One year ago, I signed with the BEST AGENT EVER, Stacey Kondla at The Rights Factory after sending out more than a few (dozen) query letters. That came after working (on and off) for five years to adapt a spec script into my first manuscript, GARDEN OF THORNS AND LIGHT. Just a few weeks ago, I accepted an offer of publication from Month9Books for a 2020 printing date.
It has been an incredible progression of events, and one I’ve been reflecting on all day.
Writing a novel has been something I’ve wanted to do my entire life, and a goal that, in all honesty, has always seemed out of reach. The blank page has always been more terrifying than liberating to me- something that can only be sullied by the words I place on it. I doubted my ability to have anything of value to fill that space- whether I should write at all.
Even when I had a story to tell, one vetted through several people I respect and trusted, I struggled. During that time, those years where I struggled to put words on screen, the doubt of whether I could do it crept in. The idea of completing a manuscript was daunting, a Herculean effort that I did not really believe I had the talent or time to complete.
Then, when the writing was done, and the querying process started, I doubted whether anyone else would see any merit in the manuscript. My inbox seemed to be a magnet for rejections. Quick nos or the longer, gut wrenching passes that came after partial or full requests slowly became normal- so that when the yes finally came, it felt like coming across a blossoming oasis of hope in the middle of a desert of rejection.
This was the beginning of the upswing. No longer was I alone with the writing. Stacey was a partner, a cheerleader, and an advocate for the story, and her presence allowed me to finally begin to see the potential of my story through the eyes of someone who fell in love with it as much as I had. The manuscript was no longer my burden (and, yes, for much of this process it felt heavy and cumbersome) to carry, and this lightening gave me the opportunity to finally appreciate the accomplishments I had achieved.
Month9’s offer, in this new light, while not an inevitability, seemed like an outcome that was maybe more likely than not. It was still humbling and unexpected- but I was able to see it as the culmination of literal years of hard work, and something I (maybe, kind of, almost) deserved.
So happy agent-versary to Stacey and me– here’s hoping for an exciting next year on this adventure!