Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lisa and Laura Roecker - Agented Authors!

Ok, we've practically been bursting with this news, but we didn't want to say anything until we'd made our official decision.

We have signed with Catherine Drayton at InkWell Management to represent our soon-to-be-retitled Young Adult Mystery. We are beyond excited to be working with Catherine. In case you don't know much about her (and you have some sort of aversion to clicking on links), her clients include New York Times bestselling author Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, and future New York Times bestselling author (and our new BFF), Becca Fitzpatrick whose debut, Hush, Hush sounds absolutely amazing. Bottom line, Catherine kicks some serious ass and her vision for our book pretty much blew us away, so we're thrilled/elated/overjoyed to be working with her.

Anyways, because we've been obsessing over other writer's stories about landing an agent for the past 9 months (stories of writers getting "the call" from agents is pretty much porn for aspiring unagented authors) we'll share our story here. Feel free to stop reading at any time because this might get long...

It was a hot, summer night and Laura and I were in the middle of one of our many phone conversations about how we hated our jobs (or lack thereof) and wanted to do something cool with our lives that would still allow us lots of time with the kids. We dismissed several ideas for various reasons including:
  • Opening up a clothing boutique (too much capital expenditure up front);
  • Starting a website to create photo albums for kids (BORING); and
  • Opening up a movie theater that only shows matinees and chick flicks and has childcare facilities (I still think this idea is brilliant and someone will make a ton of money off of it, sadly it just won't be Laura and I).

Then one of us (can't even remember who) started lamenting about how cool it would be to write a book. We've always loved to read and Laura taught middle school English, and we had discussed it a few times in the past, but it just felt impossible. I mean, we'd never written anything longer than 5 pages in our entire lives (Ok, at this point I'm praying that Catherine isn't reading this...), but we had this idea for a book and it was a pretty great concept. Plus it was safe. We'd be updating a classic for modern-day teen consumption. Easy-peasy, right? Well, as it turns out it sort of was....we just started writing and writing and writing and within a couple months we had an entire book. We were actually a little shocked by the time we had completed our 55,000 word manuscript.


So we had friends read it. We had our friend's mom's read it. We even had our brother-in-law read it. And then we decided it was ready to send to agents and we were just sure we'd be inundated with offers of representation. I mean, we're funny, the book is highly entertaining (according to all of our blood relations who had actually read it), what could possibly go wrong? Well, after sending over 100 queries, and receiving over 30 requests all of which ended in rejections, things weren't looking good for our burgeoning writing career. Thankfully there were a handful of agents who saw promise in our work. So much promise that they told us what we were doing wrong and how we might fix it and then they asked that we send them any future work.


Well, by that time we were completely hooked on writing and couldn't even fathom the idea of giving up. We had writing friends, we had a blog, and we had a dream, so we were left with only one choice - it was time to write a new book. We went back and forth about what to write next and finally decided to go with a mystery. We both loved the concept and this time the plot was our own, the characters were our own and we carefully avoided all of the mistakes we made the first time around. By the time February rolled around we had a shiny new manuscript to send off to our amazing friends and beta readers (yes, we got real beta readers this time, i.e. people that aren't biologically required to love our writing) and by the end of February we had gone through a few sets of revisions and we were ready to start sending our work to agents.


We started with agents who had expressed interest in our last manuscript or who seemed like they would be a good fit for our work and sent out some test queries. Within a week we had our first offer of representation and two additional offers followed shortly after that. It was surreal and completely amazing.


After a few great conversations with the interested agents, we were completely torn. We connected with each of the offering agents in a different way and it was clear that they all had a lot to offer. But then we spoke with Catherine and after we hung up the phone with her, we immediately called each other.


Laura: So....what do you think?
Lisa: I think we found our agent.
Laura: Exactly!

That conversation was followed by lots of laughing, shrieking and jumping up and down in our respective family rooms. We wanted an agent who loved our book and had a vision for our work. Someone tough, but not terrifying. We want to work with people who will make our work the best it can possibly be and we have no doubts that Catherine is one of those people.


Of course this is just the first step in the process and after we revise with Catherine we'll be submitting to editors and I'm sure we'll be obsessing over rejections and revisions and etc. But we're thrilled that we've made it this far and can't wait to see where this adventure takes us next.

24 comments:

Marty said...

Congratulations Ladies - a MARVELOUS (and well deserved) accomplishment!

sraasch said...

I will never get tired of hearing this story.

You guys rock.

Katie said...

Wow. What an incredible story! I loved finding your blog because I write a blog with my beffie too and then I saw that you have one of our fave links, Go Fug yourself! So I thought, "These chicks are pretty cool!"

And then I read about your agent story which confirmed my coolness radar :-)

So Hi! Glad to meet ya. Best of luck with your book!!

Jill Wheeler said...

I've been waiting for this post!!

Hope to join your ranks soon!

Anonymous said...

way to go girls!

ElanaJ said...

Can't say it enough: Congratulations!!

Rose Pressey said...

Congratulations!

Lisa and Laura said...

Thanks everyone! We are very, very excited (obviously).

Katie - Isn't it great having a writing partner? I can't imagine doing this any other way.

Rose - I remember reading about you signing your agent on AW. You're with Folio, right?

Sarah said...

This is such fantastic news and I am so excited for you both! You've made my day! So much, even google knows it. My word verification is "behapp." I am, google blogger, I am.

Lisa and Laura said...

Sarah - I just laughed out loud at your comment. Can't wait to shack up with you in NYC. You should get some sort tax break for putting up two aspiring authors.

Tara Maya said...

Awesome, Awesome, AWESOME! *happy dance for you*

Yes, love to here these stories, especially of people I (net)know!

Anonymous said...

YEAH!!!!!!!!! This is exciting enough for your dear old aunt to come out of her blog stalking state and actually post something!!!!! I am so HAPPY for you and knew it would only be a matter of time!! Who said "HAPPY DANCE"!?!? OH YEA! I will toast to you over and over again tonight! :)))) CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Love you!

Lisa and Laura said...

I have to say that any post that outs lurking aunts has to be a good thing! We're SO excited. Thanks for reading our randomness.

Nikki Hensley said...

OH MY GOODNESS! That's fantastic news! I'm so happy for you ladies! :) :)

beccaajoy said...

AHHHH! I love your journey story! And can I just tell you one more time how excited I am to read this awesomely awesome YA mystery?!?

Jen said...

How exciting! I'm so happy for you guys!! Can't wait to read the book when it is published. :)

Kimberly Derting said...

Congratulations, ladies! As far as I'm concerned, you've made it through the hardest part already...pretty soon you'll be getting "the other call"!!!!!! (Check out *those* exclamations points. Now you know I'm serious!)

Renee Collins said...

Sisters that are writing a book together, that's so cool! Someday, I'll rope my twin sister into co-authoring with me. :)

Congrats to both of you! You're right that "the call" stories are like porn (LOL.) I always love to hear the stories of how people succeeded. It's exciting and inspiring all at once! Best of luck to you both. :)

Lisa and Laura said...

Nikki - Thanks! We're so excited.

Becca - We can't wait for you to read our book after all we're going to need famous authors to give us fabulous blurbs, right?

Jen - Thanks! Looks like March Madness has taken on a whole new meaning with you...love it.

Kimberly - Thank god we're not the only writers who hideously overuse exclamation points. And it looks like you're just a few months away from your big debut. Are you going to be giving away any ARCs on your blog? We're dying to read it so we're hoping you'll raffle some off!

Renee - Writing as sisters is so much fun! I love writing a chapter and then sending if off to Laura and by the time she edits my work and writes the next chapter it's a whole new story. It's the best cure for writer's block.

slhastings said...

I can't believe I missed this post! Congrats! Congrats! Congrats!

Lisa and Laura said...

Sam - I think you've got enough on your plate right now, can't imagine how you'd keep up with our every blog post. And thanks! You know your fabulous beta reading is what got us here. Not sure what we would have done without you, Elana and Tara. Our super-secret panel of readers.

Kristen said...

Hey, I haven't been around lately so I missed your news! Congratulations. That is fantastic-perfect-super exciting. Good for you!

Solvang Sherrie said...

What a great story! That's wonderful--congratulations!

Jeannie Lin said...

Great story! Isn't "the Call" fantastic and yet sobering at the same time? It's like, this is about to get real.

I think it's wonderful that you're sisters and you write together. It's my far off dream to work on a project with my Little Sis. We currently critique for each other and I trust her judgment more than anyone else's.

Good luck in the next step of the journey!