A couple of months ago, Barb, aka Book Club Mom, interviewed me and asked about my experience finding an agent. At the time of the interview I had not yet looked for an agent. I have spent the past few weeks in that process and I feel a metaphor coming on.
Finding an agent is like…waiting for that mysterious guy from high school biology to call you, circa 1987. It needs to be 1987, because the one house phone, rushing, waiting, no texting, no email feeling needs to be there.
The guy, the one that looks at you during lab, the one that asked for your number, which you wrote on a torn piece of loose leaf paper only to have him shove it into the pocket of his jeans. He’s the guy you’re not too sure about. He doesn’t take your bus, he lives in a different neighborhood, but all of your friends say he’s great and he likes you.
Why wouldn’t he? He even winked at you in the hall.
Finding an agent is like this guy. Let’s name him Seth, or Jake. Jake…I like that. Wasn’t that the guy in Sixteen Candles? Yes, Jake is perfect.
You’ve looked him up in the yearbook. You even heard a rumor he was born back east, he recently started a band, and his mom used to be a model. He seems sophisticated, he twirls his pen between his fingers and you just know he…knows about things.
A couple of days ago, you were in the cafeteria and he came over, didn’t say a word, sat down next to you and out of the blue asked, “What are you reading?” You talked for a good fifteen minutes because he likes the same kinds of books, he writes in a journal too. He smells good and you start to wonder, you may even start doodling hearts or something else out of character and fairly obnoxious.
Friday night, your pink phone by your bed rings, you say, “Hello,” but no one answers and the line goes dead. Your friend, who is spending the night, says, “That was totally him, who else would it be?” You get this weird feeling in your stomach.
Five minutes later the phone rings again, you say, “Hello,” and it’s your brother’s girlfriend. She apologizes for hanging up the first time, but her gum fell into her hair. You sigh, get your brother, and spend the rest of the night wondering how Rick Springfield keeps his lips so shiny. You’re convinced you will become a nun and curse yourself for thinking Jake would understand you, connect.
He’s not that kind of guy and you are certainly not the kind of girl that bothers with guys like him. You reorganize your binder, do some extra homework. You are focused, back on track and dreaming again of law school instead of jet setting off to New York with some guy.
Monday morning, Jake sits next to you in biology. He smiles, tears off a slip of loose leaf paper and says, “Hey, can I call you? What’s your number again?”
So far, that’s what finding an agent is like.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Who’s calling at this hour?