The past two weeks have been bizarre. Strange emails about things I know virtually nothing about. Two days after the Publishers Weekly review I received an email from a woman who said she was a Right’s Agent for a company, and she wondered who held the film rights to my book. I had no idea. I knew the review was important for the obvious reasons, but I didn’t realize the reviews were read by others in the publishing industry. I had never even considered that fact – I just dreaded the belly flop of a bad review. Then I received an email from a producer in Los Angeles who asked if the film rights were still available. I laughed out loud. I can’t explain how bizarre it is to receive an email from a woman who introduces herself as a producer from LA! Todd and I had been discussing whether I should start querying literary agents for the second book, but the process had been so disheartening in the past that I dreaded it. The email made the decision for us. I needed some guidance.
Then a very nice chain of events occurred. I emailed the Right’s Agent back and explained that I wasn’t able to answer her question, and had just decided that I should look into finding an agent, and that I would forward her information along when-and-if that should occur. She emailed back and said she worked with agents all the time and would be happy to recommend some agents that she thought might be a good fit based on the PW description of my book. Meanwhile, she forwarded my information to Dominick Abel, a literary agent who she said represented mysteries.
So, the next day I received a very nice email from Mr. Abel, and we spoke on the phone shortly after. I sent him a PDF of my first book and within two weeks it was a done deal. The contract signed and official. When I spoke to him I felt completely at ease and thrilled with the decision. And, while I’m not a superstitious person, a funny thing happened that sealed it for me. The woman who was the right’s manager, and had made the initial connection between Mr. Abel and myself, had emailed to describe the agency and listed a few of the authors that he represents. One of the authors is Nevada Barr. Coincidentally, the Library Journal review that came out that same week stated that my protagonist, Josie Gray, could be best friends with Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon. Kismet!
I have since received email from television producers from FOX and CBS, and I have passed along their information to Mr. Abel. Fortunately for me, he’s been through this many times and encouraged a level head, and the knowledge that very few rights deals take place with a first book. And, I am just fine with that. Receiving the email was a kick enough!
My point in writing this post is this: if you are a writer who has been churning out pages for some time, maybe with several books to your credit but no publishing contract in sight, take heart. As I have mentioned, the first book I published was the sixth book I had written. After so many years of struggling to make a connection, it is completely amazing to sit back and watch all the pieces fall into place so perfectly. I believe with all my heart that with enough persistence, hard work and faith that a person can accomplish just about anything.