Friday, June 1, 2012

R.C. and the Terrible/Wonderful, No-Good/Very-Rad Day

Wednesday, May 23rd was the most awesome bad day ever. Emphasis on the "awesome," seriously. Hang with me, and you'll see what I mean. First ...

The Prologue

Some of you know, I've been on the job hunt for a while now. As much as I love my current job, I feel I need to relocate closer to family. In fact, I made confirmed plans to leave ... without having landed a new job yet. Leap of faith? Oh, yeah.

Also, if you've been around the blog at all the past few months, you know I was involved in a contest called The Writer's Voice. This meant Monday (the 21st), my entry was up on my coach's blog, available for any of the eight participating agents to place a vote.

I got five votes, which meant five full requests. I also got some requests from lurking agents and queries I'd sent the week before. Lots of yay!

The Terrible, Wonderful, No-Good, Very-Rad Day

I had a week and a half left of school. Finals to prep for, paperwork to complete, a classroom to pack up. Plus I had preparations for moving (despite having no job) soon after the end of school. Lots of stress.

Wednesday promised to be busy. I had a phone interview for a prospective job during my morning prep time. It went well. Really well. I even had a little time afterwards before my next class, so I got things squared away and glanced at my email.

One of the agents from Monday had already finished reading the full and wanted to know if there was a time for us to talk.

Cue the out-of-body experience.

After a little back-and-forth email, we agreed she'd call at 7:00 that evening. Then I threw myself into getting my physics students ready for their final. Then another job interview (this one on Skype) during lunch. It went well, too. My afternoon prep hour held a mix of "holy crap, am I really talking to an agent tonight?" texting with my critique partner (thanks, Mindy!) and wrangling some sub plans for my 7th period, because I would be on an interview panel for a candidate to replace me at my current school.

6th period went pretty well—always good to have students keeping me busy and distracted. But, the time for the interview comes around, and no sub shows up. I check with the other math teacher, who was also going to the interview. No sub for him either. Some back and forth with the secretary, already late ... finally one sub shows up to watch both classes. I knew nothing mathematical would happen, but whatever.

Interview was solid, but a little long because the candidate was technically interviewing for two different positions. It was Wednesday, which at my school meant staying until 5:00. Good thing, because I had plenty to do, like getting my calculus final ready for the next day.

The clock hit five, and I was out the door. Except I passed a classroom where a few teacher-friends were chatting, and they called at me to wait. Vicki wanted to know when we could have a little get-together before I left town (love you, Vicki!). I promised to let them know as soon as I had my schedule worked out, Jill gave me a cupcake (<3), and I was off again. I hit the road just before 5:15, and my afternoon commute takes about an hour. No problem. Five minutes later, wall-to-wall cars. NO!

It was okay, though. A delay of no more than ten minutes due to one of the traffic lights flashing red, creating a four-way stop during rush hour. On I went to the freeway.

Ten minutes later, gridlock.

Gridlock in a town that never has gridlock.

Stop-and-go traffic. A section that normally takes three minutes took twenty. Then it flowed a little more through a section that was being resurfaced.

Math-teacher me couldn't stop looking at the clock, calculating how many minutes I still had to spare. I'd be okay, just barely.

Once through the construction and back to regular speeds, I forced myself to take calm, relaxing breaths, because I knew I'd have no time for that once I got home. I walked in my door at 6:52. Got settled and situated.

She called. We talked for over an hour. At the end, an offer of representation.

That's right. AN OFFER!

The Epilogue

Naturally, I asked for a week to notify the other agents with the manuscript. Everyone promised to read quickly. Then there were new requests. I didn't need new requests! Too many variables! But okay. By end of the week, I'd had a total of eleven requests, one turning into the offer, one bowing out, and one arranging to call the following Tuesday.

Oh, and the first interview I had Wednesday morning? They offered me the job, and I accepted. My relocation is a leap of faith no more.

Tuesday involved no fewer than four phone calls with agents and further offers. Serious quandary. All five offering agents are amazing. Much hashing-it-out-with-Mindy ensued. Finally, I made my decision and accepted one of the offers—from the agent who offered first, it turned out.

So, here's the important part.

WAIT! You can't have something important in the epilogue!

Too bad, I'm doing it anyway.

I am now represented by the marvelous Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. But most of you already knew that.

I suspect the real work is about to begin.


Cherie Larkins said...


So much awesome. :)

(It's funny how most people always end up with the first agent to offer. I did the same. There's something magical about finding the person who loves your baby/work as much as you do.)

T.L. Bodine said...

Good lord, man. When it rains, it pours. I am SO excited for you!

MarcyKate said...

I love seeing wonderful, happy things happen to awesome people - especially awesome crit partners and their fabulous books! I know how hard you've worked and you've definitely earned this! So, so thrilled for you!

Ann Bedichek said...

That is a SERIOUS day!! Did you get any sleep that night? Wow!

Anyway, congratulations!! I am super excited for you!

And on a side note, I love that you write AND teach physics.

You are clearly a FORCE!

Alex said...

That is amazing and inspiring! Well done ten times over. I (and I'm sure everyone else who's ever written a query letter) would love to see your query!

Super pumped high five.

Angie Sandro said...

Congrats and best wishes.

Suzi said...

That is amazing. Congratulations!

ryan graudin said...

A huge congrats! Both on your agent and your new job. Revel in this moment. You deserve it.

Debra McKellan said...

That's a day of laughing and crying if there ever were one! Congrats, RC!

Melanie Stanford said...

Awesome! Congratulations! I've been reading the twitter feeds so I already knew but it's so much fun to read the whole story.

Tyson said...

Proud of you, babe! xo

Noelle Pierce said...


Gina said...

Congratulations! Such a great story and I am so psyched for you!

Anonymous said...

That is like, the BEST 'The Call' story ever! Lots of stress that day, but man did everything work out! Congrats again! =D

Stephen L. Duncan said...

Oh, hell yes. That query was amazing. The first page was amazing. I thought about becoming an agent, just so I could request a full, because it was so awesome.

And can I just say that all of this is no surprise whatsoever.

Welcome to the club!

SC_Author said...

CONGRATS!! You so deserve it.

Madam Peregrine said...

Wow! What a day! Congratualtions!

Melodie Wright said...

Holy cow, I think you earned your Wonder Woman bullet-proof cuffs that day. HUGE congrats on your job offer and your shiny new agent. May both be profitable and fun for years to come. ;)

Bethany Crandell said...

AWESOME! Awesome, awesome and a dash of RAD cause...that's my favorite word.
Congratulations! I'm so glad Mindy told me of your wonderful news because this story was well worth the read!!

Best of luck with your journey into submission hell!!

Monica B.W. said...

Congrats, Rachel!!! I'm sooooo very happy for you!!! <333
Lots of luck with your new agent--I hear she's amazing!!
Keep in touch, girl!! ;)
Oh, and congrats on the job offer, too!! Sounds like your week was MORE THAN HECTIC!! lol

R.C. Lewis said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! (It's been another crazy day with graduation, and this weekend means moving. Yikes!)

TL, in this particular case, I decided it was more like, "When it rains, it BRINGS THE FLOODS OF NOAH!" ;)

Mary@GigglesandGuns said...

All I can say is WOW!, Congratulations and many blessings on your future.

Dana said...

What a great story and such a nice feeling to have something lots of folks want!

Congratulations! And good luck with the move!

S.Q. Eries said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S.Q. Eries said...

hee...sounds like that day will stand out forever in ur memory. i said it before on another thread, but congrats ! u've worked hard for it and i'm so glad to be able to celebrate that with u!!!

Joyce Alton said...

Wow! Now that's a story in and of itself. What a crazy day. I'm excited for you. I know you've been working hard to get an agent and I love reading about your work as a teacher. I hope you love your new job and that your agent finds your manuscript a publisher home quickly.

mary said...

I love when a crappy day ends with everything being great! Congratulations!

Tonya Kuper said...

Awesome story! HUGE CONGRATS!!!

Justin Holley said...

This is great news! Good work!

Suzie F. said...

Hi R.C.!
I just discovered you through Jennifer's blog. What a fabulous story of representation! Good luck! I hope the next step in your publishing journey is successful!

Stephsco said...

This is so exciting for you! Straight out of school a job and an agent! I found your blog from Brends's linked from The Writer's Voice contest. What a cool contest. Your entry really stood out, it was one of my favorites -- I lurked and read all of them!