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Friday, October 2, 2015

How I Got My Agent: Brianna Shrum

To finish off our week of "How I Got My Agent" stories, I'm thrilled to have the very cool Brianna Shrum here to tell us her story of how she snagged her amazing agent. But first, I have to say Happy Book Release to Brianna whose novel NEVER NEVER released this week. I simply love the cover, don't you?

Take it away, Brianna!!


Hey all!! So, my agent story!

I’ve been writing for several years, and after having sold two books, found myself in the querying trenches again. Being there once is tough and nerve-wracking. Being there *again* is BLERGH. SO VERY BLERGH.

But that’s where I was at the beginning of the year. I tossed my hat in the ring, because I believed in my book, and that was worth diving in again.


It was an edgy book—super dark and intense and pushing the line on everything, and so wildly different from anything else I’d ever written, such that I was pretty terrified to query it, honestly. But I *believed* in it. My CPs believed in it. So I queried.

I got several rejections right away, which WOMP womppppp. And those first rejections are so disheartening. Like, “CRAP. WHAT IF EVERY SINGLE AGENT FEELS THIS WAY?” But then a few requests started to trickle in. From agents I LOVED.

One night, after a couple rejections, I was perusing around and came across this absolute dream agent’s website. Their guideline had you fill out a form and attach the full right off the bat. So I just kind of went, “LOL ok, I’ll do this. Then I can be like, ‘Well I *do* have a full out with Dream Agent.’” I was this close to writing myself off with them before I sent it. But I didn’t, because what if?


Fast forward a couple weeks later. I had a phone call. With an agent I would’ve been thrilled to be repped by. AAAH. But it was an R and R. It was a very small R and R, one I was able to do over the weekend. So I turned it in, and a week later, I got another phone call from him. IT WAS AN OFFER THIS TIME. This agent was incredible and savvy and SO personable. So I told him I wanted to give the other agents a week, sent out my, “Yo peeps, I have an offer!” e-mail, contacted clients, and all that jazz.

WELL, two days before my deadline, I got an e-mail from the agent I’d sent the form and automatic full to. The one I almost wrote myself off with and didn’t query? Yeah, him. He was asking me questions, and had me send a previous manuscript to him as well. Then the day of my deadline, we scheduled a call. I knew immediately that I wanted to sign with him. He got my career vision, and believed in my book and in me, and I felt 100% secure tossing my whole career into his hands.


SO, before he actually offered, he had to get off the phone and then call me back.

I spent the thirty minutes between call #1 and callback pacing and nervous-crying and “BAHHHH WHAT IS HAPPENING.” Then he called me back and I actually thought at first that he was telling me he’d changed his mind and didn’t want to offer.


But clearly I suck at interpreting tone of voice, because he offered rep on the phone. I adored and greatly respected both agents, but I knew I had to go with him. I accepted. I’m now represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary ^_^


So you know, sometimes there are big bumps in the road and things don’t go the way you expect, but if you have something you believe in, it’d be a crime not to push forward. And please, WHATEVER you do, never ever write yourself off. Never assume it won’t go well for you, because what if it would have? Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, take a risk, and believe in yourself, peeps.

---Bri out.





Liz A. said...

I'm curious as to why you were in the querying trenches again. The again part.

Leandra Wallace said...

So glad it worked out for you! I can only imagine how blerg it did feel to have to do the querying process twice. But you're obviously a talented writer! And I love the cover for Never Never!