Recently a writing pal got the call. It's pretty much the same thing that minor league ball players feel when they get the call to the big league. Or at least I imagine it is.
She finished her book and started the query process and after a-lot of time and effort found the one agent that saw the same thing in her writing that I did. She's got talent.
My friend has been very vocal on twitter that she had a little help from her friends. Mainly me. Now I know what you are thinking, "Come on, Kel, is this another pat on the back blog for you?" Well of course it could be as this is my blog and I can write about anything I want to. But in this case, no.
It just so happens late on a work night I was just in the right place at the right time and was the one that responded to the call that came through via twitter. She was despondent and down. She had worked on this manuscript, for what seemed like forever to her, and she was done with it. Maybe it really was time to hit the delete key and say goodbye to this piece of nothing that she had suddenly convinced herself was no longer any good.
Now as writers we all hit walls. The writing, re-writing, editing, weeding-out, tweaking process can be brutal and it was very obvious she hadn't just hit her wall, her wall had hit her back. So I raised my hand and offered a fresh set of eyes. I wasn't sure she would embrace that, but she did. She grabbed onto the offer and sent me the manuscript the same night. I think for her that was almost like hitting the delete key, just a little bit.
She could put it out of her mind, even if for one night, secure in the knowledge that someone new was going to take a look.
I wasted no time. Even thought she sent it to me very late and I had to work the next day I just couldn't help myself. I really wanted to see this train wreck that she had put to paper and find how just how horrible it was so I could help put her out of her misery. I am not going to say that I read the whole thing in one sitting but it was pretty close. But the next night when I got home, I was right back to it.
I read the story completely through like I would do any book. Just for the enjoyment of it. And you know what? It wasn't a train wreck at all. It was a story that captivated me completely. On my second read through I made notes on my impressions of the story on what did or did not work for me and finally sent it back to her.
I don't know if the notes helped her or not and really that isn't what's important. What is important is when one of my writer friends fell down I was lucky enough to be there to help her back up. It wasn't my comments or even that I read her story, it was just enough that I offered. That I validated for her, that yes, you really are a writer and someone wants to read your story.
This was quite a few months and a couple of revisions ago and I am so proud to tell you that she has found representation for her story and hopefully soon we will see it on the bookshelves at the local bookstore. I promise her when that happens I will be there with bells on to buy my copy of it and to take pictures so she can see how her novel looks, sitting on the shelf next to the rest of the Young Adult books she will be company with.