Friday, December 11, 2009

Agent Appreciation Day!

Today is Agent Appreciation Day (unofficially)!

What is that, you ask? Its a day to honor, support, respect and above all, appreciate our agents and thank them for all they've done for us. (Hm, think we can make this an official holiday? With Hallmark cards and everything? Must ponder this idea; I think it has potential.)

Anyway, what I love about my agent ...

Hm, actually, I'm going to start with "How I met my agent," because that's a day that will live in my memory forever.

I met Laurie McLean, my fabulous agent from Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents, at a writer's workshop in Louisville, KY. The workshop was held at Spaulding University, and after a week of classes and instruction, we would get the chance to pitch our novels to a panel of agents and editors on Saturday. The end of the week was very exciting and nerve wracking; you'd think we were preparing for the arrival of the royalty, the way everyone was talking about it. But to an unpublished writer, an agent is nearly that.

Early Friday morning, before anyone else was up, I walked into the lounge to see a woman I'd never seen before standing in the middle of the room drinking a Coke. I knew it wasn't one of the students, and all the agents and editors flying in later were staying at a hotel. So I had no idea who this person was. Maybe security let someone slip in unnoticed.

"Uh ... hello?" I said intelligently.

"Oh, good morning!" said the strange person, much more cheerful than I would be at seven in the morning. "I'm Laurie McLean."

And at that moment, all the pieces clicked in my brain. "Laurie McLean" sounded awfully familiar, as if I read it somewhere before, like on the schedule. The agents and editors were supposed to be flying in today. The director said something about an agent who was not staying in the hotel, but in the dorms with the students.

Oh crap. This was an agent! I just "Uh helloed" an agent!

And to top it off, I was taking her to lunch that afternoon.

Fortunately, Laurie is one of the nicest people on the planet. We sat in the lounge and talked for several minutes before the rest of the students got wind that an agent was in the building and mobbed the room. I talked to her a bit more at lunch, she asked for a few pages of my novel, and a few weeks later I nearly fell out of my chair when she asked to represent me.

From there, its been a wild and crazy couple years. Getting my book published was--cliched as it is--a dream come true. And I'm so grateful to Laurie for giving me a chance, for answering all my questions, for having my back when I knew absolutely nothing about the buisness.

So, thank you, Laurie McLean. Thanks for being so nice to that dubious asian girl in the lobby. If Hallmark suddenly decides to make a "Thank You, Literary Agent" line, you can bet your desk would be covered with cards and flowers every year, most of them from me.

Julie Kagawa
The Iron King

Also, check out more Agent Love here.

Wow, what a long and awesome list. Keep it growing!