Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Door Closes, A Window Opens...

A door closes and a window opens...and I feel like jumping out of it.

No, not at all.
I'm discovering how resiliant I am and I'm enjoying the feeling of bouncing back. My agent is cutting back her work load and only working part time, so she's letting me out of our contract. She doesn't feel she has the time to devote to my project. She submitted it to 4 publishers and she very kindly sent their comments along with her letter - and it did raise my spirits to see that the book was well recieved. One editor wants more of my work, "Please, please, please send more of her work!" she wrote. Well, that's a perk. It's also frustrating because I wouldn't dream of contacting her myself, which means I have to find a new agent now. I have four projects for sale. One is my "Time for Alexander" series. One is "The Promise". One is "Jack's Back". And one is "A Charm for A Unicorn", a YA fantasy. They are all different genres, so I'm not even sure that one agent would take them all. I've decided I might query several different agents with one project - so start with 4 agents and go from there. I liked my agent, she was a very nice person and fun to work with - always enthusiastic and helpful, so I'll miss her. And I wish her well with her own projects. I'm guessing she's working part time now to pursue some other interest.
People do change professions. I was a salesgirl, a model, then I was a mother (the hardest job so far!) a journalist, and an author. I've been a freelance artist since I left school, and I've done odd jobs like selling pizza on a corner, making jewelry, working in a toy fair, translating, grooming horses, website design, and tutor. I've taken a course on how to teach English to preschool children, and I do that once a week. I write, but I don't have to write. I just love to write. I've done so many things in my life that writing just seemed a natual extension of the experiences I've had.
I could be a groom, a translator, a cartoonist, or teach French etiquette. I've met kings, rajahs, princes and princesses. I've played polo and sailed on a sailboat that won the Rolex Cup. I've raised three children, and that's what counts the most for me. I have good friends, and that counts too. And a wonderful family - and for that I feel absolutely blessed.
So when this door closed and I got my project back and some of my hopes vanished like smoke, I squared my shoulders and, (like the Pollyanna I admit I am), I thought of all the good things I have, all the fun things I've done, my friends and family...and I looked out the window that just opened and I saw a huge, vast world just waiting for me.
And I started writing my query letters, because I'm sort of an impatient, stubborn person too, lol.


John Nez said...

Hmmm... I find that I'm much better of being my own literary rep in selling my children's books. In fact, I didn't sell my first authored book until I terminated my contract with my 'literary rep'. The same story that had gathered dust on her shelves for 4 years was sold in 2 weeks to the second publisher i sent it to!

When I had a literary rep, I wound up mostly sitting on my hands, waiting for things to happen. Whereas, acting as my own agent, I know what's going on and find its empowering to make the contacts and decide where to send things. Also there are so many online resources nowadays... so many new ways to get through to publishers... email, PDFs, online groups. It's much easier.

Anyhow, that's been my experience. Maybe it's different with just writing, but I doubt I'll ever go back to sitting on my hands. I found that no one can sell one's own material like yourself.

And I just sold a new book to a NYC publisher! And I'm counting the days until I can send around my next story...


Doug said...

John looks like a young Vonnegut, don't you think? But what an inspiring story. You always read so much about how impossible it is to do it yourself.

One of these days, I have to finish editing my romance so I'll have something to sell. Good luck, Sam!

Sam said...

Thank you John! You know, I didn't think of that before. You're right. I WAS just sitting on my hands waiting. I wasn't even writing as much as I usually do, because I was waiting.
Anyhow, I never had an agent sell any of my work, I did it all myself, so I feel sort of ridiculous now. LOL.
Thanks. And CONGRATULATIONS on selling your new book! Whoo Hoo!

Doug - he does look like a young Vonnegut - did you read his last book? I loved it!

Bonita said...

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Erin the Innocent said...

Good luck Sam :)

December Quinn said...

Good luck Samppalthough you dont need it. Your work speaks for itself!

Sorry about the agent, what a disappointment that must be.

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

Oh, I'm sorry, Sam.

I squared my shoulders and, (like the Pollyanna I admit I am)...

I'm right there with you. Honestly, Sam, I truly believe all things happen for a reason. There's something better on the horizon--believe that.