The "how I got my agent" post is a traditional rite-of-passage for any aspiring author, and I’m about eight months late with it. When I first heard from my agent, I was a ranger at Yellowstone for the summer, focusing mainly on telling people when Old Faithful was going to erupt and trying not to be murdered by the most murder-y park in the NPS . Since then, I’ve moved back to South Carolina for the off-season, landed a publishing deal, illustrated my cover, drafted two companion books, and am anxiously awaiting my publication date of May 17. But signing with an agent was my first huge step forward. The first, and potentially most significant.
The story about how I got my agent is, perhaps, no more intriguing than anybody else’s, except there were probably more bison involved than most. Here’s more or less how it went, written inexplicably in second-person.
To everyone still in the grips of querying—there’s no advice I can give you that you haven’t already read a hundred times over. Keep at it. Keep writing. Make a point of connecting with people going through the same journey. Vent (but not unprofessionally). Cry (long and hard). Rejoice (longer and harder).
And stay the hell away from bison, because seriously, all they want is to see you suffer.
Here are a few pieces I've posted in various other places over the past few weeks. The first are the rest of the pen-and-inks, starring Arlen, Colm, and Valien (see Mae and Mona here).
The next are several speedpaints--I've been unhappy with the stiffness of my work lately, so I've been practicing speedpainting to try to loosen up my style. The first is the four protagonists heading through the hills to the Silverwood Mountains, based on photos of Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The second is Mae working a job in a quarry to earn some money during her exile. The last is actually from the sequel to Woodwalker, which has been my main focus lately as I work on edits to the manuscript.
Woodwalker is in the final stages of publication now. Final copyedits are done--that means no more edits to the manuscript. The text is formatted to turn it from a word document into a book. And best of all, the cover design has been finalized! My editor and the art department had me do the artwork for it, which was a lot of fun and very rewarding. Soon we should have a cover reveal. Stay tuned!
Emily B. Martin
Author and Illustrator