When Fizzy Met Sarah – How I Got My Agent

Hello my amazing readers!

Today is a brilliant day.

Why?  Because I get to announce that I HAVE A FREAKING AGENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ERMAHGERD!  ZOMG!!  ALL THE FEELS!!!!!!!!

I am so beyond crazy proud to announce that I have accepted an offer from Sarah LaPolla of Curtis Brown Ltd.!!!

Yes, there will be an abundance of exclamation points in this blog.

There is a brilliant story to how I have come to this point, but I swear to all things, I don’t even know where to start.  Seriously, if I were to lay out all the things that have led to this moment, I can safely say no one would believe me.  I have a few close peeps who have been watching this all go down the last few months, and at least once a week, they message me with something like, “Seriously.  How?  Why? I don’t even…”

Four years ago, I started writing WITH A SHAKE OF HER HAIR.  When I finished it, I queried, and after a few months and no less than 700,ooo rejections, I shelved it.  I worked on other books and carried on, but I always had a super soft spot for WASOHH and the MC Ellie.

Earlier this year, when I was new and fairly green in Twitterville, I was entering contests with my YA/Fantasy MS that I still love but wasn’t having any luck with.

I happened upon an elevator pitch contest on Twitter with an agent and at the last minute, I was researching her and saw that my YA was not going to stand a shot, but in the spirit of contest addiction, I saw she repped Women’s Fiction and decided with three minutes before the contest started to write out a pitch for WASOHH.

Somehow, I was picked, got a request, and within about a week had an R&R.  I still am not sure what happened there.

I rewrote pretty much everything about the book except the main plot and the voice that made Ellie all special to me.

From here, I decided to trunk my YA and focus on Ellie.  I had signed up to go to the Midwest Writer’s Workshop in late July and so I searched for an agent to sign up to pitch to.

Now, hilariously, my first choice was Sarah, who I had intended to pitch my YA to, and had actually signed up to do so, but when I realized that it wasn’t ready to pitch, I switched to a different agent three days before the workshop.

Irony?  I has it.

While I was sitting outside the little library where the pitches were going on, Ms. LaPolla walked out and from my prime position on the floor, I stopped her and shared my deep admiration of her from Twitter.  I had followed her for a long time and learned a lot from her.

It was here that she blushed 742 different shades of red and informed me that she not only knew who I was, but that she was a fangirl of mine.

I can’t even tell you the strut that I had for the rest of the day at the thought of Sarah LaPolla not only knowing me, but fangirling over Fizzygrrl.

The conference went, uh, quite well for me.  I somehow managed to get requests from, well, all the agents…  I am still not sure how that happened.

Sarah had heard a bit of buzzing going on about this crazy Summer girl and her two pages that were read aloud in a seminar and had the other agents requesting.  As I was spazzing out and being videoed over the insanity of the requests, darn it if Sarah didn’t come up to me and request them herself.

By the way, there is absolutely a video of this somewhere.  I was spazzing out about my three requests to Jama Bigger (A badass MWW co-organizer, in case you were unaware of her greatness.) and she was having the moment recorded when Sarah came up and requested.  I’m pretty sure she is unaware of this, as was I until an hour ago…

There was a moment at the conference later where Sarah may or may not have managed to race and beat another super cool agent in a quest to sit next to me at dinner that night.  She may have pushed him…  I was too much in shock to recall if that actually happened.

It was that moment she had my lurve.  I mean, come on.  That was freaking awesome.

Sarah requested the full a few days later, and off we went.

Later came the R&R!  Which was super exciting and her notes had me bouncing around like a crazy person.  They were so spot on and I sat staring at the email thinking, “Holy actual hell.  She GETS me…”

Now, this is where things get slightly tricky.  I had gotten four requests at the workshop, but right before that trip, I had sent out a fistful of queries.  Responses were coming back and I had several requests out.

By the time the R&R came from Sarah, I had I think 13 submissions out.  And somehow, I kept getting more.  I had actually stopped sending out queries, but was still getting requests…

Within a few weeks, I was somehow the proud recipient of 7 R&R’s.

That’s right kids, SEVEN MOTHER FREAKING R&R’s.

I would like to take this moment to thank my husband for his support during this insane time.  His patience and dedication to allowing me to flee off into my writer cave day after day will go down as husband legend.  And to my children who ate chicken nuggets and Pizza hut more times than I care to admit, well, Mommy will make that up to you right nice one day.

Now, in the spirit of honesty, I was super into several of these agents.  Like, lots.  I have been in a weird place where I was sort of friends with several of these agents from Twitter.  So not only did I have the fact that they were awesome agents to consider, I had the added factor of actually LIKING these agents.

During all of these revisions and sending in, I was also helping run the Hook, Line, and Sinker contest.  I honestly think I aged 30 years in those 30 days…

The phone calls with agents started.  Mostly just discussing revisions.

And then came an offer.  Less than a week after I sent out the revised copy.

Off in a rush I went to notify all the agents with revisions and anyone else that still had my original MS.

The first agent that offered, well, I love her.  On a personal and professional level, I dig this agent.  She is amazing, and I would have been lucky as hell to work with her.

Oh, and by the by, this all happened literally right as Hurricane Sandy was beating the shit out of New York.  Can I just take a moment to say how effing bizarre it was to send out a fistful of emails saying, “So, erm, I know you are getting your ass kicked by a hurricane, but uh, well, I have an offer, soooooo…”

I waited patiently for responses to come in.  Some were interested, some backed away knowing I already had an agent I was smitten with who loved it.  Poor Sarah, getting particularly slammed down by the storm asked for more time, and I gladly gave it to her.

Thursday morning, I had an email from Sarah saying she had just finished and wondered if we could have a chat.  I launched into an enormous panic attack.  Dead serious, kids.  I was popping a Xanax before 8AM.

My husband, knowing that this was it, this was like, THE final moment of the Fizzy Gets an Agent saga actually left work just to come home and stand outside the bedroom door to hear this phone call.

I didn’t know where Sarah stood on the revisions.  I hoped she liked them, obviously, but I was feeling secure that I had an offer from an agent that I loved, so no matter what, I was going to walk away a winner.

Now, was I sitting there asking any deity in the universe that might be listening for her to have good things to say?  Yes. Yes, I really was.

And she called.

I swear, I don’t care how cheesy this sounds, everything just CLICKED.  It all felt brilliant.  Her notes were spot on.  Her thoughts on where we would go and what would happen with the book were ace.  Everything was just so damn perfect that it was all I could do not to scream, “ZOMG YES!!!!” when she said the words, “I would like to officially offer you representation.”

Nope.  I was super smooth and was like, “I will absolutely get back with you by tomorrow.”

Half an hour later, my ass was ringing her phone and the squealing of, “ERMAHGERD ALL THE YES!!!!!” happened.

Yep.  Smooooooooooooth.

And that’s it.  Right then and there, I had an agent.  An amazing agent.

There was a moment right before I called her back when I was debating what to do, which offer to take, and my mind started screaming, “Dude.  You have an offer from your dream agent.  YOU CALL HER BACK RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!!!!”

It was hard to make out since my husband, several friends and my MOM were all shouting the same thing.

Well, my mom didn’t say fuck.  Her profanity usage stops right around, “Golly gee willikers.”

Now, this isn’t all that led to this fine union.  There is a LOT of stuff that I will try to share in the future of how I landed here.  But it’s the gist, it’s the good stuff.  You’ll get all the humiliating tidbits later on, I assure you.

I have wanted to be a writer my entire life.  I went to my first writer’s convention when I was 13 years old.  Four years now I have queried agents.

But it was this last year that made the difference.  Honestly, it was Twitter.  I have learned so much from watching other writers, listening to agents, participating in contests, failing and failing again.

And well, somehow managing to discuss my boobs with pretty much every agent with a Twitter account.  Not sure how that factors in, but I am sure it does somehow.

If I would have been signed four years ago, sure, it would have been freaking swell.  But I am glad things took this path.  I am a better writer because of it.  I have a better understanding of how this industry works now.

Most importantly, I have made some of the most amazing friends that I can’t even begin to imagine my life without.

Also, a quick shout out to Dee Romito whose amazing dedication to my Choose Your Own Adventure agent tale has earned her not only my undying gratitude, but a shout out in WASOHH.  And possibly a pony.  Still working out the cost of shipping on the pony…

And now, after this muddled mess that is my Agent Tale, I say again, with an immense and indescribable pride, that I have accepted an offer of representation from the unbelievably amazing Sarah LaPolla.

She and I are going to rock the Women’s Fiction world like absolute bosses, peeps.  It’s going to be epic.

Oh, and because it seems to be customary, here are my stats for this book.  (I am not including the original stats from four years ago as the book is so totally different I’m not sure it counts, lol.  But I do promise I will share all my rejection glory with you soon.)

Queries Sent: 27

Requests: 17

R&R’s: 7

Offers: 2

Pounds of Jelly Bellies Eaten During This Process: 873,241 (Estimated.)

I hope you all are having a splendid Friday, and that your weekend follows suit!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and ERMAHGERD I HAVE AN AGENT!!!!!

 

58 Comments

  1. I’m so beyond happy and excited for you guys. Congrats!!!

  2. Jennifer Malone |

    I. Just. Love. You.

    And Ellie! And everyone else in your f’ing fabulous manuscript with the possible exception of the hot soccer coach I’m not supposed to like!

    Cannot wait to buy this and say I knew you when:)

  3. Fizzzzzzzy!!! This is such an amazing story, and I’m so, so freaking excited for you. This is like the greatest “everything happens for a reason” example I have ever seen, and having fiiiinally gotten to read your ms this week I am like a zillion times MORE excited because I know how awesome it is and cannot freaking wait to have it on my shelf and all your future mss in my inbox. #SUBTLEHINT Congratulations to you and Sarah!!

  4. That is so awesome!! Congrats!!

  5. Congrats Fizzy! That’s awesome news.

  6. So Fantastic Fizz! This means there is so much more we’ll get to hear from you in the future! …and btw, the deities will never let you down. 🙂 YAY!

  7. Way to go girl, I am so proud of you hubbins is laughing at the tears in my eyes, I just can’t put in words how much you deserve it and know I shall be requesting an autographed copy in the near future!!!!!

  8. I absolutely NEVER get tired of hearing these stories! Yayyyyy! Huge congrats to you!

  9. I am so THRILLED to read this post! And I’m proud to say I was there at the very beginning. Someday I will tell the story to your scores of fans about ALL THE AGENTS requesting your work at MWW, haha!

  10. Congrats again! Brilliant news and a brilliant post. WHOOP.

  11. Yaaaaay!!!!!!!!!! I seriously did a happy dance when I heard the news! Thank you for the shout out and you know I absolutely adore you. I would say more, but I am utterly worn out from watching this adventure. 😉

    Congratulations!!

    • Fizz and Drew, you guys are awesome. I’m happy for you and love seeing Dee so happy for you.

      But, by the Power of Greyskull, DO NOT SEND US A PONY!

      🙂

  12. OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH!!!!!! Congratulations Fizzy! You’re amazing, totally awesome, and deserving of ALL THE THINGS! It sounds like you’ve worked your butt off these last few months! Looks like it was all worth it!!! Good luck with everything, Sarah looks amazing!!!

  13. This was a fun read! Congrats to you both!!

  14. Congrats!! It’s so awesome to find that agent that’s so perfect for you. Sarah is fab, so I’m sure you two will work great together! 🙂

  15. FIZZY!!!! All the SQUEEEEEEEEES! I am so beyond happy and excited for you! I knew it was gonna happen for you! You rock girl. (And we all loved your boobies heh). I can’t wait to see your book(s) in print!

    *Booby hugs*

  16. Congrats! I love reading Sarah on Twitter, too. 🙂 Here’s to the exciting next steps for you!!!!

  17. Congratulations! Sarah is my dream agent too. Unfortunately I queried her before I was ready, but her thoughtful response enabled me to dramatically improve my ms. I’m ready to query for real this time and hopefully I find someone as cool as she is and can someday write a totally awesome post like this one!
    Very happy for you and glad you made it through Sandy and the blizzard okay.

  18. Congrats again Fizzy! #GreatFizzFrenzy2012

  19. ERMHAGHERD!! Congrats Girlfriend.. couldn’t be happier for you! xxx

  20. Wooo hooo! Congrats a million times! 😀

  21. Sososososo happy for you, Summer!! Hope you have the most wonderful agent-client relationship and many, many sales! WOOT!

  22. Best. Agent. Announcement. Ever.

    Congrats, Fizzy!!!

  23. Had to break out of my holiday internet blackout to say OMGSUMMERI’MSOFREAKINGHAPPYFORYOUANDAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This, my friend, has been one intense ride. <3 YOU!!!

  24. Congrats! I’m so proud of you! 😀

  25. Congrats, durlin!!!! You consistently crack me up on Twitter, so your book is bound to shine.

  26. Congratulations, Summer, I knew it would be soon for you! You’re so funny and such a wonderful cheerleader for others! Love you! <3

  27. SO excited for you!!! I followed your twitter after doing the MG side of the HL&S contest (which I’m still SO thankful that you guys put together) and I just wanted to say a big congrats 😀 I can’t wait to buy you book!!!

  28. Summer, I am SO happy to hear that. Sarah is a fantastic agent and it so lovely to hear how amazingly excited you are! What a fantastic tale.

    I agree with Twitter. It totally changed my writing world. And helped me find my agent too (PitMad contest).

    It is a long and arduous journey at times. I think I queried nearly every agent in the known universe at some point (don’t do this kids – much better when you realise you should RESEARCH your agent choices). Then I found the most amazing agents, writers and editors on Twitter and saw the light.

    I am SO happy for you. You explain just how I felt when I got my dream call too.

    Wishing you all the best and lots of success!

  29. I love this story! Congratulations – Sarah is a FABULOUS agent! May you sell ALL the books! 😀

  30. I’m so thrilled for you!

    (LOL. I think we really do need a hall of husband legends. And mine listened outside the door, too)

  31. You couldn’t have picked a better agent….which you know of course!!!! So happy for you! Congrats big time and welcome to the family:)

  32. CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy for you! Just by following you on your blog and Twitter I know you’ve worked super hard for this and I’m glad this day has finally come for you 🙂

  33. OMG, you didn’t just GET an agent, you totally fucking EARNED an agent. And Sarah LaPolla! Hot Damn! Congratulations!!!!!

  34. Well deserved. It was only a matter of time 😀

  35. SO HAPPY FOR YOU! I knew it would happen!!! ♥

  36. YAY!!! Sooo proud of you!

  37. Congratulations! Sarah is just so amazingly awesome. So, so, so happy for you both!!!

  38. Congrats! I’m so happy for you 🙂

  39. Congratulations! What a crazy and awe-inspiring story – thanks for sharing and big congrats!!

  40. Yeayyyyyyy!!! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

    There are many BRILLIANT parts of this post and I’m obsessed with your incredible story, but sometimes I’m mushy gushy. My favorite part had to be this:
    “My husband, knowing that this was it, this was like, THE final moment of the Fizzy Gets an Agent saga actually left work just to come home and stand outside the bedroom door to hear this phone call.”
    Your hubs, he gets it. <3. That's just AWESOME. (My hubs does too, which is prolly why this is my fave part. And also why it brought tears to my eyes <3.)

    SO SO SO unbelievably happy for you and your boobs.

    KEEP PREACHIN' FIZZY. GIRL'S GOTTA PREACH.

  41. I haz all the happeez for you! (somehow when Fizzy is involved that final letter of the alphabet gets some lurvin’) – So awezome!

  42. ERMAHGAD is right!!! Fizzy! Congratulations! It couldn’t have happened to a more awesome person/twitter friend. So happy for you.

    I particularly enjoyed the image of your husband listening from the other side of the door. Nothing beats that. 🙂

    Best of luck on submission, girl! You’re gonna rock it!

  43. I’m so happy for you. Every time I hear these I’ve got an agent story it gives me hope. Yes even if you don’t win contests, (I was too late for hook, line, and sinkers, and didn’t win spooktacular), get rejected, and are left wondering about your talents that these moments, the ones writers dream of are possible. For sharing your story and inspiring me and others I applaud you

  44. Love it! Your entire how-I-got-an-agent story is so inspiring. Congratulations!!

  45. Congratulations! I love hearing success stories like this–gives me hope and inspiration to keep at it. Best wishes with the book!

  46. I love this story. Although I have to say my favorite part was your husband coming home from work to listen to the phone call outside the door. This made me tear up, lucky lady. 🙂 Congratulations!

  47. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!! Congrats, girl!! 😀 This is awesome!! 😀

  48. First of all, congratulations! Amazing story, thank-you for sharing it.
    Secondly, would you ever consider doing a list of agents and writers who are active and worth following on Twitter? As an experienced–and let’s be honest, accomplished–tweeter, I’d love to read such a list from you.
    Thirdly, where do you get the hilarious GIFs and captioned pictures for your blog? Do you have a searchable source somewhere, or do you make them?
    Sorry for all the novice questions.

    • Thank you!

      And sure, I could do a blog about faboo agents! That sounds fun, actually! Let me get that together and I will try to post soon. (Aww, shucks at being called an accomplished Tweeter! *blush*)

      As for the GIF’s, I just search the interwebz. I make it a real goal to only get ones that are public so that I am not stealing anyone’s special funny.

  49. Hi Summer, first, congrats on your agent and here’s hoping for book contracts to come! Question: how did you manage to juggle 7 R&Rs? Did they all say the same thing? Boggles the mind!!

  50. Inspirational! Go you! Wait, I’m 49, can I say go you? Hell with it! Go you!

  51. GAH. I missed this one too. Jeez!!! CONGRATS!!! This is EXCELLENT NEWS. Old news, but still excellent!!! *dances*

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