Like almost every writer’s dream, I was signed by a literary agent two years ago for not only one book, but my writing career overall. Writing is a very competitive field. Finding a literary agent to manage your writing career, and one who actually believes in you is just as difficult as people say.
Here is the story of how I Found My Literary Agent here.
As some of you may know, I have been working on a particular novel for what seems like a lifetime now. So, at first, I was so thrilled. My dream had come true. My book would be published by a major publisher in no time! (Ha).
My agent and I went through rounds of editing to get the book ready. Once we felt it was in good shape, my agent started pitching several editors and publishers . Some requested the full copy but in the end, rejections kept coming. I started doubting myself and my novel . After she had pitched almost everyone on her list, my book had not been sold. No book deal.
I lost hope… I had given up on publishing this novel and started writing something entirely different, but my character’s voice kept calling out to me. Why was I giving up ?
I considered self- publishing . Clearly those publishers and editors didn’t want diversity. It was their loss. But I had self-published a different book in the past because I was impatient and it did not work out so well.
I truly believe that this book would be better off in a major publishing house rather than self-publishing because of its complex, intriguing subject matter and ability to reach a diverse audience. I decided to talk with my agent about my concerns. (If you are not aware, my novel deals with a very dark theme about a raped Congolese victim from D.R Congo who finds herself in a religious cult in Texas.)
Am I not good enough?
Sometimes it helps when people believe in you just as much as you believe in yourself.
I decided that my novel needed more work and hired a professional editor who has worked in the publishing industry. She did a magnificent job with the development and pace of the story. I was amazed. After starting the revising process again, I took another long break from the novel . I was burnt out. I hated it now and just the thought of reading it again made me sick to my stomach. I’m talking months here.
During that time, I gave birth to a second baby, moved to a new house, went back to work full-time and started focusing on writing articles instead. Writing fiction was the last thing on my mind, in fact, reading other authors was mostly what I did.
I really needed that break.
The great thing about being a writer is that you are always re-creating yourself.
-Martin Cruz Smith
There’s something about putting a manuscript away and coming back to it months later. When I picked up the manuscript again, I found myself at awe with my ability to create. Those words. I wrote that? And to think that I was ready to give up and toss this book forever.
I finished up revising and (update) have since then decided to break my contract with my agent and look for a different one who will be a better fit for my book and writing career!
So now, we wait again.
Words have carried me through the happiest and saddest moments of my life– in times where all I could do was pick up a pen and paper to express myself in order to empty my mind, my heart, and my soul.
So, every time I think about giving up on this novel, I remember all the countless sleepless nights, the research, the interviews, the tears, and most of all, the voices inside my head. The cries of those women wanting to be heard–wanting their story told. I’m their voice. I may go through a dozen more rounds of revising, but I won’t give in and “settle”. Because this story deserves to be told right.
When Is Your Book Coming Out?
So to answer this question, I don’t know when my book is coming out, but my prayer is that this novel will finally find a (publishing) home soon. In the meantime, you can keep reading my words on my blog and pray I get a book deal soon!
An aspiring novelist