I write contemporary fiction: stories of love, friendship, and connections forged in difficult times. My books feature #OwnVoices neurodivergent characters that reflect the world I wish we could all live in. My stories should leave readers laughing, crying, and full of hope and bittersweet joy.
Why BookEnds? I was looking for a literary agency that has experience with autistic writers and represents books I love. BookEnds represents my favorite autistic novelist. Naomi’s enthusiasm and genuine support for writers drew me in. After following her on Twitter for almost a year I finally worked up the nerve to query her.
My experience with “The Call” was surreal. I was waiting in the car while my husband picked up dinner. I saw the little red notification on my email icon, and when I realised it was a reply from Naomi, I closed my eyes and didn’t feel my stomach sink, the way it had with other query replies. I felt bubbly, and I got goosebumps. Something told me it was good news. I shrieked and stomped my feet when I read: “Would you have time for a phone call with me soon?” Hands shaking, I fired off a reply, and we scheduled a Skype call that same night.
I took “The Call” at my sister’s house, and it was wonderful to feel my family’s support. Naomi was easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable, which is unusual for me as an autistic. She truly understood my book, my voice, and my vision. Her enthusiasm for my story blew me away, and she made brilliant revision suggestions. I felt we were on the same wavelength, and I instinctively knew I was in good hands. We talked for almost an hour, and immediately after Naomi’s offer of representation, I contacted the other agents who had my full manuscript to let them know I had an offer. Then I jumped around, squealed, and celebrated with my sister and my husband.
I queried two different novels to 41 agents before I signed my second novel with Naomi almost 17 months after my first rejection. Fun fact: Naomi was the third BookEnds agent I queried, and the second one for the novel she signed. Can you tell I REALLY wanted to be a BookEnds author? My advice to authors in the query trenches: be patient, and don’t be afraid to revise your query, pages, synopsis, and manuscript. Work on the next novel while you’re querying your first, and don’t take rejection personally. Thick skin, patience, and willingness to revise will get you closer to your goal.