When a literary agent for GOOD THINGS called to offer me literary representation, I was sitting in my car in the parking lot of Sears in Hilo, irritated beyond belief. For starters, I had made my husband and four-year old daughter drive all around the island in search of the right infant car seat (I was pregnant and on a mission). No luck. I was trying to save money by not ordering online (shipping is killer to Hawaii, a”non-contiguous” state which means that all the good deals don’t apply to us), but realized that I had pretty much blown any potential savings on gas, plus I had a grumpy, semi-car sick child in the back and a grumpy, semi-car sick spouse in the front. Great. Me and my big ideas strike again.
So when the lit agent called saying that she loved GOOD THINGS and wanted to represent it, I was both in shock and tremendously relieved. FINALLY. Now we could get this ball rolling. I had no doubt publication would come. I could sit back and relax.
But as one house after another passed (unfortunately I didn’t have a 24-hour turnaround story!), I began to have serious doubts. And I had ordered a car seat online, spending a part of my future advance. I began to feel desperate. My intuition had failed me. I had spent all this time on this damn manuscript and nobody was going to buy it, much less read it.
Then one day, I was standing in front of the magazine rack at KTA, our local grocery store. I was staring at the rack of mass market titles that sit next to the magazines, thinking, “GOOD THINGS would go great there.” I was feeling morose. A little mopey. A little depressed. But oddly confident that I wasn’t too far off base, despite the small pile of polite rejection letters.
And then my cell phone rang.
It was my agent, with an offer from Berkley. Leona Nevlar loved it. They wanted it. There would be an auction tomorrow (just kidding). But Leona, one of the best in the business, wanted it! She wanted, in fact, a sequel as well, which we would discuss separately from this deal. This deal. I had a deal!
I thought I would be prepared for this moment, but I wasn’t. I was elated. I was floored. I was stunned beyond belief. I had no idea what I was even doing in the grocery store before she called. Was I buying groceries? Did I have a cart? Was my daughter with me? Where did I park the car?
It was one of the best moments of my life.