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Who has two thumbs and a kick arse agent? This guy!

Well, I've been waiting approximately one year to the day to write this blog post. One long year of major ups, and major downs. Finally, after a grueling wait, I can finally say those three words. BUT, let's not jump the gun yet. Our story actually begins.....

Oh, come on. You know I had to throw that in there.  So sit back, relax, grab some popcorn, a soda (or preferably water...too much sugar, ya know?), and enjoy the blog.

It started two years ago during a random car ride into the NYC that I came up with the title for my middle grade book, COPERNICUS NERDICUS. It was all thanks to a friend of mine who told me to name my future son, Copernicus, which I immediately rejected. "Copernicus?" I said. "Are you nuts? You might as well call the kid Nerdicus." I stopped the car, pulled over, and jumped out screaming 'I'VE GOT IT!'.

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"Awesome title, BRO!"

Okay it didn't really happen exactly like that, but that's pretty much how the idea came to be.

A few months after that fateful car ride, I had the first draft complete of COPERNICUS NERDICUS. After another month or so of edits, I gave it to a few beta readers. I got a slew of rips, but also a ton of praise. It wasn't quite ready yet, but I was getting close. In August of 2012, I finished the final batch of edits (I thought anyway), and was ready to start pitching.

The hard part, was coming up with the query. But I'll get into that in another post. I sent my first query letter out on August 19, 2012. I also received my first full request, from that same query, on August 19, 2012...approx 2 hours later. I know what you're thinking. That DOES NOT HAPPEN. The first thought that went through my mind was "That was easy. I don't see what all the fuss was about." I sent out my full manuscript, and 2 weeks later I received a friendly, positive, and reassuring rejection. Within those 2 weeks though, I also received around 5 other rejections from my query alone.

Well, I guess this wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Almost as easy as the rebels thought it would be to blow up the death star with a few measly pilots. (I was definitely porkins)

I took the opportunity to revisit my manuscript and revise it again based on the feedback I received from that first rejection. The MS came to life, and I started to start the query process again. This time, with a revised query and an updated manuscript. By February 2013, I had around three or four full requests out with different agents. I thought my chances were getting up there. But a month or so later, I received rejection letters on each. One open to a revise and resubmit, which sparked a major MS overhaul that would reflect in my manuscript today.

I'll say this - the rejections I received from every agent I queried were better than anyone could ask for. They were reassuring, and complimented my writing abilities. I just didn't seem to be connecting with the right agents at this point. I was a little dejected, but I was forced to push myself forward, especially after one agent who reached out to through twitter to even read my manuscript, told me "Keep trying. You've got something really cool here. Another agent is sure to pick you up." Whether they were telling me that just to be nice, I took it to heart anyway. I had to keep going.

Mario never gave up..even after dealing with those annoying toads.

By April of 2013 I had rewritten my manuscript. AGAIN. This time, it switched over from a battle-bot focused manuscript, into a mixture of battle-bot and video games. For those of you that don't know me, video games are my passion. I'm a nerd, always will be a nerd, and I'm damn proud of it. With my newly revised MS, I felt my chances were the best they could be. But I also didn't want to drain my precious query resources. Instead, I started entering a few writing competitions.

These proved to be invaluable, and really pushed my manuscript to the next level. Especially THE WRITERS VOICE competition. I was lucky enough to be picked for the amazing Team Brenda with the fantabulous Brenda Drake, where my manuscript was exposed to a number of agents. My query and first 250 received more praise than I expected and I was ecstatic when I received a few requests. I sent my manuscript out one more time, and waited. And waited. I was getting SO CLOSE...I could taste it.

During the wait however, something unexpected happened. A little twitter event called #MSWL - a chance for agents to post their manuscript wish lists. I browsed through them, and tagged a few agents that may enjoy COPERNICUS NERDICUS. But I apparently missed out on the most important one. My good writing buddy, Jamie Krakover (@rockets2writing) messaged me and pointed out one particular MSWL. An agent was looking for a Middle Grade Adventure book that wasn't overly sci-fi that involved robots.

I blinked. This can't be true. That was my book. That was EXACTLY my book. I didn't waste a second, and I sent my query out. An hour later, I received a partial request.

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(yup that's what it felt like)

This time, the wait wasn't as bad. One week after the partial request, I received an upgrade to a full. I told myself not to think much of it. It's happened before. I went away for a weekend trip to cape cod a few weeks afterwards, and on the day I returned an e-mail came that I didn't expect.

The agent wanted to talk on the phone. At that moment, I practically pooped myself. Yes I said that.

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I e-mailed back, scheduled a time to call, and prepped all the questions I could. The day of the call, I was a nervous wreck. I needed to pull myself away from my desk and find a nice quiet spot to talk. She called, we had an amazing conversation, and of course with my luck I lost connection three times. Thank you bad office reception. You are so helpful. We talked about my book, what she loved about it, what she thought she could do with it, and her entire process. It was like she was reading my mind and answering every question I had. Even at the end of the convo I had to tell her "geez! you answered practically all my questions before I had the chance to ask!" She laughed, but of course I had a few more back ups!

At some point in the middle of the convo, she asked to represent me. And....I basically felt like this.

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I asked for a little over a week to get back to the other agents that still had my work, and promised I would get back to her with any other questions I had. So, we parted ways, and I immediately sent out a notice to the remaining agents that I now had an offer on the table.

A few agents got back to me immediately saying that they would read the MS asap. Others requested upgrades to fulls. A few stepped aside, wishing me the best of luck and expressing their excitement to see my book on shelves. It just felt weird. I never received so many agent e-mails in such a short span of time.

A couple of days later, I received another offer of rep. Two days after that, one more offer. I gathered my thoughts, took another day to think, but I already knew my decision.

So, I e-mailed agent numero uno back, and accepted the offer. So, I've waited a while to post this, but now I can happily say..I HAVE AN AGENT. I am now represented by the spectacular DAWN FREDERICK of RED SOFA LITERARY. I couldn't be happier. And how do I feel after all this? This sums up the awesome-sauce.

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My final stats, after browsing through all my notes and query tracking are as follows.

Queries sent : 62
Full Requests : 12
Offers Of Rep : 3

And thank you to everyone who helped me out during this long process. Thanks to those who put up with my complaining of the querying process, and to those who helped me revise my query. Without you, I would have never have gotten this far. You know who you are! *POINTS!*

Now, if you'll excuse me. I have a proposal to work on. *bangs head on desk*


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