Monday, November 02, 2009

YAY...I Have An Agent

I never imagined the first people I'd tell after finally getting "the call" were my high school friends.


But that's what happened.


I'd just returned from dinner with my parents. My boyfriend was taking a nap and I grabbed the pages of the manuscript I'd been revising, settling down on the couch next to my laptop. I'd been revising for a half an hour or so when I realized I hadn't checked my e-mail since earlier that afternoon.


I saw the contract first.


It confused me. Why was I receiving a contract for representation when I hadn't yet spoken to the agent? I knew this one agent had been looking at the complete of my favorite of all of the novels I've ever written. My fellow writers know what I'm talking about. When an agent who is on our "A list" asks for a complete, we are aware every second of every day she has it. Every time we check our e-mail or get a phone call from a number we don't recognize, we think of her first.


This contract was from that agency. I exited out of the e-mail and there it was, in my inbox. "Response on Ghost Patrol."


Yes, I'd gotten "the call." I'd heard about it for years. That big moment in every unpublished writer's life. There's another call...that one comes from your agent telling you someone wants to buy your book. But that first call is a big one. That first call tells you someone believes in you.


How often these days is "the call" an e-mail?


I always imagined how I'd react when I got the call. Would I cry? Would I scream? In reality, I did neither of those things. I stared. I sat on my sofa, reading and re-reading the e-mail, looking for the loophole. I knew of the agency but I went online and researched and found only rave reviews of them. This is one very respected agency. I looked over the contract and everything was there, as it should be.


Then I got up, went to the front bedroom where my dog was looking out the window, and told her the good news.


She didn't know why we were excited but she partied with me. Once I calmed her down again I debated waking my boyfriend up but I decided that could wait. I went to Facebook and told everyone. Then I called my mom. Finally, I woke the boyfriend.


He was almost as excited as I was. "We need champagne," he said, putting his shoes on. "I'm going to get champagne." When he came back, he told me the man at the liquor store said congratulations.


"Did you tell EVERYONE?" I asked, laughing.


"Just him. Oh, and I text-messaged our neighbor. I tried to call Chris [his friend] but he didn't answer."


Champagne cork popped, we toasted my good news, then he took a picture of me with champagne in hand, e-mail open on my screen.




(Forgive the total lack of makeup. It was ten o'clock at night!)


I kept waking up, throughout the night, remembering my dreams had come true, then going back to sleep. When finally it was time to get up, I realized it was reality time.


Now I had to begin to take all the steps that came next...


Fifteen years have prepared me for this. Trust me...when your time comes, it will happen fast. So learn all you can now and listen to what people say when they advise you what to do when you get "the call." Without learning what I'd learned over the years from various writer's groups, I would have been lost.


Plus, without all those years of hard work, I wouldn't have even come close to appreciating this moment as I do now!


COMMENT THIS BLOG

151 comments:

  1. Congratulations!!! Really pleased for you :)

    Kate http://secretofficeconfessions.blogspot.com

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  2. Oh, HUGE congrats! So excited for you Steph!

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  3. SO happy for you!!! CONGRATS!!!! I know you worked hard for this:)

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  4. CONGRATS!!!! Can't wait to read it, though I would only to buy like months after its release in the US.

    Congrats, again.

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  5. Cogratulations! I am so happy for you!

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  6. Wow oh wow, that's big news!

    Congrats!!!!!!!!

    I've always loved reading yuor blogs, since you first moved over to Blogger, and now I'll get the chance to read your books too! So fun!

    And of course, I'm dying to know which agent you signed with....

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  7. Wow! That's huge! Congrats!

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  8. This is the best possible news to start my day!!! Looking forward to the fun details. ;-)))

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  9. Congratulations, Steph!
    How cool that your boyfriend went out and bought champagne! Excellent!

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  10. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! (And, you look lovely without makeup.) I'm also dying to know which agent/agency...

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  11. Steph, I am very happy for you! You deserve it, don't let anyone call you "lucky". Your talent shines through!

    You are already a Success, now you will be an even bigger Success!

    Secretia

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  12. AWESOME NEWS! Now I want my own glass of champagne so I can toast with you. (hmm, it's a little early - mimosas perhaps?) Congrats to you! I hope you can ride Cloud 9 for awhile - you deserve it! And you look fabulous! No makeup and all! :-)

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  13. That's fantastic news! Congratulations!

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  14. So happy, so excited, so proud! You've worked hard and awesome things are on the way.:O)

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  15. Thank you guys!

    The agent is Natalie Fischer of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

    And yeah, after 15 years, I'm not so sure it's luck! Hard work, perseverance, and one really good idea that I reworked so many times (thanks to a different agent who ended up rejecting me in the end), it isn't even recognizable as the book it was in the beginning! Maybe that's it. The key to success is take the book you love with all your heart and rewrite it for a completely different age group, then go in and change all the characters around...

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  16. Sincerely, congratulations!!!

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  17. Congratulations!! You deserve it and now I can say my bloggy bud will be famous!!

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  18. I'm so happy for you! Congratulations!

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  19. Congratulations! I'm thrilled for you!!!!!

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  20. I'm so excited for you that I started to tear up! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!

    Kudos for finding yourself an awesome man who will run out late at night to get champagne for a celebration.

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  21. I am so happy for you, Stephanie! What a wonderful accomplishment! And I know exactly what you mean regarding unknown phone numbers on your caller ID... I always JUMP when I see a 212 number calling me. What if it is an agent? A casting director? And then it's the damn dental office, reminding you of your appt...

    Again, my warmest congratulations!

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  22. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! That's awesome and I'm so happy for you! You deserve it!

    I think I'd prefer "the call" to be an email--probably because I hate phones so much. :0)


    P.S. I would have told my dog first too! :0)

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  23. Congratulations!! Very happy for you!!

    Shelley

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  24. Congratulations, Stephanie...you were one of the first to read and comment when I went "public" on MS. I have followed you for a long time since...even when you dropped me as a friend.

    You've worked hard on this...working on this for all the years I've known you. You deserve it.

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  25. Congratulations...good for you. You've worked long and hard to get to this point.

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  26. Dear Steph, Frankly you don't need makeup. I am excited for you. I knew that it was only a matter of time. Those that have read your work knew it to. Enjoy! This is just the beginning. Peace, howie

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  27. Hip~ Hip! Hooray!

    How very exciting --

    look forward to more good news very, very soon.

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  28. You never gave up. That's perseverance and dedication at its best. Many congratulations to you. Your writing inspires me!

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  29. CONGRATULATIONS! Don't worry about not wearing make up in that picture. I hardly ever wear make up anymore.

    Best of luck to you and your stories! :-)

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  30. Congratulations!! Fantastic news!

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  31. OMG I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU STEPHANIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    raising a glass to you girl!

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  32. Congrats!! That's awesome :)

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  33. and yes, i have learned, the things you write are not set in stone. They are growing, living, mutable beings.

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  34. Yaaay!!! Congrats :) It's inspiring for the rest of us to get our work OUT THERE, for sure!

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  35. I haven't been reading you long enough to know how recent this acceptance is so I'm sorry if this is a little tardy, but: Congratulations! That's amazing.

    When I got my email, I didn't even finish reading it before I was on the phone to my husband at work, crying. He was freaked out until I calmed down enough to tell him the good news.

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  36. Stephanie:

    Congratulations on the contract. I know this is something that you have been wanting for years and you deserve it.

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  37. Congratulations! You are on your way! I'm super excited for you!!!!

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  38. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!


    I'm so very happy for you!!!!!!

    (you look great without make up, BTW).

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  39. Awwww Sending you a BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are such an AMAZING writer and I'm so glad you got your agent!!!! yaye!!!!

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  40. Congratulations!!! :-)

    (And, for the record, you are drop-dead gorgeous without the make-up, so no apologies needed!)

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  41. Congrats!

    I am so very excited for you...

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  42. Congratulations!!! That is awesome.. I am very happy and excited for you.

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  43. Congrats Stephanie! Very exciting!!!

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  44. Congrats stephanie! wow, your hard work has finally paid off!! i'm all the way in the southern part of the world, fingers crossed i'll see your book in a book store soon!

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  45. Thanks, guys! Well, having an agent doesn't necessarily mean I'll have a publisher overnight. It just depends. But I'll do whatever I can to make it happen.

    Again for those asking, it's Natalie Fischer of Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

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  46. Congrats! One step closer! Hope it all works out how you imagined!

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  47. Congratulations to you! That is so exciting!

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  48. Sweeeeet!

    Congratulations! :D

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  49. Congratulations! I know this means a lot to you.

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  50. OMG, Steph!! OMG OMG OMG!! I knew this day would come!! I am so happy/excited for you!!

    Remember us small bloggers when you are famous!!

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  51. Wow. That's absolutely terrific. Revel in your joy. Well done.

    Elspeth

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  52. OK today is officially Stephanie Faris day in my world! HUGE CONGRATS!!!!!! I'm so thrilled for you, *happy dance* XOXOXOXOXOX Have fun today!!!

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  53. Stephanie, congratulations! I am SO happy for you!

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  54. Jen, there are no small bloggers!!!

    I've been writing since 1994...never really gave up. I still won't. I think for me I have to write. That's why I always came back to it. But it appears romance novels weren't quite for me, since I spent most of my 20s writing them and failing. Maybe sometimes you just choose the wrong genre because you think it'll be easier? Or maybe I just needed all this life experience first.

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  55. Congrats, Stephanie! I'm not surprised. You deserve it. *hugs*

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

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  56. congratualtions!!

    and you still look faboulous without make up :3

    Im really happy for u ^^

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  57. Congratulations! This is so exciting. I think I'll have some champagne with you!

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  58. Awesome news!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm so happy for you!

    PS. I wished I looked THAT good without makeup. :)

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  59. CONGRATULATIONS! That is awesome! I am so happy for you!! :)

    Cheers,

    Dawn

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  60. Congratulations! That's amazing. Keep up with the details, I'd love to hear about the process and all the fun challenges you get to go through now that you're agented.

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  61. I just wanted to say I love you guys. You're all so warm and supportive. You're the greatest!

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  62. Stephanie!!! That is the MOST wonderful news I have heard all day! Congratulations!!! Over and over again! :D

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  63. Congrats! What fabulous news!

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  64. Woo-hoo! Doesn't get better than that. Good luck with the road ahead. I think it's going to be a fine journey.

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  65. Congratulations Steph! All your hard work is finally paying off! :) I can't wait to hear more about this journey and have the published book in my hands soon!

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  66. Wooohoooo! Congratulations Stephanie! I knew you could do it! Oh I can't wait to read your book...Rode Hard and Put Up Wet is good so of coarse I look forward to your other stories! Woohooo again and again!

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  67. That is WONDERFUL news!!! Congratulations!!!!!

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  68. Rode Hard and Put Up Wet...well, it didn't final in the Dorchester contest but that's probably for the best. I have a feeling a tween/young adult author couldn't simultaneously publish a book titled "Rode Hard and Put Up Wet!"

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  69. Congratulations! Couldn't happen to a more committed writer—way to hang in there!! Can't wait to read your first published work : )

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  70. Steph, this is so exciting! Congrats!

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  71. I hope the word CONGRATULATIONS does it =)

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  72. uncle jailbird11/2/09, 12:06 PM

    BOO-YA!!!! congratulations on getting an agent.

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  73. Congratulations! That's a very big moment!!!!! Very exciting. And probably a relief too!

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  74. WOOOOOO! that's so awesome!!! and i'm so stoked to read it and hear all about your journey! this is all so exciting!!! yaaayyyy!!!

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  75. My eyes started to water as I read this! Shoot, am I a sap or what? Congratulations! I'm so excited for you. You've worked so hard to get here, and I hope you have minimal revisions before your book goes out on sub (for a quick sale, of course!).

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  76. CONGRATULATIONS!! I am so very, very happy and excited for you Steph. Here's to a quick sale!! I'm drinking an imaginary glass of champagne in your honor.

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  77. I already plowed through the three pages of revisions she sent and e-mailed it back. So now it's just wait.... I'll revise it a million times if I have to. Didn't Stephen King say by the time a book gets published the author has usually revised it so many times he can't stand it anymore?

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  78. CONGRATS!!! I am very happy for you. What an exciting moment it must be for you. Very well deserved I am sure. Here's to many more accomplishments!!!

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  79. CONGRATS!!!!! Woohoo!!! I am so so happy for you! You so deserve it girl! Yay! :o)

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  80. I am so excited for you! I read recently that someone's dream was to go into a stranger's bathroom and see their book on the toilet. I loved it! I hope you get that experience as well! Congratulations!

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  81. That is so, so awesome! I'm so excited for you! Congrats!

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  82. CONGRATULATIONS! So excited for you. I've really enjoyed reading your blog the past few months and I am thrilled that you have an agent!

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  83. Many, many congratulations!!!

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  84. Stephanie, that is soooo incredible! An email, not an actual call, huh? Why am I surprised in this electronic world? Congratulations!!!! And you look beautiful with or without makeup!

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  85. Just walking into someone's HOUSE and finding my book would be an incredible experience. And yes, it did surprise me to get "the e-mail" but I hear about that more and more often these days.

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  86. Congratulations...It is the best feeling!

    Holly @ 504 Main

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  87. That is SOOOOO awesome!!! What a fantastic feeling! I'm so excited for you! Congratulations!

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  88. So, so, so thrilled for you. I can only imagine what kind of thrill that truly is. Can't wait to hear how it all progresses from here! Love that you told the dog first. Hee hee! Holly at lifelaughlatte.blogspot.com

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  89. Congrats!!! I'm so excited for you! Yay, it can be done. :)

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  90. Yay!! That's awesome, Steph! Huge congratulations! I'm so happy for you, you deserve this so much and it's been too long coming! I'm looking forward to hearing about your journey from here to publication, not to mention buying your book!!

    ~Tara

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  91. Congratulations!!!!

    I'm really excited that you're finally getting what you deserve. :)

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  92. My computer just ate my comment. starting over.

    CONGRATULATIONS! I am jumping up & down for you. I want to live vicariously through you now. I don't have any novels on paper yet, but I hope to someday...you inspire me!

    ANd your boyfriend sounds like a keeper!

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  93. Well done that is great news

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  94. I am so happy for you! Congratulations. This is well deserved. xoxo
    SC

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  95. Right on! Congratulations!!

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  96. It will be great to read what is next for you. It will be interesting to buy your book when it comes out.

    Great work!

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  97. WOOOOT!!!!!
    That's Wonderfully Exciting! Congratulations. ;-) And I think your pic is awesome.
    LOL
    It's amazing how things can change in a moment...

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  98. I just started reading your blog. This is fantastic news and a moment i too hope to experience.

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  99. That is such fantastic news!!!! Congratulations!

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  100. Oh gosh. I am a very proud reader right now. :)

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  101. Cheers to you! Thanks for sharing the exciting news!

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  102. Congrats!!!! That is wonderful! I'm so happy for you!

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  103. OMG!!! STEPHANIE!! OMG!!!... OMG! lol. I dunno what else to say!!! I think I'm probably smiling just as much as you did when you read that email! THIS IS SO AWESOME!!

    Congratulations! Fantastic news! I can't wait until things go through and to pick up your book when it is actually on shelves (however long that may take, but still...AWESOME!).

    This probably gave hope to about a million people that read your blog!

    Again, congratulations!

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  104. Yes, it's amazing how much everything can change in a moment. There have been so many times I was "close" but I quickly learned there's not really "close" in publishing. You can win awards and contests, attend conferences and have agents/editors ask for more, having editors sending you encouraging rejections, and STILL linger for years. I knew someone who got an agent after finaling in the GHs way back in the early 00s. I think she finally got her first book deal five years later. Since then she's had many other book deals, but for her it took forever. It does tend to give you a "wait and see" attitude.

    Of course, now the real work begins...we have to get a publisher excited about it!

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  105. Wow! Congrats to you! :D

    Thanks so much for dropping by for my special day!

    Hope your week is inspiring!

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  106. Congratulations, Stephanie!!! I always knew it would happen for you :) I'm so happy!

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  107. Congratulations - I've so enjoyed reading your blog (I don't plan on stopping any time soon), and I can't wait to read your words bound inside a published book!! CONGRATS!

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  108. Pfft. You look adorable!

    Congratulations, Stephanie! That's such wonderful and exciting news!

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  109. Congratulations!! This is huge.

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  110. WOW!! Congrats Stephanie!! As I said before, I've read your blog for a long time (since your MS days) and I'm thrilled for you. Great news! YOU GO GIRL!!

    (I'm continuing this comment in an email to you.)

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  111. Or I guess not. I can't find an email for you other than outlook which I don't have. Anyway....Congrats again!

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  112. Congratulations!!! How very super-duper exciting :)

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  113. Fantastic news! Congratulations! And will your blog followers be able to get autographed copies once in print? ;)

    Hope you don't have a major headache from all the champagne. :)

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  114. WOW!! CONGRATS!! I am so happy for you =D

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  115. Wow, fantastic news. You have worked very hard for this and deserve it. Congrats!

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  116. That's awesome! I'm so excited for you! You have worked so hard and now it's coming together. (I also commend you on your self-restraint in not waking the BF. I don't think I could have held it in!) Keep us posted on your journey! Hugs - G

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  117. Hooray, hooray, I'm just THRILLED for you! You so deserve it, and I can't wait to hear what's yet to come!

    Keep us updated!!!!!!!

    And YAYYYYY for you!

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  118. High five!!

    Low Five!!!


    Big, BIG hugs!!!
    and a swing around the room

    Can't wait to hear about the next 'one'

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  119. YAY!!
    Hip Hip Horay for Steph!

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  120. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Mucho, mucho congrats. I'm very happy for you, Steph. It's always nice to hear that agents are still looking for good writers... and that every now and again, they find them!

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  121. Congratulations!!! You've worked so hard for this! I hope that you don't get so busy that you can't write here!

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  122. Congrats to you! You really are a Superior Scribbler, aren't you? Indeed!

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  123. YIPEE!!! Thanks for sharing the moment.

    HUGE congrats!!!

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  124. Congratulations!!!! So happy for you! You have to tell us everything as it happens!

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  125. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you :)

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  126. That is fantastic news! Congratulations!!!!

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  127. OMG!!!!
    What fantastic news! Congratulations BIG TIME!!!
    I will have a champers here in Oz just for you!!!

    Thanks for sharing with us! Can't wait to hear more of whats to come!

    xox

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  128. Congratulations! That's wonderful news. Keep us posted! :-)

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  129. Wow Steph! You must be so excited... Congrats! You deserve it!

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  130. Sonya, my e-mail link is at the top of my blog.

    And I'll never stop blogging! I've been watching Meg Cabot's blog for a long time, thinking that's what I want my blog to be when I'm published. Of course, we all wish for a lot of things Meg Cabot has, I guess!

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  131. I'm so excited - big congratulations!! I can't wait to read your book - and I have 2 nieces just getting to the right age so you've just sold your first 3!! :)

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  132. Hooray! I'm so happy for you! When can I buy your book?

    Haha, I know it's a much longer process than that. Forgive my impatience. ^_^

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  133. So very glad you got the agent you want. Did I miss something? What do we do next after celebrating? I know there is lots to do, but did you have specifics in mind?

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  134. HOORAH!!! Doing a happy dance for you!!! Very well earned. Your blog is excellent and I'm sure your books are great. Can't wait to get one at Borders. :D

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  135. CONGRATS! I'm so happy for you :)

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  136. AAHHHH I am LATE for this party!! Such very good news!!!! That is a first for me hearing it by email. WOW!! woo hoo!!!!

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  137. OMG! That's awesome, Stephanie! You have certainly earned, and worked hard for, it! MANY, MANY, MANY CONGRATS TO YOU, SWEETIE!!!

    Can't wait to see the books published!

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  138. What spectacular news for you!

    Bravo!!

    I hope you achieve all that you've ever aspired to in your many years of writing, wishing & waiting! :)

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  139. Visiting from SITS and wanting to offer you lots of congratulations! What an exciting time for you!

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