It finally happened! After four months and about 60 applications, one agent has requested a full manuscript!
A few days ago, I woke up in the morning and, as usual, reached for my phone. Before the shower or the coffee, or even being able to fully open my eyes, I had to check the email. I’ve been doing this for months. That’s the trouble with the time difference between Australia and the US – the American agents work while I sleep. It is also a blessing, as I would otherwise check the email every few minutes, and not every half-hour, like normal people.
Amongst the junk mail enticing me to attend one-day-only secret sales for super special customers, there was one from an actual person. I did not recognize the name, but the word “QUERY” in the subject line told me it was another rejection letter. I opened it, expecting a standard form.
It started as they all do. “Dear…we have received…read with interest…” Then, in the second paragraph, my groggy brain registered a few words I have not seen before, at least not in this context.
“I laughed out loud.”
Jolted into an upright position by a shot of adrenaline, I read the email over and over. Granted, it was from an agent’s assistant, but he thought the small sample I sent was funny and he wanted to read the first three chapters. I sent the chapters.
He replied the next day with more “laughed out loud” and even “told my colleague”. He asked to see the full manuscript.
This is where preparation meets opportunity. Except in my case, because despite hoping for it, I was utterly unprepared for the request. The manuscript was finished a year ago, but every attempt at editing it started from Chapter 1. The polish sort of wore off the closer one got to the ending.
I did what I had to do – called in sick and edited nearly 80 thousand words in one day. By the end of the day I truly was sick and looked a bit like the walking dead. Any sane person would probably take a few days to get ready, but that’s not how I roll.
I sent it in and, after biting my nails for two days, followed up with only a slightly desperate “hope the attachment made it through the anti-spam!” message. The assistant replied instantly, informing me that while he thought the humor dropped off a bit in Chapter 4, he still liked the manuscript well enough to forward it to the “proper” agent.
So now it’s just fingers crossed…more applications…and maybe working on that whole “preparation” thing.