Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Got What I Wanted!

Or, Best Panic Attack Ever! I was going to call it that, but it seems overly melodramatic.

And I don't do melodramatic. I just do dramatic.

So, anyway, what did you want for Christmas? Did you get it?

The toddler didn't. He decided two days before Christmas that he definitely wanted Santa to bring him a bike. Sadly for the toddler, this revelation occurred three days after he punched two girls in his class in the face (and left a mark on one!) and then shoved paper towels down the daycare sink until it backed up. (Hubby's response? "What got into him? I mean, besides the paper towels. That I can see.") Santa, I have explained repeatedly, only brings bikes to boys who do not punch girls, or classmates in general. Besides, there's a layer of ice on my sidewalks about an inch thick. He'll get one when he turns four in May.

But I did.

I got my big surprise present two days early - an email from an agent (who shall, for the moment, remain nameless) who said she would "love" to read the full manuscript of the Noseless Cowboy book, officially known as A Part of Her. You can read an excerpt at my website here. It's the fourth book in the Emerson series.

I know we're all still waiting on the editor to get back to me on Marrying the Emersons, which is the first book in the Emerson series. But I couldn't put all my eggs in one basket. And my dear friend Pauline Friday has all these agents sniffing around her How To Be A Spinster in 29 Years, mostly because the book is awesome, and also because she sends out query letters in batches of 20 or so.

But I stalled, hoping the editor would get to the bottom of whatever pile I was in. Plus, I had no idea how to sell the whole series - as a family saga, or one book at at time? If I did one book at a time, what about the two books for Lily and Bobby? Together or separate?

So I took the path of least resistance. I queried A Part of Her. It's the same family, but it's much more a stand-alone book. Plus, that whole Noseless Cowboy thing (read that blog here) is highly visual - and easier to condense than 35 years plus the Vietnam War. (I tried to condense it. Trust me, it didn't work. That's why it's two books.)

I sent out six. I got two rejections within three days. I figured, well, that's that, at least until after the New Year.

And then, this afternoon, as I'm sitting here in a funky mood because I had to chase a three year old down in the sleet (nutty kid!) and I get an email.

She wanted the full manuscript. Two weeks after I sent the query.

BEST PANIC ATTACK EVER! My chest is still tightening up like a boa constrictor's giving me a big ol' friendly hug.

Even more so because, long ago (February) when I first started querying Marrying the Emersons, I set a moderately unrealistic goal of having a contract by Christmas. And after a few bruising rounds of rejection, I scaled that back to having an agent by Christmas. And after a few more bruising rounds, I reminded myself that most editors are already planning their 2010 releases, and that there just might not be much happening right now - and that was before the economy tanked.

And now? I still have no editor. I have no contract. I have no agent.

But I have a foot in the door. Which is more than I had before.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy New Year!


Mary D. said...

Way to go! What a great Christmas present. I do think the noseless cowboy is the easiest one to describe and sell. Maybe that will just be the hook to pull everybody into the rest of the series.

Caley Greene said...

Congratulations. Great Christmas Present.

lucylucia said...

yay yay yay!! Congrats Sally!!!!!! I can't wait to buy a copy of your books!!