Yes, you read that right. I have an agent!
But Cherish, you weren’t querying.
But Cherish, weren’t you doing Author Mentor Match?
I was trying.
But Cherish, is Etta & Emmylou finished?
I know, right?! Ready for a story?
Why can’t I find a gif of this exact moment? Someone techy make it happen.
Friday the 13th.
No, not this one.
Remember this post where I was being really secretive about something? Yeah, that was the start of me being introduced to my now agent, Elizabeth Bewley of Sterling Lord Literistic! I woke up one morning with a DM from one of my new favorite authors and seriously one of the kindest women I have ever come across, author Linda Williams Jackson. Linda is the super talented author of MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON, her debut MG novel about thirteen year-old Rose Lee Carter as she comes to grips with the impending Civil Rights Movement when a boy (Emmett Till) was found murdered in a nearby Mississippi town. This novel, despite its heavy subject matter was such a bright spot in my last semester of college. Linda really knows how to transport you to places and times and allows you to get lost in the lives of her characters. As an aspiring writer of historical fiction I truly admire this skill and aim for that kind of greatness whenever I write.
So let me go back to the 13th.
I have this DM from Linda, who besides liking some posts of mine here and there and congratulating me on my short story is totally out of the norm. She asks me if I would be interested in developing a particular project for her agent.
After my initial confusion, me, being a true cock-eyed optimist is all, “Can’t hurt to try, right?” Then I send her my email.
Now, I was in the middle of doing this training for my new job, but when I checked my email and watched this link: https://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/remembering-americas-first-black-country-club/ I knew that this was something that I couldn’t pass up. I DM Linda back in the vain of
Then I get an email from Elizabeth herself. She sends me the link from above and I start salivating all over again. Because by now I think we all know how much I love historical. Elizabeth asks to see some of my writing and then we could go from there. Since I don’t know what the procedure is when an agent (who you aren’t querying) asks to see your writing, I sent her three things. THREE. The first chapter of Etta & Emmylou, my excerpt from The Trees Won’t Tell, and You, Me, and These Trees. This is still Friday the 13th btw, and I had all weekend to bite my nails and agonize on whether or not I turned her off just by the obnoxious amount of words I’ve sent her.
Monday the 16th.
Fast forward to Monday and Elizabeth emails me. I was seriously expecting something to the tune of, “Your writing is cute, but not what I had in mind. Here are some resources. Happy writing!” Instead, she told me she enjoyed the pieces I sent and could we talk Thursday.
After I collected my jaw from the floor, I responded that I would love to. Naturally.
Thursday the 19th.
Thursday rolls around. I’ve had butterflies for days. I have huge phone anxiety and here I am going to talk with a literary agent about a project that I could potentially collaborate on and pen. A story that really makes me smile whenever I think about it. And she’s showed some interest in my babies Etta and Emmylou! But I really had nothing to worry about. Our chat went great! I felt good and at ease… that is until she asked me to send Etta & Emmylou.
What had I done! Etta & Emmylou was not fit of human consumption yet. I’m trying to impress her, not scare her away with my plot holes, continuity issues. Never mind all the typos. If anything I thought she may want the first three or so chapters.
So I’m like, “Uh… but it’s not done.”
And she’s all, “I know. I want to get a feel for how you plot.”
Total panster, fyi
What’s a girl to do? I formatted what I had, typed a disclaimer about what she was walking into, and sent it off.
Now, I sent about twenty-one? Twenty-two chapters to Elizabeth and was expecting to hear back from her in about a month. Maybe even longer than that considering I was not a client of hers and she’s probably super busy. Imagine my surprise (here’s where it gets crazy) when Elizabeth gets back into contact with me.
Friday the 27th.
We’re talking the last Friday of October. She was in the middle of reading Etta & Emmylou and wanted to represent me! ME! In addition to wanting to represent me for Etta & Emmylou, she also decided that I would be a good fit to collaborate with her on this new WIP set in the 30s at an African-American country club!!! It’s going to be so good you guys.
I still haven’t recovered yet.
Wednesday the 1st.
This Wednesday Elizabeth and I met up. We talked about this new project, Etta and Emmylou, historical television shows, family, musicals… We packed a lot in! It’s official! We’re together as long as I’m able to write (fingers crossed). But seriously, Elizabeth is the best. I can’t thank Linda enough for putting us in contact. And I won’t for a moment forget how lucky I am to have (for lack of a better word) been given this opportunity. The pressure is on. Good pressure, but still. I’m ready to write.
Thanks for sitting through this crazy thread!
Be in touch soon,