One thing I have been trying hard to do with my writing is to stop relying on cheesy clichés to get my point across. But, for this blog post, a cheesy cliché is really the best way to describe what’s happened to me the last couple of weeks. Are you ready to hear something that will make you groan and roll your eyes? Okay, here it comes…
When God closes one door, another one opens.
I’ve always believed this, just like I’ve always believed that God would make sure to open the door that would lead me to the right path on my journey to publication. Throughout the last few years, one thing I’ve constantly prayed is that God would show me the right path to take. Should I try to get published traditionally or look into self-publishing? What agencies should I query? Do I follow my gut and make a decision that others might see as foolish? All of these questions have popped up in my head and I’ve hoped like hell I’d make the right decisions. But the funny thing I’ve learned this week, is even if I made the wrong decision along the way, God would find a way to pluck me from that path and put me back in the right place.
Let me start from the beginning. I mean…the very beginning of this little adventure I’ve been on! One of the first literary agencies I queried was The Seymour Agency. I remember reading about the agency and just getting this feeling like this would be such a great place to be. The tone of their website, the testimony of their founder, Mary Sue, front and center for the world to see, the goosebumps that erupted on my skin as I skimmed through their list of agents. I was so drawn to them, and crushed when I was rejected.
Fast forward a year and some change and I’d found a different path. One I was excited about, but things weren’t progressing as I’d hoped. A lot of thought and prayer later, I knew I had to make a change. This scared the crap out of me. This was the one feather in my cap I had, and one that writer’s tried for years to get, and I was choosing to take the feather and toss it aside. Was I making the right decision? Should I stick with the easy path and ride it out a little longer? As much as my heart and my gut knew what I had to do, a little voice of doubt kept creeping into my mind, wondering if I’d made the right decision.
So, fast forward again to a few weeks ago. I receive a call from my mom, who lives close to the town a grew up in. A teeny, tiny town that no one has ever heard of. She is a bank manager, and had talked with customers about their daughter who had gotten a promotion and was signing a new client. My mom asked what she did, and was surprised to hear she was a literary agent. My mom, of course, told them her daughter was a romance writer. After more conversation, my mom was able to get this agent’s name, email address, and submission requirements for me. Go, Mom! When I asked where she worked, I couldn’t believe my ears. She worked for The Seymour Agency.
I quickly sent over what she was willing to see, and couldn’t contain my excitement when she asked for more chapters a few days later. And then a week later, she requested a full manuscript. She asked for a phone call, and I knew she would be a great fit for me when she told me to text her when my son went down for a nap and then we’d talk. Wait, what? She was flexible and considerate of my other obligations? Love her already!
Well, one phone call later, and I signed a contract with Jessie Stover of The Seymour Agency. After all this time and some slight detours, I’ve ended up at the one agency that gave me goosebumps years ago. I’ve ended up with an agent from the same area I grew up in. I’ve ended up with an agent who I am fully confident in.
God has taken me from a path that I maybe shouldn’t have taken, grabbed me by the hand, and put me where I’m supposed to be. All it took was two proud mama’s, bragging about their daughters, to make it all possible!