It's happened. Finally. After 47 rejections (but who's counting?), I have an agent. And not one of those agents you hear about who grudgingly agrees to represent you, then sticks your manuscript in his desk drawer next to his bottle of cheap scotch and never sends it out. This agent is bright and energetic and excited to submit my work.
And with my sudden surge of hope that I'll one day see my cozy mystery published, I'm faced with an unexpected sensation. Pressure. People might actually read my work. I'm not writing endless chapters for my own amusement. I have to make sure my words are witty and compelling and interesting. Yikes.
But that feeling of pressure is offset by pure giddiness. When I first called my husband to tell him the news, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I get such a thrill saying ridiculous things like, "I can't talk now. My agent is expecting some work." or "I got an email from my agent today." It's completely silly, but I can't help myself. Just thinking about those remarks makes me giggle.
Another feeling has popped up, amid the excitement and nervousness. Validation. Turns out I'm not a terrible writer. When people asked if I had an agent, I'd generally launch into an explanation of how the business works, how agents are looking for certain books at certain times, how agents receive a gazillion submissions a day and how they might overlook my query letter, how my book is a specific subgenre within a genre that the agent might not be interested in. All definitely true, but listening to myself, I'd wonder if I was just making excuses and deluding myself over why no one had picked me yet (what is this, a kickball game in elementary school?). I had the sneaking suspicion that the person I was talking to, intentionally or not, was wondering if maybe I wasn't a good writer. But now that I have an agent, I can say, "See, my book can't be that bad."
Or maybe it is. Maybe my agent does have that whiskey in her drawer and she drank half the bottle before reading my manuscript. Who cares? I have an agent.