Tuesday, March 3, 2015

I Got an Agent! Now What?

2015 started out on a rather momentous note. In January, I had shoulder surgery, from which I'm still recovering. (The entire healing process will take about a year, including physical therapy.)

I also landed an agent in January. The agency is small and new, but my agent has fourteen years of experience in the publishing world. Turns out she'd read a collection of my short stories and liked them well enough to ask me to submit something to her.

Now I'll be the first to tell you I never thought I'd get an agent. I figured my writing career would consist of submitting to small pubs and self-publishing. But that was until my small press publisher became an imprint of a New York publisher. So that adage about "never say never"? Yeah, I need to remember that.

What does getting an agent mean for me? First, I'll still submit to small presses and self-publish. But I will also be working on selling my writing to traditional publishers. (Or, more appropriately, I should say my agent will work on selling while I work on the writing part.) This means I have to do things that I hadn't had to do before, such as write longer books. It's funny, I can write short stories, and I've had fellow authors tell me they can't write short because they find it too difficult to distill a story down to its essentials. Me? I'm the opposite, and I've had to work hard to make my stories longer. But if I want to advance my writing career, I need to push the idea I can't do it out of my mind. Before, I never thought I could write a 100,000-word novel. Well, I did. Once. Granted it ended up being 35,000 words after all was said and done, but the point is, I did it. The third book in my Angels of Death series, Devil Inside, is 68,000 words and my 2014 NaNoWriMo political thriller clocked in at 65,000 words.

I can do this. That's what I have to keep telling myself. Because rehearsals are over and it's time for the main show.

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