I've mentioned before that when I set out to write the novel currently known as THE NAMELESS PRINCE (Balzer+Bray, 2018) over five years ago, I had zero intention of trying to publish. I wrote a book for the specific purpose of proving to myself I could do it. And then I edited that book to prove to myself that I could do that, too. Over time, though, it occurred to me that this book I had created was maybe possibly *whispers* just as good as the stuff that was getting published. I started to think about querying agents.
I waffled on that point for at least a year until I finally worked up the courage to send the first three chapters to an incredibly good-hearted writer friend who had offered to give me feedback several months earlier. Fifteen minutes after I hit "Send," I got her response via email, arguably the greatest email I have ever received in my life:
IT'S TIME TO SEND.
I am going to go cry into a bag of some sort of corn-syruped salty thing because DAMN GIRL. I mean DAMN.
Friends, that kind of affirmation does not come one's way very often in the course of life. Before I could second guess myself, I sent out my first five queries and, a week later, got a request for the full manuscript from Holly Root of Waxman Leavell.
I mean, holy shit, HOLLY ROOT. Do you know who Holly Root is? Because I do, and holy shit.
I happened to be having lunch with one of my critique partners when Holly's request hit my inbox, and I'm pretty sure everyone in Panera wondered what all the screaming was about.
From the end of April through early July, I kept 5-7 queries active at all times. By the time Holly offered rep in mid-July, I had sent out around 20 queries in total. I knew within about five seconds of that phone conversation that she was the agent of my dreams. (I have to say, Salty is my native tongue, and she speaks it beautifully.) I accepted her offer on July 13 and signed the contract on Bastille Day. Allons enfants de la Patrie!
And that's when the real fun started.