Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Agent, Swag, Seven Days & Counting

Hopefully my agent, Sarah, doesn't mind that I'm posting this pic of her:


Sarah Bedingfield
I made some BABY TEETH swag and sent her one of everything! Sarah is the reason that I'm on this journey - she plucked me from the slush pile, and changed my life. I know it sounds cliche, but sometimes the stars really do align, and that's how it's been for us. I guess she knew early in her reading of my manuscript that BABY TEETH was a project she was seriously interested in, and I knew during our first conversation that I wanted her to be my agent. It all just clicked: polishing the manuscript, submitting it, selling it. And here we are, seven days from publication!

I got to meet Sarah for the first time - almost a year and a half after she first contacted me - when I was in New York City for Book Expo America. She was as kind and smart in real life, and just as easy to talk to as she'd always been on the phone. And as I got to listen to her I realized she is a fearless person. And I love that. She lives her life passionately and adventurously in a way that I not only respect, but sort of envy. BABY TEETH is not only my debut, but it's Sarah's as well: the first book she sold as an agent. It has made everything about my experience as a new author even more meaningful as all of my milestones are also hers: truly, this book has been our journey.

I sent this swag as a little thank you, but of course it's just stuff. I am so grateful for her wisdom, patience, friendship, collaboration: it isn't too much to say that this is one of the most meaningful relationships in my life... I can't really express that with a mug or a bookmark. Hopefully our journey will go on and on and I'll have a million more chances to express my gratitude. 

After talking about it for almost sixteen months, in seven days it will be real: I'll have a book in the world. I'll be a professional author. So much of the past year has felt a bit unreal - and it still does. But in an amazing way. Sometimes I can't believe where we've come in those sixteen months. I'm sitting here on the couch that BABY TEETH bought, in the apartment that BABY TEETH pays for. I have no idea what the future holds. There's been a lot of buzz about the book, but I am a fundamentally cautious person in certain ways, and have learned not to celebrate the hypothetical. But next week BABY TEETH won't be hypothetical anymore, and we will embark on the next stage of our journey. This element of the "unknown" is quite tantalizing: what's going to happen??

We'll see. It is a comfort to know that I am not alone. My team at St. Martin's Press has been amazing - I have a team, I have people. We're probably all holding our breath a little, wondering how BABY TEETH will fare in the real world. Next week Sarah is coming into town for my launch - our launch. We're launching - I really feel that. The stars have aligned and we're in our rocketship, ready to go exploring.

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