I wrote this novel. Just sat in my basement and clacked away at it. When I was finished, I had no clue what to do with it. I mean, don't these things just sprout legs and walk to their intended destination? Apparently not.
So, I sent to The Writer's Edge. I paid my money and I took my chances. Turns out it was a good move for me. They reviewer there loved the sample chapters I sent and posted a very positive note at the bottom of my proposal.
A few months later there was some interest in the novel, then, there was more. Suddenly I had more interested publishers than I knew what to do with. A nice dilemma, but I still didn't know what I was doing.
I e-mailed a smart and well connected friend I trusted and asked "What would you do if you were me?" Her response was, "Girl, you need an agent. Now!" Then she offered to send a letter of introduction to an agent she knew well (actually she knows many agents and she sent me a list to choose from). I picked one I had heard many good things about and my friend sent the e-mail that day. I didn't think much would come of it, but I was grateful to my friend for sticking her neck out for me.
Later that same day, the phone rang. It was the agent. She had read chapter one on my website (it's no longer posted there, sorry. I'm hoping to be able to post an excerpt once the book has gone through revision with the editor). She said "I wanted to ask to see the whole manuscript-- if for nothing else than I wanted to keep reading. That's a rare thing for an agent with a pile of reading."
I sent her the manuscript (I LOVE e-mail and all its instant goodness) and wondered what, oh what would happen.
She called me the next day and said she would be happy to represent this book.
And Wow, that's when things started to move fast (well, fast is a relative term in publishing). She jumped on and starting pitching the book right away. Zip Zap Kapow! I was amazed. She knew things I didn't even know enough to know I didn't know. Within weeks she had a firm offer on the table. They didn't just want Talking to the Dead, they wanted a sequel also. My agent said, "Have you thought about a sequel?" I started thinking of a sequel - right then! She asked me for a proposal - so we had something concrete to show them.
Yeesh. I thought it was difficult to write a proposal for a book I had written. It's way harder to write one for a book that doesn't exist yet. I tried. It was terrible. Awful. I tried again. That proposal was stinky too. Then I sat down a third time. This time what came out was the first chapter and a title: Talking to Angels. It wasn't what they were asking for, but it was the best my creative but stubborn mind could come up with.
They said, "Yes."
And here we are.