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I have an agent!

I have finally picked an agent. I had no idea this process was going to be downright brutal - stressful and nerve-wracking and hard! I was very lucky that I didn't face much rejection (those are the benefits of being already-published and fine-tuning the list of agents to query), but I didn't really realize just how worked up I would get about the actual decision until I started crying - out of the blue - earlier this week. Totally weird, and totally yuck. Here's how it all went down:

First, I picked a very limited list of agents I was interested in approaching, based on feedback from my editors and author friends. I sent a query letter, a couple chapters from my Summer 2010 Simon Pulse novel (to give future-agent a feel for my new writing style!), and a proposal and sample chapters for a fun new project I've been working on. I got a great response (hurdle 1: success! I know this is the hardest part for most people, so I was feeling a big sense of triumph about this), and felt pretty great about the people I was talking to. But my gut was telling me nothing!! Nothing at all! That's totally not right, since I am usually a jump-to-conclusions immediately sort of gal.

Second, I was lucky enough to have a trip to New York in the middle of this (last week), at which point I had dinner with my editor, who sensed my frustration with my gut (which still refused to guide me toward a decision). So my editor said: "Please call just this one last agent before you make any decisions." My editor is smart, and so I took her advice and I emailed this guy that night with the same materials I had sent the others.

In the middle of all of this, I continued to write. I've been working on my chapters, fine-tuning the proposal, getting a bigger piece of the book ready for submission. So even though there was crying and stress and frustration, I was still working. Otherwise, I would have been a heap of mess.

So on Monday morning, I get an email from this one last guy saying he has read my stuff and can we talk? Yes! So we talked, I really loved our conversation, and I've heard great things about him all around. I just don't personally know any of his clients, so I have to take the "rumor has it" word for it and comments about him on his clients' blogs, etc. at face value, and assume he really is great. The night of our conversation, while I fussed and fretted and watched a little Biggest Loser, suddenly my gut popped into the picture and said "Hey! Here, dear, is your decision!"

Finally, Wednesday, I emailed the final agent and said I was ready to go. Of course, I somehow got spam-filtered out of his email inbox, so I sat worrying and wondering and certain that he'd changed his mind about me in the 24 hours since we'd spoken. But no! An email popped up later that night, and I actually really and truly have an agent. His name is Michael Bourret, and I will meet him in person on my birthday, October 21. In the meantime, I hope to get my proposal all polished up and fancy-like and maybe it will be in its future-publisher's hands by the time we get that birthday cocktail. Or maybe I have finally signed with an agent so someone will be there to tell me I'm a little crazy when I think things like that.