Monday, January 04, 2010

How I Got My Agent 7

Terry (aka Tabris, Jane, Philangelus) spins a tale, and knits up a fun HIGMA.
Check her blog at

When I was at a book convention recently, I was sitting in on a session for my favorite author while knitting a sock. It was a really neat session, and I actually concentrate better while knitting. The woman next to me said, 'Are you bored or something?' and I said, "No, he's my favorite author! But I concentrate better when I'm knitting." It's true -- the repetitive motion frees up my brain to really focus.

Then I said, "Wait, do you think it's rude? Because I'm a writer too, and I'd hate to insult him!"

The person said no, since we were in the back. During a pause, I asked if he was one of her favorite writers too, and she said yes. Between sessions, she asked what I wrote, and I told her about my story where a yarn store owner solves mysteries after hours. Then we talked about the sock I was making. She had to go to another session, but then she surprised me by pulling out an ARC of the author's next book and gave it to me! Signed and everything! I was over the moon, and then she told me she was his agent.

I asked for her business card so I could send her a thank-you note. She gave it to me, then said it sounded like I could spin a great yarn, and she wanted me to send her some of my work.

Well! I stayed up all night finishing the first sock, and the next day I finished the second sock on the way home from the convention. I wrote her a really nice thank you note, slipped the socks into an envelope, and sent it to her.

A week later, I got an email asking to see "my full work," so I went over to the yarn store and got a whole lot more yarn and took the next three weeks to knit a sweater, a hat,a shawl and a pretty wrap skirt. I boxed those up and mailed them.

The next week, I got a phone call saying, "Terry, what is this? Are you bribing me?"

I explained about the letter asking for my full work. Then I hesitated. "Wait? Did you want mittens too?"

The agent laughed and said, "Terry! I wanted to see your manuscript!"

My face was redder than the slippers I was knitting! But the agent said it was fine, and that my sweater really was wonderful, and I should email her my manuscript when I got the chance.

She loved the Knitalong Mysteries, and now I've got a two-book deal with Spinner Press.

And that's how I got my agent.


  1. Great story. I draw cartoons, teachers/bosses always thought I was bored or inattentive, but I was actually fully attentive to what was going on.

    I used to have an adult student who pulled out her knitting needles the moment my lecture began, very distracting. But she also turned her back to me, and shut her notebook (nothing I would say would apparently be "worth noting). She also brought a 30 lb cat on a leash one night and stroked it during my lecture. Very weird. Have a great day!


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