Thank you to everyone who took the time to come and visit and leave so many lovely messages on my agent post. I know some people want more details, so here's the story.
Sealsong is a contemporary fantasy for young adults. It's built on one of the great Scottish myths I loved as a child, the selkies - the half seal, half people of the seas. When I started to think about sending it out to agents, I figured out that my ideal agent would be a person who would not only read the story and think 'sales potential', but also a person who would actively enjoy the novel for themselves; somebody who would throw themselves into that world. I thought this person would probably be young, female and working in a smaller agency. It turned out I was right about that.
Around the middle of last year I found an article, which I have never found again, extolling the virtues of young, enthusiastic agents. One of the agents named was Kate Scherler of Fletcher & Parry, so I sent her off my query by mail. A few weeks later she asked for a partial. She came back and said she loved the chapters (ahhh) and asked to see the full. At the time I had other partials out and another agent asked for a full a week or so later, so I was starting to think I wasn't a complete idiot - and getting a little bit excited.
Kate sent me a few e-mails in the next couple of months letting me know that she was still interested in Sealsong. In October she sent a more detailed message explaining some areas that she thought could be improved and said she would love to read a rewrite. A few weeks later I sent her a new version and in early December she came back and said she would like to submit it!
I had a ton of questions, most of which were probably very silly, but we spoke on the phone and she cleared them all up with ease. Kate was extremely pleasant and also had a very pretty voice - I love pretty voices! She then sent me a copy of the agency letter of agreement by e-mail and that was such an exciting moment - seeing my name on the top of that document! That kind of made it real.
Christmas then slowed things down a little, but we exchanged some e-mails in the meantime, and, as most of you know, I went a little crazy setting up a website. Kate suggested that as I was so far away from US editors and readers it might be a good idea to have more information readily available - something to show that I wasn't really that far away and that would offer people a way to contact me.
So it's really real and now we're moving on to the next step of sending the novel out to publishers. Fingers crossed for me!