I’m so excited to welcome Anne to BookEnds today!
Anne’s romantic suspense had me alternately saying “awwww” in my head and sitting on the edge of my seat. Her kick-ass heroine was everything, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her take down the bad guys. If you’re looking for a thrilling read with heart, Anne has the book for you!
I found my wonderful agent, Amanda Jain, through a Twitter contest called Pitch Wars. After two grueling months of revising, my romantic suspense was featured in an agent showcase where Amanda requested my full manuscript. About a week later, one shining Thursday evening, I received an email from her requesting a call. Around this time, I had a minor melt down. I could barely read her email. I took a walk through the garden to calm down. Then I returned to my computer, and typed a response with shaking fingers.
Amanda was so lovely, and even realised that I was in South Africa and she was in U.S., so we arranged a time to suit both of us for the following Monday—the week of U.S. Thanksgiving. That was the longest weekend of my life, but it gave me a lot of time to calm down, because I was a wreck. I freaked out all of Monday, 20 November—one exact month, to the day, before my 30th birthday. I was a mess. And when the time came, Amanda and I had some technical difficulties thanks to my lack of skills with technology, but we finally connected about an hour after our scheduled call.
Clicking that answer button was the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I had no clue what was coming. I didn’t know if it was an offer, or a R&R, or nothing. I’d heard horror stories of agents calling to reject an author. While the odds were unlikely, it still played through my subconscious. But the call went so well. Amanda was so sweet, and she made me feel a lot calmer. The line was clear—which had been a concern because I was in SA and so far away. She could understand my silly South African accent, and didn’t even comment when I kept saying, “ja” (Afrikaans for “yes”), which I just knew was going to happen. But best of all, she answered all my questions before I even had to ask. I had my list all prepared in front of me—thanks to my amazing Pitch Wars mentor—but I didn’t need it.
We chatted about my MS—what she liked and what we could potentially make better. I jotted down notes, still unsure if it was an offer or a R&R. And then, about 20 minutes into our call, she said, “so, of course I’m calling to offer representation,” and I almost fell off my chair. “Of course,” I thought, giggling like a kid because, what was happening? I had an offer! When you’ve been querying for so long, and you finally hear those words—there is no way to describe it. Words fail, which is ridiculous for a writer. And then—this was what sealed the deal for me—she talked about a potential sequel for my MS, with a character I wanted to explore, and I knew she got me.
We ended the call and the first thing I did was talk to my mom. I remember telling her that I already adored Amanda and that I wanted to just sign with her right then. But that’s not how it works. To make matters more complicated, it was the week of Thanksgiving in the U.S., so we arranged a two week deadline, giving other agents a chance to either offer or step aside. That was a long wait, especially when I was so excited. I didn’t get another offer, and while some might be disappointed, I was happy to have the choice simple. I knew Amanda was the right one for me straight away, so sending that acceptance email was such a relief.
4 December 2017, I accepted my offer of representation! Insert much screaming and excitement.
You’d think that would be the happily ever after, wouldn’t you? I sure did. I made my announcements, celebrated and chatted with Amanda. Early January 2018, I got to work on my first ever agent edits. It was terrifying and exciting.
Then, something else unexpected happened. Amanda decided to move to a different agency. Which meant that two months after I signed with her, we terminated our contract. Of course, agents move around pretty often, so it’s far from uncommon. But the last thing I thought might happen two months after signing, was to be technically agent-less again.
It was a mere week later when I got another email from her to let me know where we’d be moving—BookEnds Literary Agency. I was over the moon! I’d had a little crush on their agency for a few years, so moving with my already beloved agent felt like the true fairy tale ending befitting a romance author.
I couldn’t be happier, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us!