Monday, October 19, 2009

Here's To Waiting.

So as some of you might know (some of you being my Grandma, MFB, and guy from London), I wrote a book awhile ago. Since then, I've been querying literary agents, which is basically just like sending out cover letters for your book. Here's a sample of the query letter I sent to agents:

Dear (Agent's name),

Freud thought that to examine the soul, you had to examine a person on the edge of insanity.  I wonder if Freud ever had to move back in with his parents.

I am writing to introduce you to Open-Eyed Sneeze, my personal account of life after college. 

Realizing that a film major/philosophy minor is a cosmic joke in the working world, I am forced to return to my childhood home after graduation to begin my job search.  Moving home after college plays out much like the five stages of grief — sans acceptance.  Listening to the random suggestions of my parents (“Would you ever consider getting involved with Riverdance?”), darting across grocery store aisles to avoid the inquiring minds of my small town, and attempting to keep depression at bay, Open-Eyed Sneeze explores why home proves to be a prime place for soul examination.  Highlighted with observations about uncertainty in the everyday, I come to realizations about life, family, work, and the thread of absurdity that weaves them all together.

Thousands of students leaving college this spring will experience difficulties for which their undergraduate career centers offered no flyer.  Serving as an Oh, The Places You’ll Go! for a more cynical generation of graduates, Open-Eyed Sneeze exposes the agony of the job hunt, the bizarre search for meaning, and the pang of guilt associated with napping four times a day.

I’ve included a sample of Open-Eyed Sneeze for your review.  I look forward to the opportunity to share the completed manuscript with you. 

Thank you very much for your generous time and consideration. 


Jessica Martin

And then I waited. 

I started sending out these queries when I was living in San Francisco, so I've been doing a lot of sending, and a lot of waiting. And I've been hearing a lot of "No." Querying a book as a first-time author is the best lesson in rejection a person can get. Many literary agencies have gone green meaning they only take queries by email. That was a nice change because I think my local postal employee was beginning to think I was one sad excuse for a writer. "Are you sending out more of these?"

But, the point of this post is to let you know that I finally have a literary agent! I'll be working with Penn Whaling of Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency and I'm beyond thrilled. So stay tuned for more info about the book! 


julie said...

and when do i get to read it? you know i've been asking for years. yes, years. email pdf, please?
jessica. be green. send me the pdf.

Brina said...

Could you please tell me more about the character of "Sabrina" in the book? She sounds really interesting!

Pamplemousse said...

yay i got a shoutout! wooo!


i mean...

Congratulations to YOU, JESS, YOU, YOU YOU :)

mad love. can't wait to hear more!

Anonymous said...

I have been lurking around your blog for at least two years since your Mom told me about it. You have cracked me up so many times. I've often wanted to comment but didn't want to be the creepy lady you don't know.

I was in the classroom last Thursday when you called your Mom. When I heard her say your name and then her excited scream I knew you had done it. I've been checking your blog since then waiting for you to post the good news so I could finally come out of hiding. So, congratulations. Can't wait to buy an autographed copy and say I read the famous Jessica when she was just an unknown blogger.

Anonymous said...

jessica this is sabrina's friend aaryn. i thought your thingie was awesome and despite the fact that i already forgot the name and i called it a thingie i am very smart and a good indication that it is in fact awesome....good luck!

Jess said...

Juliet- I'm sending it to you via postcard. I can write really small if necessary. Also, how are you?!

Bri- The working title was originally, "Jessie, It's My Turn To Talk: A Young Child's Quest To Steal Microphones Away From Even Younger Children."
It was about you.

Meredith- HUGE shout out to you for leaving blog comments since forever! I was basically posting these things for you for quite awhile. you, you, you.

Becky-ha! I know who you are! Thank you so much for reading and for such a nice comment! I love that you were there when I called my mom! But I'm sure she screams like that all the time. "They're moving testing! AHHH."

Aaryn- Thanks for the comment! Laughed out loud after reading the word "thingie" twice. Pretty sure Thingie is an industry term, so cheers.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jess, It's Matt T. Way cool that you got picked up!! Now this will give you liberty to walk haughtily (actually snootily - I like the sound of that better) into any bookstore proclaiming when your book is published, and that you'll be happy to do book signings only if they provide red M&Ms...all with an imposed British accent like Madona. How cool you'll be! I'm very envious... about being able to talk like Madona that is.

Yeah, I think that was in line for a pdf as well...still waiting... Oh I do acccept postcards too:

1518 Fallingbrook Dr
Fishers, IN 46038

I can buy a magnifying glass. Congrats and good luck in getting it published!!

Macnabbs said...

Congratulations! Wow – well done. Somebody read your stuff. And liked it. Enough to have faith in you!

This is great, more than great, it means that you can stop the order for that screen printed tee shirt that reads ‘token [insert something that makes you uneasy and excited all at once here]’ and order the one that reads ‘OFFICIALLY telanted’.

Okay, onto more serious stuff…who will play you in the movie adaptation? And how more to the point…how much are you willing to take in dirty, dirty money so that you relinquish all creative control and they adapt your book as the plot for ‘high school musical’ movie? What do you need more, a feeling of contentment…or your own island?

Also, you must, MUST make a big show of saying at some point ‘but I insist on never selling the rights to puppet theatre adaptation outside the US’ and then mutter under your breath ‘those dirty Luxembourgers will never soil my dream.’

I digress. Well done you!

Jess said...

Matt- you got jokes, son. Great to talk to you and let me know about the bday! Also, just as a reference type thing, Madonna is with 2 n's. Misspelling her name is like misspelling Ghandi. Or is it Gandi? Or Gahndi? Whatever, Madonna is with two n's.

MacNabbs-HILARIOUS. seriously.

Anonymous said...


I was recently watching a piece about Ted Leonsis (bajillionaire)who got an emmy for a movie he completed with his college roomate. It led me to ponder my misfortune of not having roomed with a future bijillionaire in college. I am confident that seeing my former TRF prisonmate on the top of the New York Times best seller list will more than compensate for the loss in the roomate lottery. J.K Rowling's college roomate will come forward and try and trump my stories but I doubt any of them will involve a purple minivan. Suck it JK Rowling's roomate!!

Jess said...


Thanks for still reading this thing! You are truly hilarious. Screw the 6-degrees minivan connection, I think we should write a movie together. I'd see it. You'd see it. So that's 2 tickets sold already. Let me know your thoughts. Wedding...ghost...stoned leading man... I've got ideas.

Oh my gosh, and random story of the year! I was in TJMax--just chillin--and ran into Jane, the girl who starred in our movie! So funny, right? I was like, "Um, I know you."
She's going to Harvard now, and I like to think our film helped get her there.

Keep in touch. I'm serious about a mockumentary.

Rodeo Princess said...

Congratulations. And I mean it! May the hard part be over and the good part begin!

Rodeo Princess said...

By the way, if you need numbers, I will link your blog to mine, if you link back. You might even LIKE my blog.

Jess said...

Thanks so much for the comment!