Thursday, January 26, 2012

How I Got My Agent!

First, some mood music:


So, you want to know how I got my agent?

Short answer: The old-fashioned way. Via the slush pile. 

Long answer: I’d like to take you all back to January 8th, 1985. I was born naked and helpless…okay, maybe let’s skip a few years. In January 2010, I had a baby (a wonderful, magnificent, sweet baby named Ben). He slept through the night from under 3 months old, in addition to napping 3-plus hours in the day. Being on maternity leave, I had an AWFUL lot of free time on my hands that I was COMPLETELY not used to having (a year—I live in Canada). So naturally, instead of relaxing, I decided to write a book—something I’ve always wanted to do, but had been too intimidated to try. 

In 3 months time, I wrote a book.  I joined a website,, where I met my internet bestie/crit partner, whom you all know as Ruth Lauren Steven. After an initial major bitch moment from me (which we shall not discuss!), Ruth and I began exchanging critiques and became fast friends. We moved on to another website,, where I met a ton of amazing friends who were, in addition to Ruth, completely invaluable in honing my writing. This book needed the rest of the year to edit, as it was sucky. Boring and sucky and will never see the light of day. But I learned a lot.

After this book I began another, which I gave up after a whopping 26,000 words because I had AN IDEA. An idea for a YA Urban Fantasy that I couldn’t ignore. I needed to write it—now. So I did—3 months later, my 81,000-word book was complete. And it needed less than a week of editing until I felt ready to start querying. I felt confident! I loved the book and my query letter felt strong. I knew this was going to be IT. Then the rejections started rolling in. After the first 15, I was starting to feel pretty dejected. I know 15 is not that much in the bigger picture, but 15 in a row after I’d felt so confident? Well let’s just say my confidence waned. But then I got a partial. From a major agent. The next day, another partial from a major agent. A few weeks later, the first partial-requester wanted the full. I almost died! That meant she read the first 50 pages plus synopsis and liked it. My book??!! A huge happy moment for me. But it wasn’t the first. Over the next few weeks, the full requests started rolling in. Six in total (Nine if you count the 3 requests I got after I’d already landed my agent!)

Then came the holidays, when all of the literary world shuts down from December 23rd to January 3rd. This was a dark time. There was a lot of internet stalking involved, which I’m not proud of. Then came January 11th. I got a reply from one of those agents. She’d just finished reading the book…and completely loved it! She wanted to set up a time to talk on the phone. AHHHHHHH!! She called the next day and offered me representation (in addition to giving me a HUGE ego boost with all her compliments about the book). My initial reaction was to say “YES! WHERE DO I SIGN? MWUHAHAHAH I’VE GOT YOU NOW!” But there were other agents who had my full. In order to be professional, I needed to give them the courtesy of replying to my manuscript.  I alerted the other agents, and holy crap, several of them were interested, too! But in the end, it was the first agent’s major enthusiasm and extreme likability that sold me. So now I’m repped by Adriann Ranta at Wolf Literary. Wohoo!! 

Here's me signing my contract. There was absolutely no preparation involved here. It's just a totally candid picture.


  1. Congratulations! I knew it was only a matter of time before you landed an agent, because you're a super talented writer. I'm not in the least bit surprised by all the interest in your book. It's amazing!

  2. Congratulations, Michelle! I'm sure this is just the first of many big moments for you in your writing career!

  3. Aww, thanks you two! What nice things to say!

  4. Loving that pic, just loving it : D

  5. Replies
    1. Well it's completely necessary! I love my contract signing pic : D

  6. Congrats, Michelle! That's great to hear your hard work paid off and it certainly gives hope to the rest of us still querying!

  7. Thanks, Rachel! I'm glad you liked the post :)

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  9. I figured I would use your newly established blog spot as a medium to offer some much deserved kudos.


  10. I am so chuffed for you, Michelle. Much deserved. No wonder all the agents were scrambling to sign you. Now everyone will have the opportunity to read your wonderful writing.

  11. Ian--Thanks!! So happy you checked out my blog!

  12. Hopefully, Amaleen!! Step 1 is accomplished, at least! (and thanks :) )

  13. Aha - deja-vu :-)
    (Just been reading Ruth's blog)

  14. Fantastic news and your story gives us all hope....

    I am not an author, just a mere first timer writer and writing about an event that happen to me. The first chapter is on my blog, I have another 8 already edited and I am half way thro the story. So much to do and just loving the journey. Please feel free to have a look at my blog, follow and if you wish, comment.

    Great to connect with you and the very best of luck,

  15. Glad you liked the post, Dave. I'll definitely check out your blog :) And thanks for the well wishes!

  16. Congrats! You make me want to keep writing and one day try to query.

    I started my first book in 2009 and finished a year later. I haven't tried to do anything with it but love the idea of one day getting it out there. Mostly I'm a mom to an awesome little guy and loving the adventure he brings.

    Loved reading your posts, if interested...check me out at

  17. Thanks, Christina! Definitely keep writing if you're enjoying it. I'll check out your blog :)