Not too long ago, I was a single girl looking for The One and as I wait to hear back from an agent who has a partial of The Moon Garden, I vividly relate it to the feeling I used to have waiting for a boy I liked to call me. Today, I've sadly reached the conclusion that agents, as with crushes, don't call if they're not interested. And as obvious as that seems, let me clarify, if they don't call quickly, they're not interested.
In my limited experience in the agent hunt (I was represented with my first novel), it very much mimics dating. If they like you, they like you right away and they let you know it. If they're not interested in you, the clock on the wall ticks loudly and you grasp at excuses why they haven't touched base. Maybe they really haven't gotten around to reading it, maybe they love it, but are so tied up with their other demanding clients, they haven't found a minute to email. But, as days turn into weeks, the disappointment sinks in that it's time to keep looking and accept the facts, even as I clutch the computer screen saying, 'just call me, just email me! I'm not over you!' To further torture myself, I read success stories on Absolute Write Water cooler about writers who queried the very agent I love who has my partial and how he now represents them after a two week turnaround. Why do I do it to myself? I think it helps to move on, like seeing your crush flirting with some other woman. I'm happy for authors and their success stories, but on the frustrated days, it's like hearing your friends brag about their perfect new boyfriend when you're still single, dating the same man-child in different bodies.
(There is, of course, the option of emailing said agent, but I find it better to at least have some hope than hear a definitive 'no', although I am quickly turning the corner on that one.)
I didn't intend to write on the agent hunt today, but it's what has kept me from blogging regularly, being so preoccupied by it that I find it hard to get motivated to write anything lately. So, I thought bringing it up for discussion might help because writing is the only way forward, isn't it?
What are your experiences with the agent hunt? Those of you with agents, how quickly was the turnaround time for you? What is the magic number when you decide to put your manuscript away and focus more on something new? Fifty queries, one hundred, two hundred? (I won't tell you my number yet. I'll save that for when I get an agent.)
Keep writing, mother freakin' writers.