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How I Got My Agent: Jonathan Rosen

Debut novelist, Jonathan Rosen, shares the waiting process he went through to get an agent—ultimately landing one who is a champion of his work and career.

They say the best things come to those who wait, right?

Well, I waited ... and waited ... and waited ... okay, you get the idea.

It takes a long time to reach the point where your writing reaches the level of being worthy enough to be published. Then comes the fun part: querying agents in the hope that they’ll love your writing and offer representation. And by fun, I mean root canal, without any anesthetic.

This guest post is by Jonathan Rosen. Rosen is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives with his family in sunny, South Florida. He spends his “free” time being a volunteer coach and chauffeur for his three kids. Some of Jonathan’s fondest childhood memories are of discovering a really good book to dive into. He currently writes middle-grade, because he finds that he shares the same sense of humor as that audience. Jonathan is proud to be of Mexican-American descent, although neither country has been willing to accept responsibility. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, FromtheMixedUpFiles.Com, The Tuesday Writers, and his own website. Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies comes out August 2017 from SkyPony Press.

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Writing is subjective, and what one person might love, the other might hate. And every writer probably feels that they keep finding more of the latter.

So, in the meantime, you can’t just sit around and do nothing. I used that in-between stage to attend many conferences. At a couple of conferences, I was fortunate to have editors show interest in my submissions and request the full manuscript. Both those times, my work nearly went the distance, taken to the committee in each of their respective houses. Unfortunately, in each case, I hit a roadblock and was turned down, right at the very end. Both editors gave me feedback on the reasons why, and of course, both gave different reasons. But, they both did have one thing in common ... They loved the humor. Both of them singled it out as something they’d love to see more of.

So, with that tidbit in mind, I set out to write the funniest book I could. That wound up being Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies. It went great in my critique group, and I got plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, week after week.

When I was done and ready to begin my search, my friend Stacie Ramey raved about her agent, Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency, and suggested I query her. I researched Nicole and loved everything I read. I queried her, sent off a few pages, and waited.

For a couple of hours.

[New Agent Alerts: Click here to find agents who are currently seeking writers]

Nicole got back to me right away, said she loved what she read, and asked for the full. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I was, but tried to play it cool. I probably waited a full twenty to thirty seconds before I sent it.

This time her response took a bit longer. Two days. She wrote back saying how much she loved it and wanted to talk.

After being revived with smelling salts, I probably read that email at least a hundred times. And no, I’m not exaggerating.

We spoke later that same day. And here’s the funny part, and I never told her this, but after we hung up, I had no idea whether she was offering representation or not. She never officially said the words. I had more than a few anxious moments and didn’t want to call her back and ask. It wasn’t until the contract arrived when I realized that I now had an agent.

I celebrated with my family that night, and then sent Nicole all the material she requested. And here comes the really fun part ... Within two months, she sold the manuscript!

Now, if you’re a writer, there is no greater feeling than to hear the news that you’re going to be published. And I can’t thank Nicole enough for that. Since then, she’s sold another book of mine, as well as offered support, listened to ideas as a sounding board, provided guidance, and most importantly, been a friend.

I’ve heard of so many people who are afraid to even contact their agents because of an intimidation factor, but for me, I feel lucky enough to sincerely like my agent and feel comfortable enough to contact her whenever I need it.

It’s a tough field, filled with pitfalls and insecurities. Thankfully, I have someone in my corner who’s enthusiastic about my work. And that’s really what it’s all about.

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If you’re an agent looking to update your information or an author interested in contributing to the GLA blog or the next edition of the book, contact Writer’s Digest Books Managing Editor Cris Freese at cris.freese@fwmedia.com.

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