Claire King


A Mountain Lover’s Life

Posted on: November 9th, 2010 by Claire - 13 Comments

Q: Do you know what can you see when you get to the top of a mountain?

A: Other mountains.

Today I received the email I’ve been waiting for – a wonderful literary agent would like to represent me. Not only that, she would love to represent me. She stayed up until the early hours reading my unsolicited submission, she fell in love with my MC, she sees a clear placing for the novel…it’s really all very very good.

So I thought those of you who know how much I’ve wanted this, and those still on the same journey would want to know how it felt to me?

0) Disappointment – I saw the email appear in my inbox just 3 days after I sent the full manuscript and I thought ‘Oh no, it’s not a phone call it’s an email, that will be a no.’ And then I read it and…

1) Excitement and Joy – How wonderful it is to hear a literary agent say things like this: “simply one of the best contemporary debuts I have read in a long, long time…I stayed reading until beyond midnight yesterday because….. well, because it is THAT good.ย I can think of a number of editors of literary lists who will be blown away by it… Please say you will sign up and then I can get working on your behalf!”

2) Nervousness at the first call with my new agent – Unnecessary.

3) Questions for the agent – Where do you see it fitting in the market? What sort of publishers? How many edits?

and then, once I said, “Yes please!”…

4) So where are these new mountains? – ย Edits, submissions to publishers, edits from publishers, publication, writing the next novel…

A friend once told me that each time he has achieved something that he has been striving for (like climbing a mountain) he enjoys the view momentarily and then he sees it for what it is – the other mountains waiting to be climbed. I think I’m like that too. Once I reach the top of a mountain (writing, redrafting, redrafting, submitting) I catch my breath and I’m already looking at the next few peaks.

13 Responses

  1. Katie says:

    Enjoy the View!!

    This is a major hurdle overcome – it’s a fabulous feeling to find a literary professional who is blown away by your work – it’s when I, at least, finally breathed a sigh of relief that perhaps I wasn’t crazy, perhaps all that time and effort might not actually have been a complete waste of time – because someone else – someone who does this as a JOB – a PROFESSIONAL – believes in you.

    Wow. That’s a pretty dazzling view.

    And yes, there are other peaks to climb – the road to publication, and beyond that, to promotion etc etc is not always a smooth one (don’t I know it!) but now you won’t be alone.

    Your agent will be there with you on your journey, breaking through those ‘no unsolicted manuscripts’ roadblocks, shouldering the burden of submissions, negotiations and (squeak!) deciphering contracts, but most importantly, she’ll championing your cause. Yes, the journey isn’t over, but it’ll be so much easier with her by your side.

    Enjoy the view, savour the moment, for although it is a rollercoaster, there are higher peaks yet to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Marisa Birns says:

    How absolutely wonderful, Claire. It seems that I’ve followed you everywhere and leaving congrats, heh!

    Breathe that freshest of airs for a moment or two. Then, back to work. ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Jane Morgan-Ross says:

    Who is the agent ?

  4. Cath Bore says:

    Jolly well done, I look forward to experiencing the view myself at some point!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Well done! You’ve every reason to feel elated. Now, after the champagne is finished, get them sleeves rolled up and get back grafting…


  6. I hope you take some time to enjoy the view from this particular mountain, Claire. Every so often in life, it’s good to stop and savour and not be in such a rush to move onto the next challenge.

    Many, many congratulations on getting representation and with an agent who sounds like she’ll champion your book out in the world.

  7. Marcus Speh says:

    claire, so happy for you. some of your gold dust rubs off via the web, it’s most amazing. celebrate then write. cheers from berlin!

  8. claire says:

    Thank you, everybody for your kind words of encouragement and excitement. I’m still standing and staring. I think my husband and daughters are becoming concerned.
    @Marcus – it’s very strange, I say something on Twitter and Lo! It comes to pass.
    @Jane My agent is Annette Green at the Annette Green Authors’ Agency

  9. Sherri says:

    Fantastic news, Claire. Really well done.

  10. Louise Kelly says:

    Must feel great. It’s great to be reminded that it is possible! Well done and enjoy!

  11. Sally Zigmond says:

    That’s great news, Claire and, for one still plodding through the foothills, hugely encouraging.

    I understand about those mountains, though. The more I climb, the higher the peaks looming ahead.

    Onwards and upwards.Meanwhile enjoy the moment! It’s exhilarating.

  12. […] This ‘A Mountain Lover’s Life’ is the post I made in November 2010 when I won representation from my agent Annette Green […]

  13. […] In other stats – for the five agents who responded to my initial submission: One replied after a month to say their slushpile was too big and they had stopped accepting submissions. Two rejected – One after two weeks, one after three weeks. Two requested full – both requests arrived 6 days after I posted the query + 3 chapters (from France to the UK). And then pretty fast turnarounds for the fulls – two weeks for one agent and four days for the other…resulting in The Call. […]

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