Well, the headline says it all. It's been a long road, though not nearly as long as it's been for others, but it's all been worth it.
As previously posted, in May I attended the wonderful Backspace Writer's Conference (they are having another one this November, which I highly recommend attending). While there I had the opportunity to have my query and 1st two pages read by attending agents in a workshop-style seminar called the Agent/Author day. Of the 18 agents that heard my work, 6 requested more materials, a high percentage if you ask me. Of course, the moment I got home I jetted the requested materials out to them.
Within a couple of weeks, the wonderful April Eberhardt of the Reece Halsey Literary Agency got back to me with feedback. While she loved the story, she felt the 'writing wasn't quite there yet.' She felt the book moved too slowly, which I had to agree. Hard to hear but completely accepted. I went back to the drawing board and decided to take some chances with the book. I decided to approach with a new boldness, stop being coy and "subtle" and just tell the story. The rewrite turned out to the be strongest version I had ever written and finally felt the book was finished.
I sent the reworked version out again. In addition, I requested of a couple of choice agents that already had the older version, to substitute the new version, and thankfully each agreed. That was back in July.
More waiting. A couple of nudging emails and then I started following each of the agents on Twitter. I began interacting with one of them, sending subtle and not so subtle reminders that she had the manuscript, which she assured me she was getting to, but was swamped (all agents are swamped right now). Weeks and months passed and slowing my manuscript rose to the top of her stack.
The week of September 20th, she read the manuscript. We set up a time to talk Wednesday, September 23rd to discuss and, while I figured she'd say the usuals (love the story, love the characters, but...the writing's not quite there yet), she surprised me. "Love the story, love the characters, but above all I love the writing." I was flabbergasted. I was shocked. She offered representation then and there.
So, the contracts have been reviewed and signed. And now I have an agent! Jennifer DeChiara has her own agency http://www.jdlit.com/ and has been in the biz for quite awhile amassing a well-respected reputation for being very nice but very tenacious when it comes to her clients (ME). I am beyond excited to have her in my corner fighting for my book. She is passionate about books and publishing and about my work. While I know selling any fiction is tough these days, let alone Literary Fiction, I have complete faith in her and my book.
Between the two of us, On the Edge of Someplace Else will find its proper place on the bookshelves.