How I Got My Agent: M.V. Freeman, Author of INCANDESCENT

“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring M.V. Freeman, author of INCANDESCENT, represented by Aponte Literary Agency. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. GIVEAWAY: M.V. is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in the US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: burrowswrite won.)
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“How I Got My Agent” is a recurring feature on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog, with this installment featuring M.V. Freeman, author of INCANDESCENT. These columns are great ways for you to learn how to find a literary agent. Some tales are of long roads and many setbacks, while others are of good luck and quick signings. If you have a literary agent and would be interested in writing a short guest column for this GLA blog, e-mail me at literaryagent@fwmedia.com and we’ll talk specifics.

GIVEAWAY: M.V. is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in the US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: burrowswrite won.)

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incandescent-book-cover

M.V. Freeman resides in North Alabama, and is active in the Southern
Magic chapter of RWA. Heavily influenced by Slavic languages and culture,
you will find she weaves these elements into her stories. She is represented
by the Aponte Literary Agency. Her award winning debut novel INCANDESCENT
is the first in the Hidden Races series. She has completed her second book
preparing for submission and hard at work on the third. When she is not writing,
she’s reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells or making coffee. You can
connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

THE QUEST

I never realized finding an agent would turn into a quest.

I began the querying route a few years ago. I took the pre-requisite classes, listened intently to others walking this road before I jumped in. I tried to keep myself realistic about the process. I knew it would take time and I’d face rejections. Still, I had this determined idealistic part of me, the tiny bit of unrealistic section of my brain which held a secret hope I’d be the one whose story would capture my targeted agent. This magical agent would sign me on the spot. I equate this irrational dream to the scene in “The Christmas Story”, when Ralphie turns in his essay as he day-dreamed his teacher is astounded by his genius. Like the movie—the result was far from what he or I envisioned.

(Do you need different agents if you write multiple genres?)

I was rejected. A lot.

Many of the refusals were standard: It doesn’t fit. You writings is strong, but I didn’t connect to the story. I enjoyed your voice. It was formulaic (this always makes me wince).

The small hopeful part of me became practical. Rejection is tough, a bitter pill I learned to swallow. I finally accepted the basic truth—publishing is not an objective field, but subjective. What one person likes, another may not. It’s not personal. It’s business. I’m not saying the process didn’t bother me a bit; there were many times I found myself reaching for the chocolate in a fit of angst.

TAKING CHANCES

I became less starry-eyed and desperate. I began to take chances. I queried a digital publisher, Crimson Romance. My book, Incandescent was accepted and published in August of 2012.

I was happy. I was published. I still didn’t have an agent. Did I need one? I decided I still did. Why? The answer is different for everyone. For me, I wanted someone who was a team player, who would help me navigate the landmines of publishing. I couldn’t query this book, but I could query another. This book would be proof I could be published, so I started to plot book two.

(Find out why agents stop reading your first chapter.)

THE UNEXPECTED

At this time when I thought my chances were shot in obtaining an agent, my Critique Partner emailed me, explaining she’d bought the book and sent it to her agent. I laughed. I thought this was fabulous, but I didn’t hold out any hope anything would come of it. I was certain I’d never hear a thing.

The agent, Victoria Lea, from the Aponte Literary Agency emailed me, wanting to talk. To my surprise, she wanted to represent the next book. The clincher—she loved my writing. This doesn’t mean I won’t face rejection, but this gives me options, and that is priceless.

In an industry that continually changes, opportunities show up in unexpected places. I realize with stunned disbelief: I never queried my agent.

GIVEAWAY: M.V. is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in the US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: burrowswrite won.)

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