Thursday, 9 February 2012

The How I Got My Agent stories: This week's guest post by Amy Christine Parker.

How I Signed With My Agent Lucienne Diver

First and foremost, thank you, Ruth, for allowing me to tell my story. My husband thanks you too since he is sick to death of me recounting everything for the one hundredth time. And it’s probably a little sad that the kids can recite the story by heart…

So, where to start? I guess at the very beginning is best. I didn’t start writing seriously until about two and half years ago.  I think that I only began to wonder what it would be like to write when I began telling my children stories that I made up every night at bedtime. I was carrying on a family tradition since my grandfather used to tell stories to me this way. In the back of my mind I think I always wondered secretly what it might be like to write full time and to be published, but I never saw it as practical and so never allowed it to become something I seriously pursued. But once I thought about it I knew that I was at the perfect stage of life to try. I didn’t have a full time job other than being a mother  (which, let’s face it, IS a full time job, but what I mean is I didn’t have a paying one so no one had expectations of me earning anything right then) and I had some free time during naps and late at night. If ever there was a time to make a go of it, this was it.

And so I just decided to dive in, like sky diving without a parachute kind of diving in. I had an idea for a novel and I just went with it even though I’d never written anything longer than a term paper in my life. After a year and a half, I had a finished manuscript. Not a sellable one, mind you, but a complete story. I did query it, but only briefly and mostly just to see how the process worked. Deep down I knew it was not really publishable; it was my college so to speak. But by now other novel ideas were coming fast and furious and I had one in particular that I thought could be really good…provided I had the chops to write it the way it deserved to be written.  I got busy on it, writing and rewriting in radical ways until I was satisfied that I had done my best.

Now, the one thing that made my journey unique is that at a local writer’s group (one I started and hosted when I couldn’t find one for novelists), I met an agent, Lucienne Diver. She lived nearby and knew someone who attended the group and just decided to check it out one night. Over time I emailed her here and there and commented on her blog whenever something resonated with me. She came to group some months later once again and very slowly we got to know each other. She is a young adult author herself (The Vamped Series, the latest, Fangtastic came out in January) and so we bonded as fellow writers. I told her about what I was working on and when she heard the general pitch, she asked to consider it.

Now fast forward to this November, when I finished my manuscript. Lucienne had reiterated her wish to look at it and I was ready to take her up on it. I queried her first and exclusively. She had taken an interest in me as a writer long before she needed to and I felt that she should be able to look at it before anyone else.  And if I was lucky enough and she was interested? I would sign immediately. I liked the idea of signing with someone I knew personally, someone who I already really liked. She read my manuscript on Friday the 13th in January (very appropriate since it’s about a girl in an apocalyptic cult and the end of the world) and she offered representation the very next day. I signed officially two days later. And the rest is shall we say…in the works! 

So there you have it, my story in a very large nutshell. Hmmm, that was so much fun I think maybe I might need to tell it all over again. Honey? Kids? Are you there? Anyone???

You and Mr P are very welcome Amy! I'll even forgive that you broke the run of slushpile success tales because that's such a cool story, and in some ways similar to my own (at least the writing the books part, if not the meeting-your-agent-in-person bit.)

You can stalk find Amy's website here and twitter here.


  1. Congrats Amy,

    It shows that writing groups, and actually getting to meet people in the flesh can lead to great things. I hope to join a writing group myself this spring, just to mee tother people, learn, and who knows, it may just lead somewhere.

    Congrats again

    Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

    1. Thanks! Definitely go join a group soon. It made a huge difference for me in terms of getting better and getting published. Good luck!

  2. Amy, you've shown the importance of networking. It's a great story, especially because your success is born of friendship.
    Wishing you great success with your book.

    1. Thanks so much! I have to admit that knowing Lucienne before I signed with her made my decision so much easier. I already knew how wonderful she is and how hard she works for her authors.

  3. Awesome story, Amy! It's great that you know Lucienne personally. And as always, Ruth, I love these posts :D

  4. Thanks, Steph:D I feel very lucky!

  5. What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing.


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