart sub list for Flash.

Michelle, who stuck it out with me when Flash didn't sell.

Michelle, who was just as excited about Paranormalcy as she'd ever been about Flash even though I worried after not selling once.

Michelle, who nailed the submission and absolutely and completely rocked my book deal.

Michelle, who has remained actively involved in everything, and who, I have no doubt, will continue to be my partner in every aspect of this journey.

Michelle, who is more than I ever hoped I'd find in a literary agent.

Michelle, who, to put it simply, is freaking amazing.

She made my dreams (that for a long time felt like they'd never be anything but) come true. I very literally couldn't have done this without her.

Agents are a writer's best friend. I hope you find yours someday soon, too.

(For more agenty adoration, thank Kody for coming up with the idea and hit Lisa and Laura's blog for links to more of the lovefest.)

30 comments:

VĂ©ro said...

I'm loving all this agent appreciation today! It makes me feel like I'm getting a little window into all of these different agents and how they interact with their writers!

Tanvi said...

Michelle Wolfson is practically divine, isn't she?

I hope I find someone like her too :D [Or, I could query her straight off? I should probably go through the editing stage patiently though o.O]

Looking forward to Paranormalcy Kiersten! :D

Andrea Cremer said...

Woo-hoo! Agent lovefest makes me so happy :)

Linda G. said...

Since I just signed with Michelle myself (!!!), reading your post makes me very, very happy. I already had a really good feeling about her; now you've confirmed it. :)

Marybeth Poppins said...

Love the post! And love your agent too! She rocks.

Kiersten White said...

Tanvi, she IS practically divine : ) And thanks for your excitement!

Linda, yay! Michelle is AWESOME. You definitely made the right choice : )

And thanks, everyone. I (heart) my agent. 5'0" of pure, spitfire genius.

SM Blooding said...

I love Agent Appreciation Day! I get to hear why the agents are GOOD instead of the complaining. I LOVE that!!!

Linda G. said...

Funny, she sounded much taller on the phone...

And, yeah, I'm very happy with my choice. :)

Kiersten White said...

HA! Oh, wow, Linda, I'm so excited for her to read that. But yes. In Agent Inches she's at least 7'2".

Linda G. said...

Oh, at least. Maybe even 7'3".

Stephanie L. McGee said...

It sounds like you found the exactly perfect agent for you. I can't wait for the day to come for me...sigh.

Loving Agent Day!

Katie said...

Whoa. what a post!

YAY for agents who rock!

Whirlochre said...

I'm still awaiting the ultimate agent/writer synchronised tap dance routine.

But for now — glad to hear the synergy still rocks.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Hooray for all of those wonderful agents out there!!!

Without them we might all be sitting out on street corners--lemonade stand style--begging people to read our books. : )

Kristin said...

There must be some kind of Awesome inherent in the name "Michelle." (<---represented my Michelle Andelman.)

Congrats on your incredible agent and you're book-which-I-cannot-wait-to-read! :D Happy Agent Day, Michelle!

Daisy Whitney said...

This was such a great idea. I sent my post to my agent and she said it made her day! See, they do need appreciation!!!

Natalie Whipple said...

Michelle does rock, and I'm so glad you guys found each other! You make such a great team!

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca Knight said...

Awww, this is fabulous! :) It's great to read about someone's journey from slush warrior to person with a book deal. Rock on!

ElanaJ said...

She sounds amazing! Happy Agent Day to her!

Liam said...

Looking forward to Para! 8 months and ten days, I think. Or maybe nine. I was never good at math.

Kristan said...

AWWW. I've never felt any negativity towards agents, but I can see that many do. I'm glad to see you sending positive vibes their way. And glad that you and Michelle have such a wonderful relationship. I can't wait to find my own "agent true love" someday. :D

Michelle Wolfson said...

I feel very much not up to the challenge of expressing MY appreciation for such an incredible post, but thank you so much Kiersten. You make this job fun. And thanks for all the great comments as well. It means a lot to me. This was an unexpected yet completely wonderful addition to my day.

lora96 said...

It is so wonderful that you found someone who understood and protected your vision! That's the dream, right?

I'm so glad you found Michelle--the two of you are bringing us Paranormalcy and the sequel, and I can't wait to read them :)

litdiva.blogspot.com

V. S said...

Congrats on having such an incredible agent.

Corra McFeydon said...

I like what you said about the epiphany at the conference:

Of course they wouldn't want us to fail.

I'm going to be viewing agents differently from now on. Thanks.

Corra :)

Indigo said...

Totally enjoying reading these agent appreciation post! As someone newly dipping her toe in that pool, these words are a godsend. Agents do come across in the beginning as horrifying. I'm starting to think it's more about how willing you are to stick it out and find the right one. Thanks! (Hugs)Indigo

Bethany Wiggins said...

Your agent sounds awesome. Congrats!

Terresa said...

Loved the intro for this post. Inspiring, as I'm in the trenches right now with such a long road to climb.

Your agent sounds like a Bond agent, an uber agent. Lucky you!! :)

Corra McFeydon said...

A hand-made trackback since I can’t figure out how to do it the auto way. :)


I linked this article at my blog:



from the desk of a writer