March Writing Life Update: Agent Acquired!

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an update on my writing life, but there hasn’t been much news to share… until recently.

In this first quarter of the year, I’ve been working steadily on two long-term projects: the new nonfiction website/book, and my next historical novel about the Blizzard of 1888. (Contrary to my original plan, I did not give up one for the other; I just couldn’t say goodbye to Mr. Fiction.) I’ve also been working on a short story for a contest, due April 1, and sending out queries for a previously completed short story. In late January I slowed down the queries for my novel Waist, because the manuscript was being read by several agents, and I wanted to wait for their feedback before doing another round of querying.

But as it turns out, I’m not going to have to start querying again.

(Hey, remember on Tuesday when I said it was ironic I was posting about rejection at DIY MFA this week? Here’s why…)

Last week I got an offer of representation from a wonderful agent, Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary! She and her assistant have had the full manuscript since mid-January (a relatively short time). On Tuesday last week, I got a heads-up from Suzie’s assistant Sara that Suzie was interested and sending me an email with thoughts about the book. Within a few hours, the email was in my inbox, and it was chock-full of passion for the book and great suggestions for edits. She asked if we could set up a time to talk. I couldn’t believe I was finally getting “The Call!” (At least, I was pretty sure it was The Call.)

We talked for 45 minutes on Friday, and within the first 15, she’d offered me representation. I was doing a happy dance in my chair. But I couldn’t accept until I’d contacted the other agents who were still holding the full manuscript and allowed them the opportunity to offer.

Over the next few days, I heard back from all agents involved. A few told me that they still loved the book but were going to pass because it wasn’t right for their lists at this time. One agent made an offer, but wasn’t as certain as Suzie had been about what the book needed, and I felt that I wanted to go with someone who had a clear vision. And so this afternoon I called Suzie and accepted her offer.

I’m so excited to be working with her! And it’s a dream come true to finally have someone who loves my book and wants to help me get it published. After so much isolated time writing and revising, and sending query letters out into the ether, I finally have someone that I can talk to about my book, who will help me make it even better! Two someones, really, as Suzie’s assistant Sara is very involved in the process (she actually read it first, then told Suzie she needed to read it).

So the next quarter of my year is going to look somewhat different. I’ll be putting Blizzard on hold for a short while to work on edits for Waist before submission to publishers. (Waist’s title will almost definitely be changed; Suzie and I agree that it needs to be something more memorable. I’m grateful for the help, as titles aren’t my strong suit.) Depending on my workload, I may also be delaying the launch of my nonfiction project. The website is almost finished, and I have a large cache of blog posts all lined up and ready to go, but I still want to give it my full attention once it’s launched, hopefully mid-spring.

This week, I worked furiously to finish my short story before edits with Suzie really and truly begin. I have a first draft done and will let it rest for a week or so before looking at it again. I’m still planning to submit it to the contest, and to query further for my finished short story if I get rejections back.

Suffice to say, my writing life has changed a lot in the past week, and it’s all great news! Stay tuned for more updates about Waist (TBD) and the publishing process!

16 Responses to “March Writing Life Update: Agent Acquired!”

  1. Diana says:

    Yes!!!! So excited for you!!! You deserve this after all your hard work. Hope you move into the next phase soon and find a publisher that is perfect for you!

  2. Sara L. says:

    Yaaaaaay!!! I’m so happy for you, Leanne! Congratulations! 😀 Will you blog about this next stage as you and Suzie prepare to send Waist to publishers?

  3. Lucille says:

    Bravo! can’t wait to hear next steps as you find a publisher!!

  4. Lynn Gringer says:


  5. Lauren Wayne says:

    So exciting! Congratulations!

  6. Sandy says:

    That is so awesome! Congratulations!! I can’t wait to hear more!

  7. Kathy says:

    I’m thrilled to hear this! Congratulations–I hope the whole process goes smoothly and we’ll soon be seeing copies of Waist (or its new title) available. I love to hear stories of writers achieving their goals and dreams.

  8. Tracy E. says:

    Congratulations! So excited for you on the next phase of the writing journey 🙂

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