Ducks in a row

Life has decided to throw another alarming attack of serendipity at me again. Having said numerous times that I wasn’t in any hurry to get an agent, I came home yesterday to discover an announcement that one of my shortlisted agencies had re-opened briefly for submissions.

Unlike a lot of UK agencies, these guys like a query email first, so I duly wrote one and spent the next half hour tweaking it until I was completely happy before hitting ‘Send’. Then I went downstairs to watch “Castle”, though I confess my attention wasn’t entirely on the show despite Nathan Fillion’s charms. Afterwards I checked my email, more out of habit than anything, and there to my surprise was a reply from the agent, asking for sample pages and a synopsis – barely an hour and a half after I sent the query!

Now, I’m not kidding myself that my pitch was utterly irresistible – I think it was good, but no more than that. No, what most likely swung it was that I was able to say in the query that I had had a request for the full manuscript from a publisher they already sold several books to. That practically guarantees that my writing is worth a read, not to mention the prospect of a deal in the offing – something no agent is going to turn down.

On the one hand it seems like total chance that the agency opened their doors only days after I got that request for full. On the other hand, if I hadn’t done my research back in September and signed up for their RSS feed, I might have missed this opportunity in my quest to get the revisions done. The truth is, you have to make your own luck!