I interrupt your regularly scheduled ice cream programming to bring this special announcement: I’ve signed with a literary agent! In honor of the occasion, I have created a limited edition ice cream that, in true 007 fashion, includes clues to my secret agent’s identity.
Here are your clues:
- Philadelphia-style ice cream: As opposed to the French style of ice cream, which uses egg yolks, the Philadelphia style uses only milk and cream for a lighter, cleaner taste.
- Pop Rocks mix-in: I went to multiple grocery stories, pharmacies, and gas stations in search of this elusive candy. In the end, I was forced to order it online and I must say that the widespread unavailability of Pop Rocks makes me fear for the future of civilization.
- Corgi-shaped licorice garnish: Okay, the licorice is actually in the shape of Scottie dogs. But until someone starts making Corgi-shaped candy, the Scotties will have to do. (Just googled it. Someone is, indeed, making chocolate Corgis. Of course they are.)
Without further ado, I present my Secret Agent Ice Cream:
If you’re social media savvy, you’ll know that my agent is the Philadelphia-living, Corgi-loving Eric Smith, a.k.a. Eric Smith Rocks. Eric’s enthusiasm for books, geek culture, and life in general is contagious (seriously, if you don’t follow him on Twitter, you’re missing out). I can’t wait to work with Eric and the rest of the P.S. Literary team on my current YA novel and hopefully many more books to come!
Like any writer, I could post a long list of query stats (emails sent, rejections received, fulls requested, manuscripts shelved, etc.), but those numbers always seem to leave out the heart of the story. They don’t reveal the encouraging word from a friend that kept you going through a tough time or the sheer stubbornness that made you want to prove a skeptic wrong (not that I’d ever feel that way, no, never…).
Instead of stats, I thought it would be more helpful to share the stories that kept me sane throughout the querying process. Here are two of my favorites:
- Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner’s Reassuring Life Advice for Struggling Artists
- Margarita Montimore’s Hope in Careful Doses: Or (What I Didn’t Expect on the Path to Getting an Agent)
Of course, querying is just the side show to the real adventure: writing. To keep me motivated day in and day out, I’ve taped two (very) short pieces of advice to the top of my computer screen. If they’re overused these days, it’s because they’re so true:
- Make good art. (From Neil Gaiman’s 2012 commencement speech.)
- Fail better. (From Samuel Beckett’s prose piece Worstward Ho.)
Finally, to those of you in the query trenches, I offer up my #amquerying anthem. Call it fate or call it coincidence, but I posted this song to Twitter the day I queried Eric. May all of you be so lucky as to get what you want AND need: