My road to THE CALL was nine years long…
After I finished graduate school, I was finally ready to find an agent, and I found one quickly. It was not a good experience. I was a little too naïve, a little too trusting, a little timid to fight for what I deserved. After some time, I gathered the nerve to leave that agent. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, and I was certain my writing career was over.
After some tears, excessive amounts of ice cream, and a whopper of a pity party, I started over.
However, I decided to submit my first cozy mystery to small presses on my own. The first publisher, I sent it to was Five Star Publishing. Within a few short months, Five Star rejected me, and I took it as a sign to let the book go. I saved the manuscript on my computer and moved on to a new book, hoping I could sell my first manuscript after I published something else. Almost exactly one year later, I received an email out of the blue from a new acquisitions editor at Five Star. She said she found my manuscript and wondered if it was still available. I said it was, and a month or so later, she bought it. It was my first literary miracle.
After I sold my debut, Maid of Murder, I knew if I wanted to turn writing into a lasting career, I needed an agent, a good one. My friend Vannetta Chapman said that she would refer to her literary agent, Mary Sue Seymour, but I wasn’t ready. My father had just been diagnosed with cancer. I couldn’t deal with being out on query while my world was falling apart. Six months after he was diagnosed my father passed away. Maid of Murder was still a year from publication, but my dad knew that it had sold. He knew that my dream would come true. Before he died, he told me, “You can do anything.” For a girl, who achieved hoping for her father’s approval and started making up stories to make him laugh, that’s what I needed to hear.
In the summer of 2010, Maid of Murder released and was a small press hit. It earned several big time reviews and went into three consecutive printings within a four month period. Five Star was so pleased, they bought the sequel Murder in a Basket only a few weeks after Maid of Murder’s release.
At that point I knew I had hit the ceiling of what I could do on my own. I needed a literary agent, but I promised myself this time I would be picky. I started writing a new series to submit.
In the meantime, Nicole Resciniti joined Seymour as an agent.
Read the next installment on Wednesday, Jan 9th! Each day has a new book to win!
Leave a comment on today’s post to enter a drawing to win a signed copy of Maid of Murder, the novel that started it all. The winner will be randomly selected from those who entered. Contest ends Tuesday, January 15th , 2013 at 5pm (EST). Winners will be announced here on my blog on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013.
Amanda’s Newest Book: A Plain Scandal, forthcoming Feb. 2013–Now Available for preorder