Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Our Second Success Story of the Year

I told you they'd start rolling in, and sure enough we're off and running!

Here is Helene Dunbar's success story, in her own words:

My story starts with a bet. Writer friends telling me to write fiction; me betting that although I’d written just about everything else under the sun, I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I set out to prove that I couldn’t do it and ended up writing almost four complete manuscripts in a year. Okay, so perhaps, my friends knew something I didn’t.


They told me that book #3, GHOST LIGHT, was “the one”. So I focused on that. I edited. Rewrote. Reworked. I posted pages, sent it to crit partners and readers, and did it again. (And again, and…)


I started querying. Tentatively. I wasn’t completely sure where my psychologically-based story would fit into the complex current marketplace. I sent out a ton of fulls to requesting agents. Everyone seemed to have good things to say, but I was starting to wonder if I shouldn’t focus on something else.


I decided to enter Authoress’ Baker’s Dozen Auction as one last ditch effort. Then I got really, really, really busy with my day job and forgot I’d entered…until, of course, I got an email from Authoress that GHOST LIGHT had been selected. By the time I tuned in for the auction, Melissa (Jeglinski of The Knight Agency) had “won” GHOST LIGHT.


I left town for a work conference. On my way to a meeting, I received Melissa’s email that she wanted to speak. I called my husband and cried. Then I wrote her back. Given my 18-hour work days during the conference, the holidays, vacations, technical difficulties, etc., I didn’t get to speak to her until three weeks later. Three. Very. Long. Weeks.


And then we spoke. And she got it. I mean she REALLY got it. Like “I think she was in my head when I wrote the book” got it. I informed the other agents who had the full, all the while telling my husband that I should have just signed after the call because no one was going to instinctively understand my book as well as Melissa and that proved true. I’ve enjoyed few things as much as writing her to tell her that I was accepting her offer.


Even had this story not had such a wish-fulfilling ending, I would be forever grateful to Authoress for the time and energy she puts into creating this amazing and mutually-supportive community of talented writers. I’m grateful to be a part of it.

29 comments:

  1. Congratulations to Helene, that's just great!

    ReplyDelete
  2. How exciting! Just went back and read your entry. Great opening and well-deserved success. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congratulations, Helene! What a wonderful story.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing. Best of luck, Helene. You've got a super agent.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wowee wow! Just reading about your success has me smiling! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  6. yay! thanks for sharing. i think it's important how much you stressed that not only did an agent select your work, but that you felt it was so important she understood it. congrats to you both! christy

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oooh, I remember this entry, and I'm not at all surprised that you snagged an agent. Congratulations! I hope I get to read it soon!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congratulations! What a fantastic story!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you to everyone (and, as usual, in particular to Authoress for everything and to Melissa for loving my book). I'm so excited to take the next step down this road and to stay connected to all of the wonderful, supportive writers I've met here.

    ReplyDelete
  10. How can I find your entry? I want to read it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Anonymous - it was #32 in the Baker's Dozen Auction in December HERE

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations! Not just on signing, either, but on signing with "the agent who gets it" - a really good sign of a strong match. I had the same experience when I talked with my agent after "THE CALL" and I totally understand your Cloud-9 feeling (that probably still hasn't gone away). Finding the right agent, the one who gets you and your writing, is really a dream come true.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so happy to read this story! Congratulations, Helene!! I'm also way impressed that you wrote four novels in a year--may I borrow some of your productivity, please? =)

    Good luck with submissions!

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's a wonderful story. Congratulations, Helene, and I hope you enjoy every minute of this new adventure with your agent!

    Thanks, Authoress, for posting this and for providing the jumping-off point for writers' dreams coming true!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Many, many congratulations, Helene. Here's to a long and fruitful partnership with Melissa. I can't wait to read GHOST LIGHT when it hits the shelves/e-readers!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Whoops! The above comment is from me, who was so excited for Helene, that I neglected to sign out after completing my Project Mayhem post for tomorrow. Sorry!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've read GHOST LIGHT, and it's truly special. Helene is a friend of mine in real life and I know just how hard she works for what she wants. Let her hard work be an inspiration to you. It is to me!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Excellent article, I will recommend my friends to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations Helene! I went back and read your entry and remembered it from the contest. It sounds like you have a really interesting concept. Make sure to keep us updated!

    ReplyDelete
  20. thank you for the good post. i found it it interesting and liked it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. YAY!!!!!!!!! Congrats! I really enjoyed your entry Helene! LOVE hearing news like this ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congrats! What a great start to the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Congrats to Hellene! What a fabulous success story!

    ReplyDelete