After a complete reordering of my novel, which resulted in the deletion or streamlining of several scenes, and the writing additional scenes, and subsequent transitions… and then rewriting two major scenes as my agent suggested… and THEN softening the narrator’s stance toward her mother…and much honing, sweating and worries, I submitted the mss back to my agents for review. I am delighted to report that it took only 3 weeks for them to read it (in its entirety, for the third time) and email back to me.
In fact, Chelsea thanked me for my patience while she and Maria read the revision. After much detailed praise (the kind of praise I’ll print and post above my computer to read on the days I feel deserted by the muse), she concluded her email by writing, “I am fully confident sending this story out, and will start my query process after Labor Day… In the next couple of weeks, I will diligently be working on my list of editors to contact, and will keep you updated on my progress.”
The best part is: I trust that she will do exactly that.
What makes this so remarkable is that several years ago I worked with an agent on a different novel, and had a very different experience, with ignored emails and superficial deadlines. For nearly a year, I thought that was the way it was supposed to be, after all, agents are very busy people, even though something told me her lack of response and lame excuses were disrespectful. I finally cut the cord when it became clear to me she hadn’t even read the entire mss, even though she’d told me she was a “hands on” agent.
So I am floored by Chelsea and Maria. Floored. Chelsea responds to my emails asap. She is a cheerleader. She is a mentor. She makes me work hard. She is honest and upbeat. I’ve finally realized this is the way it’s supposed to be. And I’m loving it.
I did a little research on my former agent, and sadly enough, there are stories similar to mine concerning her floating around the web. I’m glad it wasn’t just me, but it’s also disheartening. So let me warn you: it’s hard to switch agents, but if you feel as if things aren’t quite right, you deserve better.