Rejection and Revision are two words that cannot be avoided when you are a writer. By last year, I had developed a pretty thick skin with my writing and had gotten relatively comfortable with rejection. (By comfortable, I mean, the mail carrier could stop wearing full body armor when delivering the mail to my house.) I tried to tell myself everyday, These are manuscripts. They are words you have written. They are not your children that you are trying to sell. If one person doesn't like it, you move on. (Wayyyy easier said than done, by the way.)
So after reading an impressive agent interview in a market newsletter, I decided to send my middle-grade manuscript to the amazing wonder-agent, Daniel Lazar, at Writers House. I braced myself for the standard thanks-but-no-thanks-not-right-for-us response. So when he showed interest, I had to shift gears. We had some e-mail correspondence and I did some revising for him. I probably should have been prepared for his call, but you'd really have to know my close friends and family.
My brother, Tim, can do dead-on-Saturday-Night-Live-quality impressions. And it wouldn't have been beneath him to call me, posing as an agent/editor/media mogul offering me a multi-book contract. My friends, Margaret and Eileen, have also been known to play a very convincing phone joke. If any of those people called me asking if my refrigerator was running, I'd probably go look.
I didn't even have the opportunity to check the caller ID when the call actually came, because my youngest daughter answered the phone. When I asked her who it was, she said (impatiently, of course, because she was watching some Disney Channel episode for the millionth time), "I don't know. It's some guy. Dan something, from Writers House?"
Okay, here's where I confess to Dan. I was playing cool, but I was really hyperventilating. Could he actually hear me jumping up and down?
So...I guess the moral of my story is...relax, revise, and don't ever give up.