I promised a post on this topic, and it’s time.
So, this time last year, I was contacted by a literary agent. We’d actually had lunch to discuss the agency representing me in December 2018, but the contract was finalized in 2019. The amount of time it took to get the contract completed was probably a sign of things to come. And, I’ll admit, my expectations were low. Mainly because, well, I’ve been publishing for over ten years. I’m not blind on how things work, or how long it can take for things to move forward. Still, I thought, why not? Ten books in, I’m certainly not earning a living from writing, so, really, trying something new couldn’t hurt. The agent knew someone I knew in publishing, and was invited to major international book events — I had nothing to lose.
The timing was interesting because when I signed, I was 100% ready to publish the third book of my Queen series, The Queen of England: Ascension (now available). Literally. I had the final cover and formatted draft — everything was ready to go. Realizing you can’t sell a book that’s already published, I decided I would give this weird experiment a year, and kept Juliette’s conclusion on the shelf
Throughout last year, I kept a low profile with my agent. I (optimistically), thought she would contact me with updates. This proved not to be the case. While she attended various book fairs, and would always have some update that sounded good (translating my books for a Persian market?!), inevitably, MONTHS would go by with no progress. The back and forth was always instigated by me, and more often than not, ignored.
In November/December last year, I decided I would experiment. Essentially, I sent three separate e-mails, each requesting an update. They all went unanswered. Did something happen to her? I wondered. No, it did not. We are part of the same professional industry group on Facebook, and she is a VERY active member — often listing the same e-mail address that I had been contacting her on.
So, after finishing an edit of another book, and with the world more of less devolving on a daily basis, I thought, “What the hell?” Yesterday, I published.
I’m not writing this post to sound bitter (even if I probably do), more that, in the long history of my writing, this is just another thing that didn’t pay off. Maybe one day I’ll look back and laugh. Maybe the Queen wasn’t ready to be in the world in 2019. Maybe I needed that creative energy for other projects. Maybe my agent really was that busy. Maybe she’ll come through for that elusive Persian market.
I do feel better now that the book is out, and I hope Juliette can forgive me for keeping her in absolute limbo for a year.
Onwards and upwards.