A Happy Announcement

Writer Wordart
Image by secretagent007 via Flickr

Many of you know that I’ve been hitting it hard on the writing side of things. In addition to this site I’ve also been getting after some freelance opportunities. Most of all, I’ve been developing a book idea that first hit me in the brain (a fitting metaphor as you’ll see in a moment) last summer.

I’ve also gone to my first two writer’s conferences this year. In June I spent a week at Wheaton College for 5 days of sessions, networking, and the best food I’ve ever had in what is technically called a cafeteria. Gourmet I say! During that week I met a lot of editors, agents, and authors and was excited by the interest they showed in my work.

If you have no idea what a writer’s conference is like, take a look at how I compared the process to hitting on strangers. Enough happened during that week to write a chapter about, but basically I came home knowing people wanted to see my work. I set out about the task of writing a book proposal and some sample chapters in between more travel and a full summer teaching load.

So far, the work has paid off.

That’s why I’m super excited to tell you that I now have an agent! Her name is Amanda Luedeke and she’s with MacGregor Literary. In my opinion, Amanda and MacGregor are the best fit for the type of stuff I do which, as many of you know, can include some weirdification. To celebrate our phone call, I hopped in my car and went to Barnes & Noble where I bought my favorite drink (caramel frappucino) and allowed myself to stare at the shelf where my own book might one day be. M-O-O, M-O-P, M-O-R… Then I drove home and wrote until 2 a.m.

When you decide to get serious about writing, finding an agent is one of the first goals you set. Then you find out that getting an agent is one of the hardest parts of the business. Good agents at good agencies receive hundreds to thousands of queries every month. The slush pile is large, and many writers abandon the search altogether. I’m not just excited that I connected with an agent. The best part is that I found someone who gets what I’m doing and is equally excited about the project.

Whatever you’re working on, try to surround yourself with folks who understand you and care about what you’re doing. Too often we settle and miss out on much better opportunities. As Jon Acuff said the other day, it’s important to “find someone who gets you.” That’s not always the easiest thing to do whether we’re talking spouses, friends, business partners, or whatever.

So we’re about the business of producing the best materials we can make in hopes of selling a book. Hopefully that will be another exciting update in the future but for now I got lots of work to do.

In case you’re curious, the book I’m working on combines zombies and God and life and some other fun stuff. Basically, this site’s tagline “Pop Culture & The Meaning of Life” holds true. You’ll see some of the fun research bits for the book right here over the next few months as I race to get this baby done.

How do you celebrate the little and big successes in life?

93 thoughts on “A Happy Announcement”

  1. THRILLED for you, Claystopher! I’m glad I didn’t throw out that autographed sanddollar after my husband laughed at its awkward placement on a bookshelf. Or my night stand. Or somewhere…where did I put it again?

    Anyway. Who’s laughing NOW?!?!

  2. Congratulations! I have heard that finding an agent can be a huge accomplishment in light of the changes in publishing. I hope to one day stand in your shoes and sip a iced green tea staring at the K-L-M shelf!

  3. Exciting news!!! Thanks for sharing with us!
    I think it’s key to find out that people are actually interested in what you have to say in you’re writing. I know when people express interest in my writing, it just perpetuates this “silly” dream I have to write.

  4. Wow. I am thrilled for you!

    Also? Insanely jealous. :-) Sadly my preferred medium requires a completed work before I go agent hunting.

    Why does it always have to be zombies? What’s wrong with unidentified xenomorphs? Just sayin’. :-)

    Seriously. So happy for you.

  5. Major congrats, Clay. I had figured the announcement would be something like this. That your talent and hard work has paid off is tremendously encouraging. I’m looking forward to buying a copy of the finished product.

  6. That is AWESOME!!! So excited for you, Clay. Love hearing how you celebrated as I’m pretty sure I would head to a bookstore and visualize my book on the shelves as well.

    Incidentally, I grew up in Wheaton and will attest to the wonderfulness of that college cafeteria. Did you have time for ice cream at the the Stupe?

    1. Thanks Leigh! Your excitement gets me excited :-) Oh, that food was so good. I don’t believe I hit the Stupe. Was running all week and only found free time for a couple workouts at the gym which is equally insane in its niceties.

  7. Woohoo!!!! *throws confetti* Congratulations, Clay. I’m so proud I’ll get to say “I fryber-knew him ‘when’.”

    I celebrate my successes by savoring them with every fiber of my being for about 15 minutes. Then I move on to the next challenge.

    All the best to you, my fryber. I’ll look for you on the shelf. Let me know if you need a beta reader. I’d be honored.

    1. Thanks for that Piper! It’s strange. The real celebration kind of happened for me when I was at the conference those few days and had some wonderful encounters. Now for the real trick, selling something.

  8. Congratulations, Clay! I can’t wait to hear more about your project as you move forward.

    Every time I land a writing assignment, I celebrate with a little whoop and a holler and a handful of chocolate. Sometimes I even give myself the night off. Should I land a book deal one day, I expect the celebrating will rise to a whole ‘nother level. :)

    Best wishes!

  9. Best news everrrrrrr!!!
    I’m super excited that the whole world (aka, even people without computers) will get to read your work!
    I’m also so happy that you found an agent that fits you well, that’s so important! Now scuse me, I’m gonna go teepee your house and car now.

  10. So excited for you!! That is the most amazing news! I’m not sure how you even slept at all that night. My prediction – you will sell a bazillion copies! Woo hoo!

    1. That’ll be something if your prediction turns out 😉 Funny you mention sleep. I never ever have a hard time getting any, usually I go hard enough in the day to rest well. But there was an hour in the middle of the night not long ago where I lay in bed, eyes wide open, thoughts racing.

  11. Congrats! Congrats! Congrats! Yay!!!!!! Many exclamation points for you!!!!!!!!!!! So glad to hear your hard work has paid off. Now go finish that book!

  12. Clay, very proud to know you.. I know we have talked about you doing a book and I am glad to see that things seem to be going on the right path… Now get writing, if I am going to be head of your security when you go on your book signing tour you need to get started…. Remember out of your first sales comes my salary, the bullet proof Mercedes (Black with tinted windows) and of course some great clothes for me.. HEY! you don’t a deadbeat having your life in his hands, you want them to look good… I fiqured all the costs and by your 5th book we should break even and you can start taking a small salary from the sales… OK let those fingers do the walking I’ll take care of the rest……. P.S. Can I get gold watch, just want to make sure we are on time……

    1. Haha, you bet Arty. There is the downside that a bullet proof Mercedes might be out of my price range even if I do sell a book :-) I’m grateful to know that you have my back though my friend!

  13. Congratulations Clay!

    I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labour (or labor, depending on your location) and I hope to see your book circulated in our bookshops! Very exciting news!

  14. Congratulations, Clay! I’m doing my happy Canadian dance too, which is slightly different than Leanne’s happy Canadian dance because I’m a guy and am from a different province. But it’s still happy. And Canadian.

        1. I am SO up for that – even though I’m not expecting to win.
          It’s rare for me to unleash the Larry dance in public, and I’m not sure the world is ready for it.
          Only one way to find out!

  15. Congrats!! I think I just heard some woohooing and dancing from bloggers around the world in celebration of you. (Then they quickly got back to work to follow your lead.) I’m so, so excited for you. Can’t wait to read your book and the others to follow.


  16. Clay, zombies, God and life—pretty much a recipe for the best baked bread (as long as the pinch of salt is thrown in). Congratulations on agenting, and other verbs made from nouns. Hope the book deal follows soon.

  17. Great news, Clay! Please remember us when you’re rich and successful.

    P.S. I think a good way to sell a lot of books would be to take the title of your book and put J.K. Rowling’s name in front of it. For example, if you were going to call your book My Life as a Bug Collector, you’d call it J.K. Rowling’s My Life as a Bug Collector instead!

    1. Ha, do you think I’ll be okay like that? How about J.K. Rowling’s Great Expectations of Stephen King and Stephanie Meyer’s Love Child? Sounds like a winner to me!

  18. Congratulations! Look forward to seeing your name in Barnes and Nobles and other bookstores!

    You’re so right….. when someone “gets you”, it makes all the difference in the world.

    Again, congrats!

  19. Dude, i read this a while back but i’ll verbalize it like sign language for people who can talk: congratulations.

    ps, I’ve always thought we were brothers but your favorite drink is my all time favorite drink so i think we might just be the same person…father?

    1. This is getting downright scary. When you played Super Mario Bros 2 as a kid did you like using every else MORE than Mario? You did? I knew it! We are the same person. Thanks bro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *