First the good news: 30 minutes ago I received my first e-mail contact from an actual literary agent. I have to tell you, this is an agent that’s been on my short list of ideal agents for several years. Some names have dropped off the list and new ones have been added over the years, but this agent is one that I can remember being on my dream list since I made the decision to pursue my writing dreams.
For those of you who may not be writers, I should tell you that, second only to being accepted for publication, the thing aspiring writers dream of most is getting “the call” (or e-mail) from a literary agent. That dream isn’t one that comes to fruition for many. It takes years of hard work and to have in hand a highly polished and brilliantly written story. That’s just the beginning, though. As you send your manuscript out to the agent you’ve so carefully chosen, the one person who, among all other agents in the natural world, you have chosen to pin all of your hopes and dreams on, you become a pawn to the forces in the universe. Did you put enough postage on the envelope? Address it properly? If your manuscript does manage to survive the trials of the USPS, or email, did it arrive during the submission period? Does the first reader like it? Does the agent even like it? If they do like it, is your manuscript so unique and timely that they want to represent it or have they just signed four other authors with similar manuscripts? So many factors conspire against an aspiring writer receiving that contact from a literary agent that it often seems an impossibility that such a small thing as a call or e-mail will ever happen. Many writers give up, frustrated with the odds of ever succeeding.
I’ve never given up, though. I haven’t always written as regularly as I should, I have too many projects which aren’t yet polished and ready for submission. But I also knew that I wouldn’t ever give up and that it would happen for me (yeah, I have confidence in my writing, hell yeah, I do!). And, after all these years, I have an e-mail in my inbox from an agent. One of the agents on my weathered, dog-eared list of dream agents. It was an amazing feeling to open my e-mail and see that name, so familiar, waiting for me. (You writers out there know what I am talking about!)
Now for the bad news: The e-mail was just a thank you for the heads up I’d given them that their Twitter account was hacked and sending me messages with nefarious looking links.
Oh yeah, imagine my
short-lived excitement when I saw that the literary agency was sending me direct messages on Twitter. Momentary bliss!