From Tabris at Query Tracker:
When I was twenty, I wrote my first novel and I showed it to everyone in my family. I worked really hard on it,and my grandmother kept telling me, "Don't worry, honey. You just work hard and someone will see how good it is. You're a Tolino, and Tolinos always succeed in what they do."
She told me about Grandpa,who'd made a fortune selling newspapers, and Uncle Tony, who made a fortune doing something I wasn't really clear about, but he'd made a fortune doing it. And her brother Rinaldo, who was doing something now in Brazil after something I wasn't really clear about, but he'd left what she said was a really good business in America. And her other brother Vinny, who was doing real well in Vegas.
Anyhow, when I had a really good draft that my professors said was sellable, I submitted it to about twenty agents. One requested a full, and I was so happy! I told everyone,and Grandma especially was so excited. She wanted to know the agent's name and everything.
I was so disappointed three weeks later when I got a very nice rejection from the agent. She just didn't feel like she loved it enough. I ran right to Grandma, who patted my hand and said, "Don't worry, dear. I'm sure she'll love it soon enough." I tried to tell her the business doesn't work that way, but she said she knew all about business, and I should just wait a bit.
Well, imagine my surprise when the very next day, I got a call from that agent! Offering representation! I didn't know what to say, and she sounded very nervous, but she said she would get right to work selling it, and that she had a few connections who would get it into print. I asked if she thought it would be a hit, and she gulped before saying, "I hope not," which worried me at first, but I went ahead with her anyhow. A few days later, I got an offer she said I shouldn't refuse, and everyone in my family was surprised and thrilled!
Everyone, that is, except Grandma, who looked oddly as if she knew it all along. When I asked her why, she said, "It's because you're a Tolino, darling. And sometimes, family is everything."
I love Grandma. When I told my agent I was going to dedicate my first book to my grandma, she said, "Yeah, you might say you owe it all to her."