I was talking to a friend last night about how much time has passed since I starting writing this series of books. What’s weird is that it feels like very little time has passed actually. I’ve never once struggled to complete a story or agonized over how to begin a sequel. I’ve been lucky that my ideas come naturally and I manage to round out a book as if it’s simply a fun little game. But when I look back at this time last year I realize I was finishing Call Me Emily. Yes, a year ago. And what I always thought about writing was that an author would finish her book, do some quick edits, and then send it to an agent where she would find herself in a lucrative contract almost immediately. Yeah, it doesn’t work that way.
Although I have spent the last year working on two more books, I have also poured over Call Me Emily numerous times and had friends review it. Finally, after many months it’s ready. (Can we all do a quick celebratory jump-clap combination?) The next step is to write an unbelievably excellent query letter and send the manuscript or part of it to some agents. Sounds pretty simple right? It’s not.
Each agent has their individual requirements for a query letter as well as how and to what degree the manuscript is presented. Think of it like going on an interview. Only, you have to write a specific resume for each person who interviews you. And you have to bring with you individual portfolios specific to each interviewer. And hope, fingers-crossed, that you got it right. Then, to make it even more difficult, take your pretty-little face out of the equation. So, an interview in-effect, without you there; just your work. And it MUST speak for itself.
I plan to do all of this and hope, again fingers-crossed, that the agents actually respond to me. (Sometimes they don’t.) Luckily for me, I believe that one agent will. He or she will read Call Me Emily and feel the magic I felt when I wrote it. Because, it truly is a great story. And, when I write the query I’ll write more than simply, “it’s a great story,” I swear.
So, come January, after agents return from holiday, I’ll send out queries. Wish me luck!