I’m delighted to announce I’ve signed with literary agent, Jennifer Azantian, of Azantian Literary Agency!
Jennifer has been an agent since 2011, has run her own agency since 2014, and has built her business with obvious care in the following years. She read my full manuscript this summer and offered to represent me during a very enjoyable, informative two-hour conversation over the phone in late August. She suggested I contact her other authors to learn what it was like to work with her (something an agent should always allow, if not downright advise), and throughout the following week I exchanged emails with several of her clients. I also did more research online, adding to the research I’d done when she first requested a few chapters of my manuscript from a contest in 2016.
What I gathered from my research is that Jennifer is a big-hearted, hard-working, savvy professional with a proven sales record and a personal touch. Moreover, she understands the heart and soul of my story, which to me is just as important. It means I can look forward to working with her on edits and gives me confidence she’ll do a great job explaining the novel’s subtler strengths to editors at publishing houses.
And now I can sit back, a little stunned, and try to enjoy this moment. When all those form-letter agent rejections said something to the effect of, “It’s not for me but someone else will love it,” I didn’t believe them – not that last part: someone else will love it. Because, in agent parlance, loving a manuscript means they’ll stake their reputation with editors on it, and that’s no small matter. But now I believe. And while this development does not quite feel real yet, the joy and relief I experience at odd moments are very real.
I hope the joy lasts because the next phase – submitting to publishing houses – is usually even harder on a writer’s patience and ego. I’ll hold tight to my favorite mantra, ‘Onwards and upwards!’