Our Fuse family is growing. I’ve signed a new client, Renée A. Price. You may not know her name, and you haven’t read any of her work (yet). What makes Renée memorable? I rejected her first query and manuscript for a YA Fantasy, but I enjoyed her writing enough to request she query me again. She followed through and sent her second manuscript, an Adult Contemporary Romance called SAY MY NAME. I loved it!
Renée’s writing path might be familiar to yours. She graciously shared some of her journey here.
How long had you searched for an agent?
Renée: I started writing my first manuscript in 2013, but I had no idea what I was doing back then. No idea! Thankfully I met an amazing Critique Partner (hey, Marty!) right after that, and she helped me figure out what I needed to do if I wanted an agent to consider my work. I put that first manuscript aside for nearly three years before I revised and queried it in 2016. In those years, I met more amazing people (hey, Alex, Katrina, Debbie and Diana!), wrote two other manuscripts, started querying one in 2014, and got into Pitch Wars with the other in 2015. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2017 that I started working on SAY MY NAME, and less than six months later, I had an offer. You know what they say—life works in mysterious ways.
What was most difficult about your search?
Renée: I’d say learning how to adjust my expectations was probably the most difficult thing about querying. Sending that e-mail, heart full of hope the agent would love my manuscript, just to get a rejection hours/days/weeks later was disheartening at times. I’m ashamed to say I spent a lot of those hours/days/weeks stalking agents on Twitter, sending DM’s to my poor CP’s, or simply keeping my fingers crossed. Not a smart move. It took me a while, but I eventually learned how to make the querying process less stressful by focusing my energy on a new project. I also started to look at the whole thing from a reader’s POV—I don’t rate every book I love five stars, so agents can’t possibly want to represent every manuscript they get, no matter how much they enjoy reading it. It doesn’t mean the story isn’t great, or that someone else won’t feel that special connection with it.
What made you choose me as your agent?
Renée: You were right when you said I wouldn’t remember a lot of what we talked about during our call. I was so nervous, I spent most of the time trying to remember I actually spoke English. But I do remember how you described SAY MY NAME to me in a way that made me instantly think, “She gets it.” You understood my main characters and their motivations. You saw details I wasn’t sure readers would identify. You captured the essence of that love story, and that put a permanent smile on my face. There was also the fact that you had already read a different story I wrote and seen the potential there. When you said you wanted to help me with that story, too, I was sold. After our call, I talked to your clients and they only had amazing things to say about you. Their words, your enthusiasm, and how you quickly answered all my doubts and concerns these past couple of weeks only confirmed what I thought when we talked: we should make a great team.
What single piece of advice do you want to share with other writers?
Renée: I know everyone says this, but I have to add my voice to the chorus: Do Not Give Up. Ask my CP’s (it’s easy to find them on Twitter since we’re always sending heart emojis to each other). They’ll tell you how close I’d been to giving up before SAY MY NAME. I didn’t have one of those “started writing and got an agent a few months later” success stories. Maybe you won’t, either. But that’s fine. It only means you’ll have more time to learn and meet amazing people while you wait for the right agent to fall in love with your work.
Renée A. Price is a Brazilian lawyer and author passionate about South America, its people and cultures. When she isn’t writing awesome Latinx characters, she’s reading, walking her dog, or trying to convince her husband to spend the rest of the weekend eating popcorn and watching movies with too many special effects. She is a gif and emoji addict, a romance fanatic, and a strong believer that shipping is an art form. If you can’t travel to Curitiba/Brazil, the best place to find her is on Twitter. She is represented by Tricia Skinner at Fuse Literary.