Two weeks ago today, my literary agent quit. She sent a mass email to her clients (all 40 something of us) and told us she would no longer be an agent. This email was only the tip of a very large, looming, freezing cold glacier.
If only I had seen it coming sooner.
Over the past six months or so, I sensed something was off, but there was no way I could predict the mountain of lies Danielle Smith sprinkled over her clients, myself included.
I was virtually introduced to ** YOU KNOW WHO** while attending a Highlights Foundation workshop in 2017. I had the time of my life at this workshop, even saw two bears (looking back, maybe that was a warning!). Danielle came recommended, and there was nothing that told me to run, far, far away from her offer of representation.
Yes, I did my research before signing. I researched her, and her clients. I researched questions to ask before signing with a literary agent. I asked other writers for their advice. And then, wait for it...I asked those questions! The answers that I was given gave me the all clear. I sensed nothing off at the time, and I'm not kicking myself for that. At the end of the day, when someone wants to purposefully deceive you and 39 others, there is only so much you can do.
The deception that I endured included being told particular editors saw my work, when in fact, they had never been given any manuscript of mine. I was told publishing companies wanted to bring me on as a debut author, and that I would be receiving deal news...but that news never came.
During the time I was represented, I asked her loads of questions. I emailed and texted. I stayed in contact, and she would respond with what I now know were tall tales.
After time passed, I knew something was wrong.
When the news broke on Tuesday, July 24th, I was calm. I would say I am an optimistic person. I didn't feel the stress of the situation until a week later. Then, and now, my emotions are a mess. I have been lied to. I have been hurt. At the time, I believed this person was nothing but truthful and honest. In the end, she was feeding all of us lies.
What was the motive? Will we ever know? Questions upon questions loom without an answer.
I can't control what happened over the past year, but I can control my actions and how I move forward. That is the constant in my life right now.
I can control how I see this entire situation. Yes, I lost a year of my writing life and was fed lies, but I have learned so much in the year, and now.
- I've been taught what I want in an agent, and what I don't want in an agent.
- And that trust in myself is very much a part of this process, too.
- I've been taught to not beat myself up when things go wrong.
- And that my writing is good enough. Self doubt is sabotage that I have no room for.
- I've been taught to keep moving forward, stopping will only hinder what's already been stalled.
- There is no quitting, there is no wallowing in self pity.
- There is only forward motion into the direction my life as a writer is supposed to take.
There is one huge aspect to this whole fiasco that I haven't mentioned yet. That's the support from the writing, especially Kidlit community at large.
I want to say,
Thank you for all of the support you have shown during this time.
Thank you for believing in us, and understand that this situation is
BIZARRE AS HELL!
Thank you for your support and out right love.
Thank you for hearing our side.
Thank you for opening your doors, AND EARS, and hearing us vent.
And vent. And vent. And vent...
And thank you my fellow EX Lupine Grover's, for now being a community of friends. Unfortunately, we've had to share a very stressful situation. I wish that THIS wasn't what brought us all together, but I'm grateful to know you all. And what I also know is that every single one of us will go forward and kick some writing butt. Because no one goes through this without coming out on top.
We deserve it.