Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Back By Popular Demand...HOPE!

Like most writers, when I was searching for an agent, I devoured every agency's website, I googled until my fingers yelled at me, and I endlessly scoured the writing boards and forums for the skinny on agents until my head throbbed. Why? Because that's what we have to do in order to land an agent.

I still have subscriptions from the forums, which alert me via email when someone posts on certain agency's threads---the ones that I was waiting for feedback from. A while back, I received an alert from one of those threads, because a new post had come through. The poster, a writer of course, was down and out because she'd received a call from this agency a couple months back. The agent she spoke with was very excited about her writing and told her she'd hear back from her right after Bologna, which sadly she never did, even after sending a few gentle email nudges she's gotten no response. Even though this post has nothing to do with me, my heart sank when I read it, because I've certainly been in her shoes. When you want something so badly, the waiting turns from nagging to all consuming. Even with family, friends, jobs, it's hard to think about little else.

Well...I have hope.

Some of you know, Craig Virden, Nancy Gallt's husband was my original agent. He was a wonderful man and a powerhouse in the publishing industry and it was a great loss to everyone when he passed away last year. Well, Craig was the agent I desperately wanted. You know what I mean...THE agent--the one. He'd had my requested full for what seemed like forever and a day (or about 6 months), I'd sent a couple email nudges hoping for an update, but with no response. Then finally a letter from the Nancy Gallt Agency arrived at my home. I nervously opened it, my heart beating like a rabbit's. What did a find? A rejection from Craig. Mind you, the nicest, most personal, genuine rejection anyone could ever get, but a rejection all the same. So there it was. What did I do? I immediately starting writing. He told me to send him whatever I had "moldering" in my desk that he might like. So I picked up the pace on a manuscript I'd been working on, finishing it about a month after his rejection--right after the 2009 Bologna, where he happened to be.

That's when I got the call. It was Tuesday. Just after returning from Bologna, Craig called me out of the blue. He'd changed his mind. He couldn't stop thinking about NIGHTSHADE CITY and wanted to represent me. He said he didn't care about the market and that my book needed to be published. The rest you know.

So, please, to this writer and to everyone else who's struggling to get published, keep having hope, even if you're down to your last agent or have subbed your third manuscript with no bites--keep having hope. Strange and wonderful things happen every day. Trust in whatever it is that forces you to be a writer. There is a reason why you're here.

xoxo -- Hilary


  1. I'm sorry about your agent's death.

    Thanks for sharing your story. What a feeling it must've been to know he couldn't stop thinking about your manuscript.

    And thank you for giving us some hope.

  2. Such an inspiring post!

    And kudos to you for writing something that people cannot forget.


  3. Anonymous7/05/2011

    Beautiful post, Hilary! Fostering a sense of hope is essential to surviving the troughs between the waves in this journey. The fact that you picked up the pace on your new project shows that even if you didn't get "that call" you were determined to keep going!!

  4. A wonderful, inspirational post, Hilary.

  5. Hope has been rekindled. Thank you for sharing your inspirational story.

  6. Very inspiring post, Hilary. Thanks.

  7. This is just one of those things everyone needs to remember. It's so hard sometimes when the industry gets you down. :)


  8. Thanks for this Hilary. It's been a while since I was querying anything, but it's so hard to be patient, and maintain hope when you are. Yet there's always hope. As long as you don't despair there's always hope.

  9. Anonymous7/05/2011

    Writers need to be reminded of this. Good things are around the corner as long as one persistently writes and subs.

  10. "Trust in whatever it is that forces you to be a writer. There is a reason why you're here."

    Thanks for this, Hilary. I'm going through the querying process again and your story is most heartening.


Leave me a message after the beep...BEEP!