Installment 2: How I Met My Client

Posted: June 28, 2016 in Uncategorized
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This is technically the third installment of How I Met My Client, since these posts were inspired by one of our Knight Agency newsletters where I talked about the story of meeting Lynn Flewelling for the first time and had her share the story from her perspective as well.  Not long ago, Christie Golden kicked off the theme here on my blog.  Today I’m very excited to talk about How I Met My Client Amy Christine Parker and to have her talk about how she met her agent (spoiler alert: me)!

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How I Met My Client Amy Christine Parker

I met Amy when I came out to talk with her writers group and subsequently when I attended a meeting of her critique group out here in Florida (where you may or may not know I work from a home office after spending 15 years in Manhattan). Her critique group shared work, and I was impressed with Amy’s writing, particularly her ability to make an impact with her sentences. She had a natural sense of when to use one word sentences or a one sentence paragraph, a natural way with flow and immediacy that really impressed me. But her first idea wasn’t one that I thought would fly.

As Amy mentions in her blog post below, we kept in touch. One day, as I remember it, I asked what she was working on currently. When she told me, I got goosebumps. The story she laid out was about a girl who’d grown up in a cult. The End Times were coming, according to their prophet, and Lyla can’t bring herself to do some of the things he says must be done, like killing others who would threaten their way of life. And as Lyla starts to discover pieces that don’t fit with what the prophet tells them is true, she has reason to fear for her own survival. If Lyla is wrong about the prophet, she might doom herself and everyone she loves, but if she’s right…

You see, chills. I asked her to send it to me when she finished, already dying to read it.

My e-mail archive doesn’t go back far enough for me to check and be sure, but I believe I began reading the complete on a Wednesday night and that by mid-day Thursday I e-mailed Amy asking whether she wanted to meet Friday for coffee to discuss. See, I was halfway through and already knew I had something special here. I strongly suspected that I would take this on, but I had to finish first, just in case things fell apart at the end. I was so enamored, though, that I knew that even if we hit that worst-case scenario, we could discuss revisions and brainstorm fixes and I’d ask for a revise and resubmit. Well, I’m happy to say that things did not fall apart and I absolutely fell in love with the novel. (Although I did, of course, have some thoughts on how to make it even stronger.)

We met for coffee that Friday and discussed the book, at the time called THE SILO, and by the time the ice was melting in our drinks (latte for me, black tea lemonade for Amy), I had a new client and Amy had an agent.

Next came the revision and the submissions and the waiting, which is always the worst part of the job. However, in this case my enthusiasm for the book was so contagious we received some really quick reads and almost instant interest. One auction later, we’d sold the book and a sequel to Random House Children’s Books, where they came to be called GATED and ASTRAY. Plus, Amy’s got a third suspenseful YA novel, SMASH & GRAB coming July 19th.

I’m so pleased at the way it’s all worked out!

And now, here’s our story from Amy’s perspective:

How I Met My Agent

By Amy Christine Parker

Have you ever met someone and just known that you were meant to meet them? I am a pretty pragmatic person, but the moment I was introduced to Lucienne that’s exactly how I felt. In my gut I knew she would play some part in my writer’s journey. I had no premonition that she would one day be my agent—that seemed like way too much to hope for at the time given where I was in terms of skill—but I did feel like our paths crossing was not accidental.

I was fairly new to writing and was attending a local writers group. All I knew about publishing I had literally Googled. Green doesn’t even begin to describe me! But, I had an overwhelming desire to write and to one day see my work on book shelves. Getting the chance to meet a real live agent—in Florida no less—was a dream come true!

Lucienne had been invited to my writers group by one of the other members. I was so nervous I could barely think straight, but Lucienne was warm and engaging. It was easy to feel comfortable around her. She read some of our work, made comments then shared some of her own writing. I was blown away by what she brought to read and by the advice she gave. That night I left feeling inspired to work harder than ever to hone my craft.

Afterwards, I began following Lucienne on social media and regularly read this blog, commenting when I enjoyed something she said or wrote. Because we live relatively close to each other, she visited my writers group several more times. Gradually, we became friends. What impressed me most was how passionate she is about agenting, her clients, and books. She loves what she does and it shows. The more I got to know her, the more I became convinced that I would be very, very fortunate to have her one day offer me representation.

When it came time to query my first novel, she was at the top of my list. That first novel wasn’t ready for publication and was rejected by every agent I queried including Lucienne, but she took the time to let me know that she thought I had potential. She even offered to look at my next novel when it was ready. Seven months later it was and I queried her first, exclusively. I knew I’d benefit from waiting to query anyone else until she weighed in. Luckily for me, she made an offer! I’ve never said yes to someone so fast in my entire life (not even my husband, but don’t tell him that).

We’ve worked together for about four years now and she’s closed deals for the book she offered on and three more since. I couldn’t be happier. I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to have met her the way I did. Most writers never have the opportunity to get to know their prospective agents so thoroughly before they agree to representation. I am thankful to work with her and to be able to call her my friend.

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