Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It’s Not You; It’s Me…


Such hard words to hear…  because you KNOW it isn’t quite what’s meant.  I mean it IS, but it’s a statement of mismatch… you didn’t do anything wrong except BE YOU… which isn’t working for me… Only this time I'm you... ifyouknowwhatImean...

So I’ve been on the receiving end of a little heartbreak…

A big heartbreak, actually.

My agent for my YA stuff, the fabulous Amy Tipton, has broken up with me… She was really nice about it—felt terrible. She has just been looking over my revised Kahlotus Disposal Site and got to feeling like she just isn’t the right person.  She thought I wouldn’t have any trouble at all finding new representation—nothing she specifically thought I should do before sending it out again. She even passed on a few names and a few different agencies she thought would fit me better.  Our visions just aren’t quite compatible. She said she loves my writing and knows I’m talented and promised to remain a fan… it is just the collaboration piece…

I’m not sure what to do with this… I’ve felt like things were settled for a while… I haven’t shopped for an agent actively for two years and strangely, in that time, accumulated two of them. Now I’m back down to one, but Ellen is project specific—just the cozies… I think she’s a great fit for my mystery stuff but I need to head back into shopping for an agent for my darker stuff.

Not yet though.  I mean soon.  But I need to let this settle.  Sort of like a relationship—if I dive in too fast, I might settle for any old person, and the sex might be fantastic… wait, what?  No, seriously—I think I need to really look at some personalities… stalk people a while if I think they’re a good fit, rather than just desperately groping for the first person who will have me. After looking, I will Query people who I think I might manage a mind meld with. Because they are out there—I know MANY people like that—people I meet and know right away that we get each other. Surely one of them is a literary agent. I just need to FIND HER.

So I think the PLAN… (oh how sad… I can’t make myself cackle when I say plan… it’s a dark day indeed)

1)       Finish writing A Shot In The Light.  I can’t lose the momentum on this—I’m nearing done. And I KNOW the query thing is a MAJOR creative block, so until this rough draft is complete, I’m not even going to think about it. My deadline is the end of July.
2)      AugustHARD COPY, I will edit What Ales Me. With my online time I will make a list of the agents I think may be a match, including Twitter and blog info, if there is any so I can keep track of them for a while. Start with website. ALSO look into their authors I think might be sort of similar to me.
3)      Pull together my KIT info:  Query letter, synopses (a couple lengths)—get it all set so as I query, I just pull out what I need as I need it.
4)      September I will query and send What Ales Me to first readers. THEN I will begin my first revision of Medium Wrong.

I will give myself August through October to edit and query, then I know I need to step back. If I am doing a WriMo in November (meaning WHEN I do a WriMo in November) I need to have this stuff off of my emotional radar. I may not have an agent by that point... in fact knowing the speed of these things, I probably won't. But I will have done a few query rounds, hopefully have had some full requests... I will set aside thinking about it until AFTER ABNA entry in February...

One thing this DOES mean, is I am now free with my YA stuff instead of just my adult, so Medium Wrong may be my best ABNA BET... Or maybe not... I was intent on A Shot in the Light, but at 120K when it's done and two other editing projects before I get to this... I just don't imagine it will be quite polished in time... That particular piece, I suppose I can play by ear.

Anyway... I hope you will pardon me while I nurse my wounds for a bit...

28 comments:

MTS said...

Sorry to hear this, Hart, BUT I'm so impressed with you for having a detailed plan to get you through the next several months. It does sound like it was the best breakup scenario that was possible...but it still sucks.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry, Hart. You're tough though, so it won' keep you down for long. And you've already got a plan. Well, you always have a plan...

Not Hannah said...

I luff you. And you rock. Just saying...

Summertime Rose said...

You've had to regroup before.
You're already doing it, now.
Lick your wounds,
then,

N E X T

Teresa Coltrin@Journaling Woman said...

I'm so sorry, I know this hurts. Remember though you have your foot in the door. You are there. You will find another.

T

Carolyn Abiad said...

No worries! It will all work out. :)

Dana said...

I'm so sorry to hear your news! Man, the agent game is tough, and definitely a creative buzz kill, but I think you've got the right attitude and your priorites are on target: the writing comes first!

I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed as you continue along your journey.

Best wishes,

Dana

Carol Kilgore said...

You're already making lemonade from those lemons you received. I hope your next agent is the right one for you. This part is no fun, but you'll be fine :)

Hissy_Fitts said...

I'm so sorry! I'm impressed that you have such a workable planning process and that she knew she wasn't the right fit. The perfect agent for YOU is out there...and she deserves the opportunity to work with you. So here's one for luck and you're on your way.
http://www.fugly.com/pictures/15000/kissing_baby_llamas.html

JMims said...

So sorry to hear this news, but very glad you are so well prepared and that you handle anything life throws at you!

Alison DeLuca said...

Hugs and sympathy and virtual booze coming your way, as well as icecream right in the carton. You have the best attitude ever, and I know a better fit is around the corner. Crossing fingers and toes for you!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I am so sorry. Take your time and don't settle for just anyone.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Merde. Sometimes "Oh, darn" just doesn't cover it.

The publishing world is going through issues of its own. Perhaps this rift is due to that.

The only thing sure is that life is unsure at the moment, and I hate that for you.

John Locke has a perverse, yet strangely comforting attitude, for rejection: A shrug with the thought: you're just not my target audience.

Perhaps it is time to think along new lines. Read Absoulute Write Water Cooler to see what others are doing in similar situations.

It is good to have a plan in such moments. I am impressed that you came up with one while smarting. Me, I just fill my mind with colorful metaphors. Your way is much more productive! :-)

You will emerge from this in ways that you do not expect right now. I am praying large prayers for you right now, Roland

RaShelle Workman said...

Hi Hart! You're amazing, your writing rocks, and I have no doubt you'll find what's right for you. Plus, you've got a plan. An impressive plan!

*hugs*

Sending you a dozen of my red velvet cupcakes slathered in cream cheese frosting. =)

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you so much, friends. It always smarts so much less when I know people are behind me.

Maurice Mitchell said...

That sucks Hart. I'm sure you'll find another agent and, looking back, thank her for letting you go. Keep climbing that ladder.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that, Hart. I'm glad she gave you some suggestions of agents to start with and she's probably right that she wouldn't do as great a job selling the book, considering. Love the way you've got a production schedule going for all your projects!

KarenG said...

Breaking up is hard to do regardless of how it happens or with who. But I know you will come out of this stronger than ever and I look forward to seeing what unfolds.

Mel Chesley said...

Don't worry, the cackle will soon be back! It does suck, feels like a step back when it should be forward, but you'll make it through!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Sorry about the bummer agent news. I hope you find a good one really quick. One that fits you exactly.

Cherie Reich said...

*hugs* So sorry to hear about this, Hart! You're smart to take some time and have a great plan. :)

Old Kitty said...

Lovely Tart!! I am so sorry!! :-(

I hope you get a even more NAKED agent!! I know you will!! The NAKED world domination marches onwards and upwards!! Take care
x

Teresa Cypher said...

Sorry to read about the break up. . This was a tough knock down--but you're already standing up again. I admire that in you!

Jan Morrison said...

Gah! That stings! Like others have said I'm absolutely convinced of your ability to get back up on that pony and ride. And good that you had an agent who was honourable enough to tell her truth to you - you need someone who loves that baby!

Liz said...

so sorry to hear this dear. I HATE rejection no matter what form they take! use to motivate you .... keep writing!
Your Neighbor in BEER
Liz/ET

vbtremper said...

Oh noooooo. So sorry. My crit partner was recently broken up with, too, and it sucks even if it might be for the best in the end. Sounds like you have a good plan in place (hope you're cackling now), so good luck!

-Vicki

Tina said...

I'd be glad to come over, bring my own tub, and the alcoholic beverage of your choice (mine would be chardonnay or martinis) and help you mope. Sorry to hear this. I'd be a blubbering mess...
I think your plan is solid and you've got your fans rooting for you. Let yourself mourn is my free advice.
Bloggy hugs of friendship,
Tina @ Life is Good

LTM said...

UGH!!! ((hugs)) ((bigger hugs)) You know this happened to me last month, right? For me, I feel like I got divorced right after I found out I was pregnant. :p

I know exactly how lost and weird you must feel. Sort of fumbling. I took some time to regroup, and luckily, I still remember agents who I liked and who wanted to see my next novel... here we go again!

But we're not starting empty-handed, right? Hang in there. You've put together a great plan~ <3