Gym class, publishing and an exciting announcement
Gym was my least-favorite class. When we ran laps around the track, I was always one of the last to finish. When we learned to throw footballs, the perfect spiral remained elusive. And when it came to the rope climb, I don’t recall ever being able to pull myself to the gym ceiling to ring the brass bell. (By the way, do they still allow kids to do that?! It seems like the safety-harness-free rope climb would be something risk-averse lawyers would have done away long ago!)
So, I find it both amusing and anxiety provoking when I hear writing and publishing a book is akin to a marathon combined with sprints, hurdles and a cross-country obstacle course. Me?! A marathon?! Hurdles? Just the thought of it brings me back to the crushing defeat of gym class. Worse yet is the fact that when you start a book, neither the route nor the length of the race are defined.
I realized I needed a coach to help me find, and get to, the finish line, and this summer I started working with the amazing book development editor Jill Swenson. Jill provided editorial feedback on the manuscript, helped polish the 100-page book proposal, helped define and grow my platform, and queried agents on my behalf. To continue the sports metaphor, she was and still is, part coach, part intrepid running partner.
Our months of collaborative, strategic work paid off last week when I signed on as the newest author with Sharlene Martin of Martin Literary Management, a top-notch agent Jill recommended we query. Sharlene specializes in adult nonfiction, and has a reputation of being a tenacious advocate for the authors she represents. But, more than anything, I signed with Sharlene because she loves Marcel’s story — and I wanted to work with an agent who would fight to bring Marcel’s story to the world.
In January, the next leg of this crazy marathon/sprint/obstacle course will resume. I still don’t know the route or the length. But, I am filled with gratitude knowing these two extraordinary women are beside me.