Friday, May 14, 2010

Stalking Editors with Finesse

Whenever anyone goes to a conference, they are usually warned to not stalk the agents/editors in the bathroom. I have always heeded that advice. Who wants to be bothered all the time?

But I admit at this writer's conference, I did step out of my comfort zone a little.

Okay. I didn't really stalk anyone. Sort of.

After my disappointing appointment with the agent, I signed up the next day to see an editor of a publishing house I was really familiar with. These appointments were on a first-come one-on-one basis. What did I have to lose?

He waited for me in a corner set up with comfy chairs. I smiled and said I was Terri and that I was there to pitch my book. He had me sit next to him and chicken that I am, I handed him my One sheet to read. Then he asked to look over a few pages. Yeah, I carried some with me.

I breathed little as he read. Then he told me what I'd already been hearing for two days. "You write well, but unfortunately we are taking on only historicals right now." To soften the blow, he suggested I see another editor at the conference.

Well, I had pretty much given up by now. I don't read historicals. I can't write them. So I headed back to my band of friends at our table. One of them told me I should definitely see the editor suggested as she had and he asked for a partial from her. Um. She writes historicals.

But they urged and so I looked. She said he was going to be wandering the hallways in case someone wanted to meet with him.

That someone was me.

Now I'm not a nervy take-charge kind of person led to stalking editors in open hallways but this time I did. Walked right up to him, introduced myself and said, "Does your publishing house consider contemporaries?"

They did--if it had a romance theme. Fortunately, mine did, I recently learned a day earlier at my agent-who-wasn't-taking-on-clients meeting.

We sat and talked for over a half hour or more.

This acquisition editor put me at ease and shared so much about himself as well making me see him as a real person who was also a writer and loved what he did. He shared about his own rejections and encouraged me not be so realistic about my own.

Did he ask me for a partial? You bet.

But most of all, his final words provided a reminder I needed to hear about this writing journey. When I joked that it was okay to reject me; I know it's part of the whole process, he told me something I hadn't been doing at all.

Save a little room for the magic.

Are you doing that today with your writing? Are you believing even amidst all the rejections that maybe today could be the day?

38 comments:

Heather Sunseri said...

Oh, Terri, I can't tell you how much I needed to hear those words today. "Save a little room for the magic." I think that's my new mantra. What inspiring words that editor gave you. Congratulations on being asked for a partial. There is hope! good for you!

Jessica Nelson said...

Okay, that's it. I want that man's name NOW! LOL Just kiddding. :-) Wow, I love his words. What a great guy, and congrats on the partial request!

Your title is awesome, btw. Didn't know I could use finesse in my stalking, but I'll be sure to try it. *grin*

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Oh you know I'm believing that.

So cool to read how those meetings played out for you.
~ Wendy

B. WHITTINGTON said...

I'm afraid the realities of writing and getting pubbed have been rough on me lately and I have left out all room "for the magic."

Thanks for reminding me. I know about the hard work and rejection.

But without the magic none of the good stuff happens.

Once more, I BELIEVE.
Thanks, Terrie
PS I'll remember your advice as I head to WV writers conference in June.
Blessings!

Jennifer Shirk said...

WOW! How awesome is that?

I love what he said to you!! It brings tears to my eyes!

I'm writing that down so I don't forget.

Lin Floyd said...

what a great advice for all of us in any situation not just writing. thanks a bunch for sharing

Katie Ganshert said...

Wow - that's the coolest advice I've ever heard. I want him to be my editor!!

Jan Cline said...

Im so glad we both stalked him. He was truly an encouragement to both of us. I thought the whole conference was magic. Having the chance to spend that time with you was such a blessing. I don't know what will come of our submissions, but it was great experience. Im proud of both of us!

Keli Gwyn said...

Terri, kudos to you on summoning the courage to talk with that editor and congratulations on the request. May it lead to more magic.

Jill Kemerer said...

Terri, this post gives me goosebumps! I'm so proud of you for working up the nerve to stray from your comfort zone. And really, who doesn't feel that way?

I am definitely saving a little room for magic!

Julie Jarnagin said...

Ha. Love the title! That's what I need - some finesse with my stalking. I tend to get so nervous.

Sally said...

Courage is not the absence of fear but your ablility to act in the face of it.

Good job taking the initiative and stepping forward. That takes courage.

Kara said...

Terri, that is so awesome! It's so hard for me to think about walking up to editors and agents and trying to sell my writing. But your courage is giving me some:)

Melissa Marsh said...

Wow. Awesome post, Terri. And good for you for taking a deep breath and plunging ahead!

Cindy said...

Oh, Terri, thank you for this post! You are my hero for going up and talking to that agent :) We can do all things through Christ, right? And I'm so happy about that partial--congrats!

I am going to save room for that magic and never doubt that something wonderful could happen today.

AnooCre8ion said...

Great job Terri and congrats.


vickie

Lynn said...

That's fabulous Terri. And that you faced your fear, persevered, and took charge! Magic-Making Are Great Imagination Come alive.

Keep believing; as we say when our hockey team keeps losing. :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, Terri. I knew God had good things in store for you, dear one. He is looking out for you, and your writing. I'll pray this editor takes on your project. Half an hour is a goodly amount of time to talk at a conference!

I'm proud of you,
Jen

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Indeed, save a little room for the magic! That is an awesome word for my spirit today. I'm so proud of you; you're stepping out... ummmm... I think God calls it faith.

Live on, sweet sister. I'm cheering you on from my chair this morning.

peace~elaine

Diane said...

I love it. Tears to my eyes, love it. It will happen for you. Keep believing! :O)

Kristen said...

Good for you! Way to be gutsy!

T. Anne said...

Aww! I love that! Sounds like you indeed had a magical time at the conference I'm glad. I'm always hoping the Lord will put some magic in the way I get my agent. Perhaps he's just done that for you!

LauraLee Shaw said...

This gave me goosebumps!!! What a phenomenal story of hope! I was praying for you, but I didn't expect it to turn out this way. But you know, when it comes to "magic," it is our God's specialty. :)

Susan R. Mills said...

I love that. What a blessing that you met with this man. We all need to hear things like that.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I soaked in every single word of this like a sponge. Great post! I loved it. :-)

Thanks for the courage booster!

Carmen said...

Great post! Sounds like there may be some magic coming your way. Keeping my fingers crossed for you...

Linda Glaz said...

So nice to find someone with a heart, isn't it? Makes you have faith in the system. Congrat!

sarah said...

I love that Terri...save a little room for the magic. I totally love that. And for a chicken....I think you're pretty gutsy....in a good way. way to go.

Kathryn Magendie said...

FIRST_ WHOOP WHOOP and GOOD FOR YOU TERRI!!!

second - this is the third or fourth blog I've come across this morning that has a familiar message to my own blog post *smiling*

Yes...save room for magic -- enjoy ALL the moments.

Jody Hedlund said...

Yay! What an encouragement that he took your partial! And what an encouragement to be reminded that we need to wait for the magic! Beautiful, Terri!

Natalie said...

What a great interaction! I am so not brave when it comes to things like that. I'm impressed that you had the guts to talk to him.

And yes, there is room for magic. I hope it works out for you Terri!

Jackie said...

Hey Terri!

Sounds like the "stalk anointing" was at work in you, sister - LOL!

Love this post....very encouraging!! I'm praying that this was a Divine connection for you!

Sweet Blessings!
Jackie

Mariel said...

way to step out on faith. my bible study was picked up by a publisher recently. it has changed my perspective...i know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is God's doing, not mine! but we do have to make ourselves available!

Doris Plaster said...

Oh Terri...that's wonderful. Congratulations!!!!!

Nancy said...

I'm bleieving there is 'magic' out there for you.

Heckety said...

Well done for taking the courage- and its good he was encouraging. You hang in there!

Heidi Willis said...

Oh! What a great line! I got to that point for a while, where I expected disappointment and rejection, and I think it stole some of the joy when it finally happened.

Never stop hoping it will happen. The disappointment doesn't sting less because you do, but the joy is definitely tempered.

Good luck!!

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Wow...what great words! So happy you kept walking through each door the Lord opened for you!