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Thursday, October 1, 2009
An Epidemic of Awesome
In case you've yet to be affected, I feel compelled to warn you. Something's been going around. Something incurable. Something that makes your stomach go all butterfly-excited, your eyes get wide with shock, and your heart race with adrenaline.
Yep. We've got a full-fledged epidemic of the Awesomes, folks.
There is no vaccine or combatants to relieve this disease. The symptoms include jumping; squealing; occasional weeping; high-pitched, uncontrollable giggling; irrepressible smiling; frequent and unexpected bouts of daydreaming; and repeated use of the phrase "Oh my GAWD!". When one has contracted this disease, the symptoms are very obvious, so you shouldn't worry about whether or not you have it. Trust me. You'll know when you do.
Here is a list of known carriers of the Awesomes. If you have been in contact with any of these persons, please, seek help immediately, especially if you find yourself giggling uncontrollably. Once the giggling starts, you have but hours until you lose all sense of negativity.
In no particular order:
1) Natalie. Displayed vivid symptoms of the Awesomes in this blog post. Landing an agent like Nathan Bransford is an automatic way to catch this disease.
2) Kiersten. Diagnosed in this blog post. This particular case of the Awesomes is one of the more potent strains; be extremely cautious if you land a three book deal with HarperTeen. It is nigh-incurable.
3) Carrie. Suspected to be carrying the same strand of the Awesomes as Kiersten, as this blog post makes mention of a book deal with Delacorte.
4) Stephanie. Being published a year early.
5) Lisa and Laura. Landed Catherine Drayton.
6) Sara. Now represented by Kate Schafer Testerman.
Read that again.
6) Sara. NOW REPRESENTED BY KATE SCHAFER TESTERMAN.
Oh my god, guys. I've caught the Awesomes!
Yep. There's a symptom. And I have been giggling an awful lot lately...
Before I lose all sense of reality and fall into a dazed coma, let me say things in normal, non-squeaky words.
*IHAVEANAGENT* Oh no, it's coming on fast. Best hurry...
I know it's hard to believe someone when they say they've been writing all their life, but I actually have been writing all my life. I don't remember a time when my one and only dream wasn't to see a book with my name on it sitting on a shelf in Barnes and Noble. When I was a wee one, I illustrated my own picture books and tried to sell them on the street corners. (My parents, loving parents that they were, saved me the humiliation by "buying" all of my books themselves.) I went through three writing phases: picture books to colonial-America-themed novellas (thanks to my American Girl Doll obsession) to my first attempt at a real novel by the time I was 12. An inactive child I was not.
The trilogy took hold of my life for a good 7 years. It was my "first." My first request for a partial (in January of 2007), my first (of many) rejection, my first attempt at writing an entire book (or three). The characters still make me feel all nostalgic. That trilogy grew up with me, and though 16-year-old me would've done anything to see it published, I am very grateful it never went beyond a partial request. I learned so much more through rejection than I ever could have through requests. It made me try harder, read more, and dream bigger.
Next came Blind, which I wrote in a month and was my first non-trilogy-related writing venture in 7 years. It, too, has since been retired, though it earned me my first full request. I'll never forget that; I screamed and jumped up from my desk, which made my roommate spin around and kind of giggle-frown at me, wondering if I had lost it. It was such a feeling of accomplishment, seeing that full request. After (at the time) 7 years of querying, writing, and slaving over the trilogy and then Blind without ever seeing more than a partial request, I was beginning to wonder if I had what it took to get published. Then Blind stirred up some interest, and it reaffirmed how much I wanted to see my book on a shelf.
Once I felt Blind had run its course, I started querying my newest project. This one had come to me during a geology class, which to this day makes me smile all warm-fuzzy-like. To think something as super-fun as Stream Pirate could come from something as mind-numbing as a night class gives hope to boring classes everywhere. Stream Pirate developed over the course of two years before I started to write it last fall. I started querying it last winter, and it got far more attention than either Blind or trilogy (though that's not saying very much...). I always had a good feeling about this story; me in all my INFJ-intuitive glory "just knew" it was good. And, let's be honest -- pirates. Mmmm.
But anyway: I had a few full requests for Stream Pirate before Agent Kate (as she will from hence forth be known) sent me my first ever "I'm interested in this book" email. She wanted to see a few revisions, but just seeing that an agent, an AGENT, liked MY book, made me burst into tears and run into my parent's bedroom (at, oh, 8 AM), weep-screaming "An agent wants my book!" Nothing had been set in stone by that time, of course, but that feeling -- wow. It didn't even really hit me until I said those words. After 8 years, three different stories, hundreds of queries, dozens of partials and fulls, it'd finally come. THE email.
Two revisions later, Agent Kate offered representation.
12-year-old me couldn't be more ecstatic. Hell, 20-year-old me couldn't be more ecstatic.
I HAVE AN AGENT. *giggles*
Thank goodness there's no cure for the Awesomes. Because I am now represented by the ever-amazing Kate Schafer Testerman of kt literary, and I have been waiting all my life to say that.
(No, I didn't skip class to post this. How dare you accuse me of such a thing.)
PS: I'm on her client list! Woot woot!