My husband and I spent the weekend in Iowa for the Gentlemen of the Road concert tour (mainly to see Mumford & Sons). On Friday night, at the Hampton Inn in Waterloo, I got the email that I've been waiting for ... an offer of representation!!! (She actually used the word "Brava" in her email, which kind of cracked me up.) Now, I've had an agent before so I know this is just another tiny, slow step in the long and winding journey to publication. But at least it's a step in the right direction!
This agent and I have an appointment to talk on the phone tomorrow night, and she'll get to ask me questions and I'll get to ask her questions and we'll decide if we're a good fit. In the meantime, however, the proper protocol is to let any other agent who has your manuscript know that you've had an offer so that they can either back out, or throw their hat into the ring as well. It's kind of a "shit or get off the pot" email, and I'm super excited to be the one to be the one to give a deadline for a change! Also, since I only started this querying process 38 days ago, and most agents give a query response time frame of up to 8 weeks, I've contacted all the agents who have not responded to my query to let them know I've had an offer as well. (This actually generated one request for a full already last night!)
So, now I wait a bit longer. My daughter and I are traveling to New Orleans for the USAV Junior National Volleyball Championship on Wednesday and will be gone for a week, so I gave a deadline of July 7th. I currently have 8 full manuscripts and 1 partial manuscript out with agents, and there are another 29 agents who have not responded to my query. I'll be interested to see how much interest is generated now that there is an offer on the table. Two agents have emailed me back to say they are still reading and still interested. The hope is that I'll get multiple offers of representation and I can pick the agent who is the best fit for me.
I can't tell you how excited I am. After years of going through this process with frustrating results, I'm finally making some relatively quick headway. And there's a lesson in this for me. I wouldn't have learned all the things I've learned over the years if I had quick and easy success. My writing would not be as good, my query letter would not be as effective, I would not be as confident in myself or the process. I've gotten to this point exactly because of all the failures and stumbles along the way.
Fingers crossed that I keep taking steps forward from here on out!