Basically, I asked the Internet if anyone would like to be my literary agent and they did.
You guys! I am really, really excited (and nervous, and curious, and emotional andandand…) to say that I am hereto forth represented by the awe-inducingly innovative Ella Kahn, of Diamond Kahn and Woods Literary Agency.
(!!!!!!! x forever.)
You know what? Balls to the wall. Chances. Asking the question. That’s how dreams come true. That’s how hustling happens. You don’t get if you don’t put yourself out there, and oh my Beyoncé, this past two weeks have been some of the most testing and anxiety-inducing of my writing life as I did just that.
I said, when I flew to Bali to hole-up where nobody knows my name, to get my 100,000 words, to just see if I could, that if this all went pear-shaped I’d still be proud. Proud of trying. But then, there was a wee period there where, even though I had a great initial book proposal, a kick-ass idea and wonderful sample chapters, as well as the support of a whole Superlatively Rude tribe, I was paralysed by fear. Because saying you want to do something is an entirely different beast to actually doing the thing, and I knew that rejection was inevitable because I am not everyone’s cup of tea.
(I wouldn’t want to be.)
I was scared because being told no isn’t very nice. In dating, I can be told no and move on to the next one. Plenty more fish in the sea. And yet with this, my baby, my story? The idea of being told no was debilitating enough that even as friends in the publishing industry have said, LAURA. SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT. START ASKING AGENTS IF THEY WANT TO SEE WHAT YOU’VE GOT! I just couldn’t.
And then. And then a good friend of mine, Emma, who is also a writer, signed to a literary agent. And it was a slap to the face in the best possible way as she sent me the most generous email I have probably ever received. In the same breath that she said, Laura! I signed an agent! she also said, And if I can do that, so can you, my lovely.
Can you imagine having such terribly good news about yourself and making it about the other person over yourself? Her open heart and kind spirit floored me, and I resolved, right then and there, to start pitching myself. There was no other way to honour her thoughtfulness.
(I love you, Emma. Thank you. Thank you for it all.)
That’s why I wrote the blog about my search, a few weeks ago. What prompted it. And a travelling friend of mine, who I connected with on Twitter, she used to work in publishing. She liked my blog, and so messaged me to say she’d email it to some friends of hers. She re-Tweeted what I’d posted about it, and over in London, where it was 4 a.m., Ella happened to be awake with a bout of insomnia and with curiosity clicked through on my post.
She messaged me right away: “VERY INTERESTED. Just emailed you!”
Her email was just as enthusiastic, and so I whizzed across my document.
I was told to take my time by just about everyone. To see who was interested and consider flying into London to meet with them, because a writer/agent relationship is one that must be based on gut and intuition. This person, the agent, is your cheerleader and business manager, confidant and champion. They are the person you give 15% of your money to. I knew I needed somebody special to work with for what will hopefully be the rest of my career.
I took calls with a few agents, actually, and spent most of the week emailing and Googling, reaching out to my contacts to get their take on this agent or that. I had a handful of offers, and was terrified of choosing the wrong person. Of getting it wrong.
She co-founded her own literary agency at the age of 25. Knew that she was capable of so much more than her position working for somebody else allowed, and so she took the chance. Decided to do it her way. Trusted herself to go balls-to-the-wall on the adventure of her own life to build her own successful business.
That. That is who I want representing me. The woman with as much dirt under her fingernails as I have. More. The one who didn’t flinch when I said, “You’ve sold me on your business-savvy… can we have a friend date now, too?” and so hopped back on Skype to let me ask her about her life, her loves, her passions.
“You,” I said. “It’s you.”
I signed the agreement last Tuesday.
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