I wasn’t quite sure how receptive people would be of my book. After all, it’s rather off the wall with some slapstick moments. What do you expect from someone who grew up watching Mel Brooks films? So, I would send a query here and there. Most of the editors and agents I’d queried had sent polite rejections. But a friend of mine suggested I send my manuscript to Deb Werksman and that Sourcebooks liked funny and quirky books. Finally in December, I sent Deb Werksman my manuscript and query.
In the meantime, I also sent out a query to one of my dream agencies. A couple weeks later, I was delighted to receive a request from one of their agents for the first three chapters of of what is now known as Demons Prefer Blondes. That request came on January 27th. As usual, I’m a procrastinator, so I decided to sit on it for a couple days until the weekend, when I had more free time.
Then January 28th rolled around. It was a Thursday night. I worked Monday through Thursday with a long weekend. Gosh, I loved having Fridays off. I was nearing the end of my shift and had just taken a call from a customer who needed some assistance using a website. While she was busy typing some things into her computer, I decided to check my email. Then I saw it. A reply from Deb about my submission. Great, I thought. She’s going to reject me. What the heck? I clicked open the email and read. Oops! It wasn’t a rejection. It was an offer. And I still had a customer on the phone. Double oops.
I don’t remember much of that particular call. I was too giddy over the other call. I stumbled my way through assisting the customer and apologized for my bumbling behavior. I’m pretty sure I gave the customer a lame excuse but she was friendly anyway. After I hung up with the customer I think I jumped out of my chair and did a dance around my cubicle. I'm sure my co-workers thought I was a fry short of a combo meal. Then another customer called right before the 8PM cutoff. Because my car was in the shop, my mother was picking me up. Oh brother. My cell phone rang. It was my mom wondering where I was. I quickly explained everything. I think my words were, "Someone wants to buy my book and I have a customer on the phone." Finally, after a half an hour, I was able to help the man solve his problem. Karma, I guess. My mom decided to take me out to dinner and bought me a drink to celebrate. Gotta love my mom!
Then the agent search began. I new I needed to keep my options open, so I queried the agent who requiested the chapters along with a bunch of other agents. One agent didn’t love the story. Another agent said she already had a succubus series but thought the book was great. The original agent I queried replied and laid all my options on the table. I was rather impressed with her response. Also, a friend of mine spoke highly of her. So, I made my decision and signed with my agent.
So I learned several things from this experience. No matter how many rejections, it only takes one person—or two—who likes your writing for a sale. Oh, and the other thing? Don’t open emails from editors while on the phone with a customer. It was the most awkward call ever.