‘Angela’s Ghost’ is Sarah’s first book, a middle-grade time slip tale, which she describes as A Monster Calls meets The Secret Garden; the story of a troubled twelve-year old suffering from survivor’s guilt after the death of her family and how she gets through this with the help of a boy from 1898 France.
Criminally, Sarah says she hasn’t yet had much chance to share her wonderful news. She says, ‘referring to 'my agent' in conversation is still relatively new, shiny and thrilling. I haven’t had much of an opportunity because I'm at home busy editing and in all honesty, the cats aren't that interested.’ So we asked Sarah to share her journey to representation with us at Words&Pictures, the perfect way to celebrate your success, Sarah!
So how did it all begin?
‘I followed a relatively standard submissions path, sending out only to a few agents I'd researched, actually met or been recommended to. Then came the agonising wait in that post-submission-time-vacuum where a week lasts a month and two weeks even longer. Thank goodness for supportive SCBWIs and Book Bounders.'
'It wasn't too long before I had requests for the full manuscript (very exciting) followed by requests for meetings (so exciting I had to revise the perfect 'meet the agent' outfit several times). With dress and shoes sorted, I have to say that there was nothing quite so wonderful as a professional enthusing about my book directly to me. In actual conversation (and not just in my head). I'll never forget it. I may have skipped in the street afterwards'.
'I knew when meeting Bryony Woods (my agent!) that she was the one. We met at the top floor cafe in the newly renovated Foyles on Charing Cross Road. I got there early to browse (and buy) books and check my hair (it was a windy day). She arrived with bags of enthusiasm, plenty of notes and a brilliant plan. She was definitely the one. I told her as much shortly after and she said I'd made her day. With the contracts signed and an announcement on Twitter, I soon received my line edits and a few weeks later I'm tweaking the book into the best shape I can get it. Oh and I'm loving it. Yep, loving the editing and loving having an agent who gets my book, gets my writing and trusts me to get on with it. So that's where I am. Getting on with it (and loving it). *skips*’
Sarah, thank you for sharing your adventure with us. We love the sound of ‘Angela’s Ghost’ and we wish you lots more success on your journey to publication. Come back and tell us all about it!
Clare Welsh loves reading and writing picture books. She joined SCBWI in February 2013 and won a Margaret Carey SCBWI British Isles Scholarship for picture book writers and illustrators in November 2013. Most recently she won Silver Medal at The Greenhouse Funny Prize. Clare thinks SCBWI is a remarkable organisation, full of remarkable people and thoroughly enjoys volunteering for The Words&Pictures Celebrations Team, sharing the many SCBWI successes.