Pals, I’m gonna be honest: I’m not sure where to begin with this blog post.
My brainwaves are tsunamis. My heart is fluttering and my legs are jelly. Though there is a lot of hurt and confusion and heartbreak going on in the world these days (shootings, deaths, countries leaving nations), I’m trying to look towards hope and silver linings and good news and balance: taking in the bad, but soaking in the good, too.
Amongst the sadness in the world this June, my little world of Lindsay saw a silver lining:
I was offered representation from literary agent Renee Nyen of KT Literary. (Check out the official announcement over at the KT Literary website here: http://ktliterary.com/2016/06/welcome-lindsay-henry/ )
Whew. Okay. So...
I am officially represented by a literary agent. And I must emphasize that Renee is not just any literary agent, but an awesome agent who is passionate about her work and enthusiastic about my book. An agent who’s not just poised and professional in her career, but a kind and thoughtful and caring person in general. Even if Renee wasn’t my agent, I’d still be a fan. She was one of the tops on my list when I sent out queries to pitch my manuscript to literary agents. I could not be more thrilled to be represented by Renee and be a part of the KT Literary family.
I recorded the video above right after I hung up with Renee to verbally accept her offer of representation.
Yeah, I’m trying to play it cool, but clearly I can't play it cool for more than 30 seconds.
If you’re thinking, “Um, okay, cool? But what does a literary agent exactly do? What does this mean?” check out a blog post I wrote a few months ago about literary agents and the process to getting published here.
Basically, this process is sort of similar to, say, a football player signing with a sports agent. The agent then (in many cases) helps the football player negotiate a deal for the player to play professionally in the NFL, for example. With manuscripts and literary agents and authors, the literary agent’s main task (amongst many other things) is to sell the writer’s work to a publishing house, who will then publish the book and sell it to the masses.
When I told my mom that I was going to sign with a literary agent, she said to me, “It all is going so fast!”
And it does feel a bit fast now, but in the best way possible, like when the water breaks and a baby is on the way. Only this time, it’s a book baby (not sure if that’s a weird metaphor or not, but I’m going with it). After years of writing and editing, months and months of querying and waiting, suddenly an email and a few phone calls and a signed retainer agreement have changed everything.
Here’s the timeline of Lindsay’s Journey to Getting Published (So Far):
From finishing the first draft to now, it’s been about 13 months.
It wasn’t always a pretty picture of me skipping on rainbows towards the magical world of publishing and books and writing. There were rejection emails. There was hopes dashed after an agent requested pages and then ultimately said no thanks.
But I am proud of the timeline. The blood, sweat and tears...it's like I earned my stripes a bit. And I’m thankful. I’m thankful for every single person—friends, family, co-workers, agents who liked my book, agents who passed on my book—who were all crucial to this point. I’m thankful to be in this place, and I’m looking forward to seeing what's next.
*Insert awkward excited happy dance here*
For today’s True Talk Tuesday, this quote is from the whimsical and romantic Stephanie Perkins and her be-still-my-heart YA novel, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS.
In my opinion, Stephanie can write romance like no other. Her novels are smooth and swoony (or is it swooney? pretty sure I just made that adjective up?) and fun and charismatic and chock-full of love and attraction and chemistry. When I finished ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, I remember feeling so full and satisfied and happy, like I had just finished a hot fudge brownie sundae (with a cherry on top, of course, because Stephanie’s writing is decadent and detailed like that).
I’m a small town girl who grew up near cow farms and watched chickens cross the road (like, for real: I have had to slow down as actual chickens have actually crossed the road on my way to work). My world hasn't involved a ton of international travel. I’ve gone to Mexico a couple of times, celebrated my 8th birthday at my grandpa’s Canadian cabin, visited relatives in Minnesota and the impressive Lego Land within the Mall of America….But there hasn’t been any trips to, say, the Eiffel Tower. My passport is quite bare.
In ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, though, I felt like I was in Paris. To me, the main character of the story is not only Anna, but Paris itself. Stephanie does an amazing job of describing the unique details that can make Paris the type of city where you could fall in love with both a person and a place. Stephanie’s book made Paris come alive for me—the cow and chicken and country roads girl who’s never been across the pond—and THAT, my friends, is the power of books.
Books can transport us anywhere we want to go, whether it’s Paris or Hogwarts or a mythical dragon land or a realistic suburb.
Books can turn on lights and open windows and unlock doors to places we’ve never been and things we’ve never seen.
Books can give names to feelings and loosen holds on hearts.
Books can jog our memories and exercise our emotions.
The above quote from ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is one of my favorites because it’s true: We can wish for things—blow out candles, whisper under shooting stars, throw pennies in fountains—and I’ve certainly done my fair share of wishing.
But despite all of the candles and stars and pennies, wishes require making a choice: a choice in that split second before the flame goes out or the penny drops. A choice in what we want most. Sometimes, we don’t know what we want most. Sometimes, what we want most isn’t what is best. There is a difference, and we have to continue to make that choice—again and again and again—as we live our lives and make our wishes and dream our dreams. Best is best.
Hey everybody. I know, long time/no talk. Forgive me? You will?
Awesome. Thank you.
So I came up with a random idea today. Actually, I came up with a random idea, oh, about, 20 minutes ago, if we are getting specific.
Couple facts about me:
I love quotes.
I also love books.
And books--since they're, you know, written with words and are often amazing in content and subject matter--often hold little gems and nuggets of golden wisdom in the form of quotes.
So (here's the random idea I came up with): On Tuesdays here on the site, I'm going to feature a favorite quote or excerpt from a book. This feature will be called "True Talk Tuesday." I will pick quotes and excerpts that have meant a lot to me or challenged me or made me question things or think or love or feel, and then I will highlight that excerpt here each week.
For this inaugural True Talk Tuesday, I am going to post a quote from one my favorite authors whom I dearly respect and admire: Sarah Dessen.
This quote is from my favorite book by Sarah, titled THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER. I still remember feeling so in awe and understood after finishing that book as a junior in high school: the main character Macy's struggles, the feelings of a new summer and fresh starts, trying to ditch feelings of perfectionism while balancing life's chaos...it's a book I read every summer to this day, the book's pages underlined and loved and dog-eared year after year. When I met Sarah Dessen at a book signing last May, I had no problem picking out which one of her books that I would ask her to sign. She's written wonderful books, but my favorite will always be THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER.
When I was a freshman in college reluctantly taking a performance arts class (unfortunately required...I was a nervous wreck throughout the whole thing), I "performed" this scene from THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER that included the above excerpt for the entire class. The assignment involved finding your own material that inspired you, then you needed to memorize that material and bring it to life by reading out loud/acting it out. I still remember sitting in a chair in front of the whole class, the students' blank eyes staring at me, while I recited the above words with as much gumption and emotion as I could evoke without letting the nerves come through. It wasn't too bad. I believed the words I was speaking. I connected with Dessen's writing voice and what the characters were going through.
I love books that make me feel like somebody gets me, somebody feels the way I do. Even if that personl is a fictional character, it is relieving and awakening to recognize your own emotions on the page. It's nice to feel understood.
We all get a future. A future made up of seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, that eventually turns into a life. I love the eloquent way that Sarah Dessen poses the question through book characters that often plagues us all: Are you spending your precious time--your precious LIFE--doing what you love? Doing what you feel you NEED to do? Are we making sure we aren't wasting our lives away worrying about people, places, things, jobs, that don't matter or aren't right?
*I'd love to hear from quotes that YOU love, too. Feel free to post in the comment section below and I'll check them out to see if we can potentially feature one of your faves on here. PLUS I'm always looking for solid book recommendations :) *