Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Property of Agent Meg

So I am in Atlanta for a writer's conference, and I just met with the person I hope will become my agent. Her name is Meg and she is an absolutely lovely person.

This meeting has been planned for a while. For weeks, I've been mentally preparing. I was calm, for the most part: collected, centered, ready to meet this person whose clients I've been reading, whose literary habits I've been studying. In the end, it's about fit, and you can't control fit, so? Calm.

But this morning, before the meeting, I was so nervous that my hands were shaking. She asked me to tell her a little about myself and it almost made me burst into tears. But she was so calm and kind and lovely that eventually I couldn't keep shaking because honestly, WTF? Plus, she had excellent jewelry. Trustworthy jewelry, like something my best friend would make.

Then she said she'd read the chapters I sent her - and LOVED them. She had pages of editorial feedback, all of which was right on the money (and stuff I basically knew, but I needed to hear it from a pro). Best of all, she told me to finish the thing and get it to her.

She said I'm enormously talented (OK, OK, her exact words were very talented but she said that three times and I round up) with a great, fresh voice, and she said I needed to simplify the story because it could be a great romantic comedy. Which, God yes.

AND she said that the only thing a writer really needs to do is create compelling characters that leap off the page, and that I have done that.

When she said this, she smiled at me with such meaning, I felt like I was being knighted, or brought into the sisterhood.

So now I want to tattoo "Property of Agent Meg" on my left cheek.

And as if all that wasn't good enough, then she said "I hope very much that when you're ready to send it out, you will send it to me." I think my heart exploded.

And we talked about career stuff and she seemed relieved that I have a job that pays the bills and still allows me time to write. And she talked about how she guides writers in their careers and editorially, and that not everyone wants that, and I about broke a leg telling her that I am in crying, pleading, desperate need of that.

She also wanted to introduce me to Susan Wiggs (one of her clients). In fact she sort of pitched her to me as a mentor, which would be great, although not as great as my current mentor, the brilliant, miraculous, and did I mention utterly gorgeous Jennifer Crusie gobuyherbooks. (And once Jenny heard all this - Jenny's Meg's client and referred me to her in the first place - Jenny leapt into action setting me up with mentors left and right.)

She loved the title (Fool Me Twice), she loved George, she loved Jane, and she told me she wondered if Jane's the lead rather than Claire, and in the same breath she told me not to jump off the roof, which means she's got me all figured out.

And then she said my voice is eerily like Jenny's, which could be kind of weird for her, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Regardless, she wants the Rotrosen Agency to work with me.

I cannot tell you how serious she sounded when she said this, like if I didn't, if I should send my work to anyone else, she might have me hobbled.

THIS is why people go to writer's conferences.


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