aka how I found out an agent offered me representation.
I am THRILLED to announce that I am now represented by
I met Jim when I attended the NINC conference in White Plains, New York a week and a half ago. He was on the infamous agent roundtable discussion. (You can read Jim’s take on it here.) The panel got quite heated, but Jim was the voice of reason through it all. I liked that he was EXCITED about the future of publishing and I could tell it wasn’t lip service to a room full of multi-published authors. He MEANT it. He kept his head and his temper and he made ME excited that I could find an agent who would get excited about who I am, what I’ve done, and wants to partner with me to build my career.
After the panel, I approached him and told him how impressed I was with how he handled himself. I asked him when he thought I would be attractive to an agent. (Some of the agents on the panel made it clear that my sales figures didn’t qualify me for their league.) He told me I was attractive now and invited me to email him after the conference.
Honestly, I thought he was being polite. I told my crit partner Trisha Leigh and she encouraged me to email him anyway.
And I almost didn’t.
I worried he would see my approach at the conference as manipulative, and it wasn’t. I had no expectation of him asking me to email him. And I also have to admit that I didn’t want to get rejected. I was over sending queries and getting rejections. Bad reviews are enough negativity these days. But Trisha encouraged me to do it anyway.
So I did. Late Sunday night, after I got back home (getting out right before Hurricane Sandy hit) and after I put my kids went to bed, I sent Jim an lengthy email telling him about my books, my sales, and what I have going on in the background. I wanted to send it before I dove back into writing THERE the next morning, which was due in seven days. But after I hit “send” I noticed the time stamp and groaned. It was something like 12:30 am, which reeks of desperation.
Two strikes against me: Apparent manipulator who is desperate.
But to my surprise, he emailed me the next day and said he wanted to read CHOSEN and TWENTY-EIGHT AND A HALF WISHES. I sent him the files, and then I forgot about it. I was in the middle of writing 40,000 words in nine days. I was busy. And I was expecting a rejection.
Last Thursday, I got a text from Trisha:
Did Jim McCarthy just call and offer you representation?
He had tweeted that he had just offered an author representation. I hadn’t gotten a phone call, but I realized I hadn’t sent him my phone number either. (It had been awhile since I queried.) I checked my email and there was a message from him.
Sending Trisha a text back was difficult. I had a really hard time getting my fingers to cooperate, and what I did text was full of few excited expletives and exclamation points. Trisha got away from her desk at work to call me and we literally read the email together.
Jim liked what he read and wanted to represent me.
Jim and I tried calling each other multiple times over the next few days, but the circuits were still down in New York so we conversed through emails until we could finally talk on the phone this week. He’s excited about my writing and wants to be part of my next project. I think he’s forward thinking and can help me build my career.
I’ve had some very exciting things going on the last month (which I can’t announce yet) and signing with Jim just made it even more fantastic. My career has done better than I ever anticipated when I published my first book sixteen months ago, but I think things just got brighter.