This has been the craziest, best spring of my life. As I prepared to indie publish The Six Train to Wisconsin, I got “The Call” from Harlequin.
Except I was editing and didn’t hear the phone ring. LOL. So it went to voicemail. But she immediately sent an email to contact her. When I got in touch with her, it was awesome. She really liked Reckonings, my first YA novel.
She had revisions she wanted, but she wanted to make an offer on it!
I almost fell over. This was my first novel. The one I wrote in 2006. The one I cut my writing teeth on. The one I workshopped and submitted to critiques for years. The one I’d revised from 120k to 67k because I loved it so much. The one I feared I’d never sell.
And I’d almost given up on it. I’d submitted to 192 agents and 15 publishers over the years. The last publisher had a lovely editor who gave me a page of feedback, saying I could revise and resubmit to her. I taped her email over my desk. It was the kindest rejection I’d ever received. It buoyed my spirits.
She recommended I submit to this Harlequin editor.
I did. Eight weeks later I got the editor call!
But I knew nothing about negotiating book contracts. I talked to my mentors Jenna Bennett and Paige Shelton who advised trying to get an agent to help. So I went through my spreadsheet of agents and contacted the ones that gave me great feedback on the full manuscript to see if they might be interested in working with me.
ICM Partners expressed interest. ICM Partners!!! Agent Lyndsay Hemphill devoured my revised book in a day and we set up a call. She offered to represent me. She was super enthusiastic about the book and she patiently answered all my questions about everything. I immediately wanted to work with her. I signed with her last week.
So I’m delighted to announce Lyndsay Hemphill of ICM Partners will be representing my YA novel and negotiating the offer from Harlequin.
I still can’t quite believe this is all happening. And I am so thrilled to work with such a top notch agency and such a publishing giant!