Friday, July 20, 2007



July 20, 2006
5:00 am
My manuscript of LOTTERY was being read by three agents. I already had interest from editors who had seen LOTTERY on the Maui Manuscript Marketplace. My top pick, Dorian Karchmar from William Morris Agency, had called to ask for more time to read.
"Just one more week?" She asked.
She emphasized she wanted to hear about any offers from any of the other agents who were currently reading LOTTERY.

That was a week and a half ago.

My friend and author Holly Kennedy said the faster that agents got back to you the better news it was. This was not good. I was losing hope and was planning to get my second tier agent list out and rethink. My phone sat on the Nav station charging.

5:15 am

The phone rang.

My eyes flew open.
I leaped out of bed.
Three times.
I ran down the hall.
Four times.
I hit answer but the call went straight to voice mail.
The area code was 212.
New York.
I listened to the message only long enough to hear, "I LOVE your book!"
I hit call.
5:20 am.
I have two cats retching hairballs between my feet.
My husband has an early meeting in the office.
I assure Dorian that I can talk while grabbing a paper towel and wiping cat vomit from the bottoms of my bare feet.
I try to be professional.
Like it wasn't the most important call of my life. Like it didn't make all my dreams come true. Like it didn't mean my time spent writing was not wasted.
It was as I always imagined.
It felt just as I knew it would.

When I hung up I had an agent and could say:
"My agent is Dorian Karchmar of the William Morris Agency."
And it felt good.
Real good.
And it feels just as good a year later.


Anonymous said...

I love this about being a writer. Yes, I work in my PJs and slippers with yesterday's makeup sliding down my face. But a professional call comes in and I have to somehow sound like I'm wearing a pantsuit (or at least a bra) while my four year-old screams in the background, "It's my turn to talk to Nana."

Adrienne said...

A year ago today.


A heck of a lot has happened since then hasn't it.

Quite amazing.

Heidi the Hick said...

I read this post with a delightful delicious ache in my throat!

Polly Kahl said...

Amazing and beautiful and you deserve every bit of it.

Josephine Damian said...

5 AM? I hope they're more mindful of the time difference now than they were then.

Great post on the journey that we all dream of taking someday. Lots of valuable lessons for us all on how to handle the various aspects of biz when our turn comes.

Thanks so much for the package! If only it had arrived before I left for book club and critique group so I could have showed everyone. I'll bring it all to next month's meetings.

Am halfway through, should have my review posted by mid-week.

Really love it, in case you were wondering. :-)

Janet said...

My heart-felt congratulations on all your success. I can only selfishly hope that it helps propel me out of my own summer doldrums. ;o)

The Anti-Wife said...


M. G. Tarquini said...

I totally hear you. Totally.

David L. McAfee said...

Wow. It's amazing how many things can happen in only one year.

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. I can't wait for that to happen to me someday.

Many, many congratulations on your book's debut!

Manic Mom said...

And it feels just as good a year later.

You mean it feels EVEN BETTER one year later!!!

I'd be interested in knowing how many first-time authors who get their dream agent has their book debuting one year later? Hmmm? Not many I'd bet! Congrats!

Jess Riley said...

I LOOOVE these kinds of stories!

I remember a volley of emails & phone calls before I signed with my agent...but I remember the day of the sale better. I was driving home after a meeting to learn my fate, and I almost hit a flock of turkeys crossing the road. (No turkeys were harmed in the posting of this comment, or the driving of the road on that fateful day. :-)

Demon Hunter said...

Awesome story, Pat. Dreams do come true!:*)

ORION said...

RE: 5 am. Please. I think all of you can agree that there is NO TIME that a call making an offer of representation would not be welcome but the funny thing is no one at WMA really knew the time difference between New York and Hawaii- we still laugh about it!
They know now.
FYI my day begins now at 4 am so my work hours coincide with Nooo Yawk.
It's only fair.

wordtryst said...

I read this and started tearing up. It was just over a year ago that my agent called and offered to rep. Three were reading, just like in your case, and I was hoping that she would be the one. I don't think I was coherent during that initial conversation, and my heart didn't stop racing for a week. Literally racing.

I'm really happy for you. What a year.

reality said...

Loved yur little tale of the agent's call, even better because it is true.

I am beginning to realize when I hear these stories that the writers are truly happy for each other's success, unlike other professions out there.

Kim Stagliano said...

Beautiful! You two as women and the relationship as writer and agent. We hear the horror stories on lists and loops and organizations. It's lovely to hear about this grand combo. Enjoy!

Wrdver: Hidway. Pat, do you feel like you need to hide away?

(PS) I feel the same way about my agent.

Dawn said...

I feel the excitement with you, Patricia, as I hear each twist and turn of your adventure. Keeping riding this wave of wonderfulness (I think Adrienne lent me that word)!

Pink said...

Wow. That is a dream come true.


ORION said...

Thanks Pink!
What happened to your blog???

Lisa R said...

Great post. A year really can make all the difference in our lives.