Begging pardon…

Mary_Pickford_Washing_Hair_1922Oh hi. I didn’t see you there.

Can you give me a minute? I beg your pardon, but you kind of caught me in the midst of, um…what I mean is, I’m not quite prepared for, uh…

Oh, what the hell. I don’t have an agent anymore.

This happened six days ago, and while that may seem like ample time to be over it by now; in dog years, IT JUST HAPPENED. I’m not ready to proclaim myself ‘over it’. I mean, six days ago, the person I believed was going to do no less than change my life

Actually, he did change my life. Not once, but twice. The first time, in May of 2015, I’d just returned from an amazing trip to southern Texas. The second time–this past Monday–I’d just returned from an amazing trip to southern Florida. That first time, I signed a contract with his literary agency and the world was my oyster. Anything was possible. Last Monday, we officially parted company and now…well, now, anything is possible, I guess. But I can’t help but wonder, What happened?

Both of us were truly, madly and deeply in love with my novel, with such high hopes, but last week, he…we…came to the conclusion that it might be prudent, or better if I, or he…we…you know…in the interest of our mutual careers…to amicably, ummm…

Yeah. It’s surreal. And it feels so…is raw the right word? You’d think a writer would know the right word. Nope. Right now, I’m at a loss for those damn things, and doubting a host of other things, which is not to say that I haven’t had tons and tons of wonderful support since that day, because I have.

Oddly enough, that support started last Monday: The Call reverse-engineered this time, but softened by a great kindness, and the most generous comments an agent can make to a writer, and vise versa; no blame on either side, save perhaps ‘the market.’ Surely this is for the best, for both of us…

The love-fest continued with family and friends on the home-front, each of whom was equally kind and generous and wonderful, and that spilled over to my writing friends, my peers…

I’m undeserving, but so grateful for them right now. I can’t tell you how much their support has meant to me in these past few days. Thing is, it’s not like I’ve been diagnosed with uterine cancer or something like that, it certainly nothing as bad as that–believe me, I know. It’s a simple fact: I had an agent and now I don’t. My beloved novels are still mine. My query for CHERRY is set to go. The world didn’t end, didn’t even slow down…

…but something shifted somewhere, and I tumbled through the five stages of grief anyhow, telling myself I deserved to indulge; excusing myself for doing that because hey, it’s been one hell of a week, kk.

Didn’t have to be, but it was.

On the bright side, I’m making remarkable progress; in fact, I’m almost ready to chalk up this experience to Life in the Big City: one of those things that happens sometimes in the publishing world. I’m almost ready to climb back into the ring for Round 2: start querying again, revise a little bit, take up where I left off on my latest WIP, maybe even investigate other possibilities for getting my books out there, noticed, sold.

But first, if you don’t mind, I need a little time to get myself square again, because it’s not every day one loses her agent, or lets him go or get away…whatever happened there, and now I’m second-guessing myself again, wondering if maybe the writing was on that particular wall and I just didn’t…want to…you know…

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16 thoughts on “Begging pardon…

  1. So many hugs.

    I’m terrible at knowing what to say, but as you say – ‘one of those things’. I have every confidence in you, and what I’ve read of your words (desperate to read more btw) you have some sort of magic power in them. If there’s anything I can do, let me know. In the meantime, all the love and more. ❤ xxx

    • Very, very kind of you, Hedgie. And I shall revisit your kind words numerous times, I am quite certain. I can’t thank you enough but I’m trying, anyhow.

      Thank you, H.

      xo kk

  2. Just “liked” this post but “like” isn’t quite the right word. Maybe better is gosh, I’m so sorry, kk. I remember how excited you were (and we all were for you). I love your work, have read it over the past couple of years on AbsoluteWrite and have been so impressed. You are one of the people who have inspired me to keep plugging away at my own book and to take a deep breath and finally (just last week) start sending out queries.

    But still, gosh, I am sorry. I wish I had something better to say than that. Best always, Donna Gough (aka GoughPubs)

    • You can ‘like’ it if you want, Donna. I truly don’t mind it. In fact, it’s kind of a badge of courage, I think. ‘Gosh’ is good, too, because it connotes surpise, and in context even an element of heartfelt dismay, and I can relate to both, for sure.

      Good for you for starting the query process. I remember it well, and I shall likely be right behind you. No, I’m in the same boat so don’t freak when you feel that warm, moist breath on your neck. It’s not Beelzebub, it’s just sweet little kk, ready to kick a little query butt.

      Thank you for the vote of confidence, Donna. Right back at ya.

      xoxo kk

      • Love the idea of “kicking a little query butt” — great way to look at it!

        Sometimes I think the greatest thing about the internet and discussion boards and such is that we get to (virtually) meet others and offer support all around. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through the query process all alone — the good wishes and good vibes sent through the ethernet are so important! Please keep us all posted, kk, on how it is going! Because you know, we are all right there with you, too! 🙂

  3. Well, you have already heard from me on the shitty shitness of this outcome (no offense to the agent, of course) but something you said here really resonates with me:

    “I’m making remarkable progress.”

    I think that’s the best thing to be gained by this situation. I, too, recently found the tough, sometimes random pain of the publishing game. I was supposed to have a story published in May, now I’m not. The story collection is cancelled. And while it’s disappointing, I think seeing the travails of other writers helped me understand nothing’s a given. We get tough or we get mowed down.

    So your callouses are building; you’re able to withstand a blow after being on the mat to the count of 5 rather than 10. You’ll be great, kk. Anyone who’s read your work knows that. You have every reason to be sad, but the fact that you’re already feeling a bit better means your that much closer to going the full 12 Rounds. Now put up your dukes, sister. You got a book in the works, books to query…you’re in the fight.

    XOXO,

    E

    *perhaps I got carried away with the metaphor there, but MAN! I was on a roll. 😀

    • No offense re: my agent. My ex, I should say. A good egg and, you know.

      As for the rest of it, I’m grateful to you, Elaine. Can’t really say that enough. And I’m sorry about your disappointing news, it’s never easy but yep, it gets easier with time and experience, right? And for every time we weather that disappointment–okay, maybe not EVERY time, maybe only one-in-ten or something like that, but who’s counting…

      What was I going to say?

      🙂

      Point is: good things happen, too, as evidenced by me getting that agent, and you getting your story chosen. Regardless of the outcome, nothing compares to things like that, the sweet successes–whether big or small–that validate our writing. It keeps us going, as WE do, for each other.

      So yep, I shall persevere, as I know you will. Ain’t no lite-weights in this house, puppy.

      xoxo kk

  4. I don’t want to offer platitudes, nor do I want to write the things-that-should-never-be-said-on-the-bogosphere-because-they’re-here-forever, so I’ll just say what I’ve already said. This sucks, no question, but you, your words, your stories…these do not suck. You are a fine, strong, writer, who is bigger than this unplanned and unwanted detour on your writing road. Take whatever time you need–6 (now 7?) days isn’t even a blink. I “liked” this post not because I like what you had to share, but for the fact that you shared it, with dignity and honesty. This is a harsh business, to say the least, and for some of us, sharing the hard and honest truths of what all too often does/doesn’t happen is a way to preserve that dignity. So thank you, I know it couldn’t have been easy to share this. And many, many (((((((hugs))))))). ❤

    • I wasn’t easy, you’re right. It was really hard and I dreaded it, and felt embarrassed to admit it, especially after being so over-the-top ecstatic…

      But this is a writing blog, for better or worse. And navigating through this business of writing is part of it. Trying to figure it out as I go and sharing that, for better or worse. I would not have accomplished all I have, would not be the writer I am right now, had it not been the support and counsel of certain special people, of which you are one.

      I thank you for what you wrote there, mrs fringe. Saying that from the bottom of my heart.

      xoxo kk

  5. Shit, KK, that sucks. Flat out sucks.

    6 days is nowhere near enough time to be over. 6 weeks might not be. 6 months. I dunno. You adjust how you need to, you have that right.

    You got an agent once. You’ll get another. What I’ve seen of CHERRY is damn good, and of EFFIN’ ALBERT. Good and readable and you’ll be on the shelves. Like Mrs. Fringe, I’m glad you shared, but I know this isn’t the kind of news you want to have to tell.

    • You are right, Jen, it wasn’t something I wanted to share, but I needed to. And I’m glad I did. It’s kind of like going to a funeral, you don’t want to go, don’t want to be there, and there are tears and hugs and happy memories, and finally you say ‘good-bye’, and put it to rest.

      We move on and life goes on. We take the good with the bad, celebrate the former and hopefully, learn from the latter. Like I always say about these crazy road trips we go on: The destination’s great, but the journey is sometimes the best part, because you never know what you’re going to see or do, never know what’s over the next hill or around the next corner.

      Thank you for your very kind words, Jen. I’m very grateful to you.

      xoxo kk

  6. Aw, just saw this. So sorry. On a practical note. Did you ask your agent for all copies of the correspondence he had with editors he approached about your work? It can be really helpful. I parted with my agent after a year and was devastated. However, he sent me copies of all the responses he got on my novel which helped me to revise it and also realize he’d been shopping it to the wrong market. After a good long pout and pity party – believe me I needed it and you probably do too – I pulled myself together, made some changes and started again. I ended up selling the novel to a small well-respected press and it was nominated for a reader’s choice award. Sometimes it’s as simple as making a few tweaks and finding the right person. Chin up girl, you can do it!

  7. Thank you for your kind words, Linnea. You raise a good point and yes, he shared every response with me. Rejections were subjective at best. Nothing concrete, no real consensus. Nothing to revise unless I change the format of the thing–three editors didn’t connect with the journal format–then again, two others liked it, and did my agent, most of my betas, me…

    🙂

    Regardless, your story is inspiring and gives me hope, Linnea. So thank you again. Like you, I shall not give up, not even.

    xoxo kk

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