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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.

Wait-- what?

Read that again.


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!


Unknown said...


Yes, you indeed have a serious case of the Awesomes! :)

Karen Denise said...

Congrats!!! I can't say that I'm not jealous because you've landed an awesome agent (one I'd love to have myself) but I am forever happy when a fellow writer takes that next step to publication! Good luck to you in your writing career :-)

lisa and laura said...

FINALLY! I've been waiting for this post! Congratulations Sara! We are so happy for you and I can't wait to see your fabulous three-book deal in Publisher's Marketplace sometime very soon.

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Yay, Sara! Super congrats! I cannot wait to read your books!!!

Natalie Whipple said...

YES!!! *Pumps fists* I'm so happy for you, Sara! I've been DYING to tell people and now I can. MY FRIEND IS AWESOME!!!

Mariah Irvin said...


*Fangirl voice*

This is soooooooooo exciting!!!!!!!

Trying not to be jealous...

I'm extremely happy for you! Seriously, I can't stop smiling.

Adam Heine said...

Congratulations! And Stream Pirates looks cool.

Now I have to go edit some more before I get all jealous ;-)

Jessie Oliveros said...

I just read your announcement on Natalie's blog. Congratulations, and I am especially impressed you did this all while going to school.

Sarah Wylie said...

Congratulations! Amazing and, yes, awesome!!

Ina said...

Weee! Congratulations, Sara!

Now quick, sneeze on me! I want to catch the Awesomes.

Kiersten White said...

I am SO GLAD YOU CAUGHT IT! I always knew you'd be susceptible, it was just a matter of time...

Seriously, so freaking happy for you and your Awesomeness : )

Kasie West said...

You certainly do have a serious case of the Awesomes. It's a fun disease to have. :) I'm impressed by your story, your motivation, and commitment. It is very impressive that you started so young. Congrats!!!!

David said...

I sure hope the Awesomes are contagious - though I guess I need to polish my manuscript first. Maybe it will help if I hang around here.

Steph Bowe said...

I am so happy for you!!!
I just signed with Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown for my YA novel so I know how you feel about having an agent!!

Hayley Lovell said...

Congrats Sara! I'm so excited for you!

storyqueen said...

Congratulations! So happy for you.


Carrie Harris said...

WOO HOO! We're agency sisters! Kate is beyond awesome!!!!

Doing the happy dance for you now!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Send some awesome my way :)

ChristaCarol Jones said...

DUDE!!!!!! I am SOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU! *squees along with her and jumps up and down*

Bad me for not being on all day and getting this later :(

Sara Raasch said...

Awe, shucks, guys! You're making me all warm and fuzzy inside :)

Thanks for all the support and well-wishes! It totally makes my day (er, evening)!

Renee Collins said...


This is AMAZING news!! Kate Schafer Testerman! Dude!!

So happy for you, Sara. It's great to read your story. You've earned this!

Jade said...

Congratulations! That is so super awesome!!!

I had this feeling that you and your pirates might take over the world...can't wait to read it!!

Kim Walus said...

Congratulations Sara on all of the AWESOMENESS!!! You definitely deserve it and I look forward to reading your books in the not too distant future. I'm soooo happy for you!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


It's also awesome to see there's another person out there who was obsessed with American Girl things like I was. I loved Felicity and anything colonial starting from the age of 9. It made me write my own historical novella at 11. I still write historical fiction today thanks to AG :)

Congrats again! I love reading about another writer's success! It makes me happy :)

Stephanie Perkins said...

I just read the news on Natalie Whipple's blog! GIANT, MEGA, ULTRA-HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm thrilled we're agency sisters now! Kate is the BEST. Best, best, BEST.

WOW! So happy for you! :)

:) :) :)

Elana Johnson said...

Congrats Sara! Can't wait to read your book!! I hope those "Awesome's" are highly infectious.

Cate said...


Hardygirl said...

Way to go!! Kate is awessome.


K. M. Walton said...

Sara!!! Incredible news. Sorry for my late congratulations. This post happened while I was away for work, so I missed it. Oh wow, this is big!!

Yay for you!!!!!!

Samantha said...

I've been doing the happy dance for a week.

Sara Raasch said...

Thanks, everyone!!

And Sam -- I've been doing the happy dance so much it's become my normal way to walk.