Hello world!

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2010 at 5:21 am

I’ve written a Young Adult novel called The Third Eye of Jenny Crumb and this is the tale of my journey to find a great agent and to get my book published.

It all started in June of 2007. I was working in my garden when an idea for a book popped into my head. No – that sounds too normal. Actually, what really happened was that I heard a teenage girl talking to me as I pulled up a weed. She said, “Hi, my name is Jenny Crumb…and I’m psychic.” I stopped dead in my tracks and thought, “Well now, THAT’S an interesting idea!

And then do you know what I did? I went inside the house, opened up a blank Word document, and typed the title, “The Third Eye of Jenny Crumb.”

I bet you thought that I spent the rest of the day exploring my new idea and writing frantically, right? Well, if that’s what you thought, you would be wrong. Because what I did was…nothing. Oh, I thought about it occasionally, but I really didn’t write a thing.

A year later, in June of 2008, I wrote a little bit. Maybe two or three chapters. Then…nothing.

In June of 2009, I couldn’t stop thinking about my book – which really didn’t exist yet. That’s when I started writing in earnest. I wrote little bits of it all summer. In August, we went on vacation in McCall, Idaho and I brought my little laptop. I did the bulk of the writing while on vacation. After we got back home from our trip, I kept writing and finished the book in October of 2009. I finished revisions in November.

The next step was to find the literary agent of my dreams. I sent a query letter to a marvelous agent named Holly McGhee of Pippin Properties in New York, a boutique literary agency. I attended her session during a SCBWI Conference a few years ago.  Her colleague, Emily van Beek requested the first three chapters within a few days.

I was over the moon excited! I submitted my first three chapters and waited…and waited…and waited. I waited a little over a month and then sent a follow-up email. A couple of days later, she responded that my book didn’t fit into their list but wished me luck. My first rejection!

I was a little sad, but truth be told, I kind of knew that my book didn’t fit into their list. They have a lot of authors who write picture books and some that middle grade books. They only have a couple of YA authors and they don’t do paranormal suspense – which is what I write.

Then I remembered last year’s SCBWI Western Washington conference and the agents that presented there. I decided to do some research on Steven Malk of Writer’s House and Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown.

I sent a query to Steven Malk, whose assistant asked for my full manuscript just 2 1/2 hours after I sent my query! Then, I waited and waited. A little over two weeks. So that brings us to today. I received a nice rejection letter from his assistant.

It said:

 “Thank you for the opportunity to read THE THIRD EYE OF JENNY CRUMB.

We thought this was a strong concept, and we enjoyed Jenny’s fast-paced story.  Unfortunately, however, we don’t think this project is the right fit for our list, so we have decided to pass.

 Thanks again for thinking of us.  We wish you the best of luck.”

Sigh. On a whim, (after about 10 minutes after I received my rejection from Mr. Malk) I decided to submit a query to Nathan Bransford. I received a rejection in 5 minutes – I kid you not – 5 minutes after I sent the query.

Mr. Bransford personally rejected me with:

“Dear Martina,

Thank you for your recent e-mail and for reading my blog, I appreciate it.  I regret to say that I don’t feel that I’m the most appropriate agent for your work.

 However, opinions vary considerably in this business, and I wish you the best of luck in your search for representation.

 Best wishes,


Alright – they say to never take rejections personally…but come on! Two rejections in one day! I have to admit, I cried…for about an hour. I started questioning my ability to write in a big way. But I haven’t given up. Not yet, anyway. Through a few tears, I bravely decided to query Rosemary Stimola – who spoke at the SCBWI Western WA conference two years ago. She’s a terrific agent and has some pretty big name clients. One of my favorite authors, Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games) is a client of Rosemary Stimola’s.

So cross your fingers, friends, and send me good agent vibes!

  1. Hi, this is a comment.
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  2. Tina, keep it up. Keep trying. Believe in your talent and your abilities.

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