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Welcome to BookEnds, Melissa Payne!

We’re trying something new lately with our welcome posts. Special thanks to Melissa for being the first to write about “The Call” with her new agent Jessica Faust. Melissa writes Women’s Fiction with Magical Realism elements, and well… she can tell you–


It was a Thursday afternoon when I got the call. I was deep into doing research for my new book. So deep I did what sometimes happens in the afternoon after hours of scouring the Internet, reading articles, taking notes and not drinking enough coffee.

I was napping.

The old school ring of my cell phone cut through my haze. I groaned. Probably another recorded voice calling to ruin a perfectly lovely power nap. I checked the screen. New Jersey?

My voice was flat and uninviting. “Hello.”

“Hi Melissa, this is Jessica Faust.”

And with that I was awake. Wide awake and grinning as Jessica launched into talking about my manuscript that she had read, and liked and oh, by the way, it also needs a ton of work. But all I heard was how she liked it, she really, really liked it!

I listened, I think I asked questions, but mostly I listened and tried desperately to remember what the heck I was supposed to say. But Jessica was funny and engaging and put me completely at ease. As she shared her feedback about the manuscript with me, it became obvious that she had connected with the magical realism and women’s fiction elements of the story in a way that I had hoped a reader would when I wrote it.

During the course of that first conversation, I knew in my gut that Jessica was the right agent for me. But everything I had read about this moment told me that I was supposed to take some time to think about it. So I did. When we spoke again, I asked questions, many of them culled from Jessica’s own helpful and very informative blog posts. By the end of our phone call, I finally got to say, yes, yes I would love for you to be my agent.

Throughout my query journey, I never let myself think too much about what it would be like to get the call. But to all my fellow writers going through this long and challenging process, keep writing, be patient, and don’t stop until you find the agent who will be the perfect partner for you and your manuscript.

And when she does call, try not to be asleep.

Category: BlogFaustJessica FaustNewsWomen's Fiction

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5 comments

  1. You were working on your next novel and not waiting for the call. That is exactly how it is done. The moment I read that first paragraph I knew you were a pro. Congratulations. Hard work and above all, the joy of writing will always pay off. Happy for you.

  2. Melissa, you did so well (on two counts). The first is napping – I’m eternally jealous of anyone who has the ability to nap during the day. Sadly, that skill was left out of my gene pool. Secondly, being coherent when you answered the phone. If that had been me I’m sure I would have made no sense and Jessica would have hung up thinking she’d dodged a bullet *grin*. Congratulations!

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