"Pansy Smith has just heard the most amazing news in her life. Her best friend Anna, who became brain-damaged fifteen months ago, is going to have an operation that could cure her. Now it’s time for Pansy to become all those things she hasn’t been in the past: Brave. Smart. Talented. Exceptional. The perfect friend for Anna Liddell, the most extraordinary person she’s ever known."
That's the opening hook that my friend, Miriam Franklin, used which landed her an agent.
Recalling the process Miriam said, "DEAR ANNA grew from a book I wrote 7 or 8 years ago. I queried agents without any luck so I turned to other writers for feedback. I received a few kind and encouraging critiques with revision suggestions. But the critique that was most helpful was the writer who bluntly told me to start over. Painful as it was to hear, I knew she was right. I put the book aside and the idea for DEAR ANNA came to me while I was working on another manuscript. I kept the main character and rewrote most of the story. I exchanged with a few more writers, including the one who’d told me to start over, and I revised some more.
"When I posted my query letter on a writing message board for feedback, agent Mandy Hubbard [with D4EO Literary], wrote a comment saying she loved the premise and was looking for a good MG novel (hint, hint). So I queried her with sample pages. A few days later she requested the full, and a week after that she asked for an exclusive on revisions. She gave me detailed notes on what needed to be done, and I knew right then that Mandy was the agent I wanted to work with. A week after I wrote the revisions, I received the call offering representation."
Miriam is a great example of perseverance and working at her craft. She and I first met 15 years ago when she came to the Charlotte, NC, SCBWI critique group. I admired her writing and yet her efforts to gain publication fell flat.
But that has finally changed. "After 15 years of writing middle grade novels, revising, critiquing, rewriting, and facing rejections," Miriam said, "I've found an agent who loves my novel!"
And that's worth the wait. Don't you agree?
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