Hello wonderful readers! Can you believe how consistent I'm being with these Tuesday From The Trenches posts?? Neither can I! haha. But believe it, because we are officially scheduled out for the rest of 2021!! How exciting is that?? Interviews and giveaways every week for 6 months straight. And depending on how my life and deadlines look, I might even continue with the weekly schedule through 2022... If not, at least every other week. Because I love these interviews way too much to give them up. Anyways... I digress.
But before I let you jump into this awesome story from Lindsay Leslie, I have to ask... did you see the announcement that Valerie Bolling, Kaitlyn Sanchez, and I are hosting another #KidLitDanceParty?? Because we are and it's going to be awesome. Make sure to register HERE.
And now... join me in welcoming the inspiring Lindsay Leslie to the blog!
Thank you so much for joining us today, Lindsay! I was so excited to see that you recently signed with Charlotte Wenger! I know that you worked with her as an editor, and I’m thrilled to share your story of connecting again down the road with my readers.
Can you share your query stats with us?
Time Spent in the Query Trenches: About two weeks, but there is perspective here. I had just left my first agent and I’m previously published with three picture books under my belt and one on the way.
Number of Agents Queried: 6
Number of Requests for Additional Work/Full Manuscript: 2
Number of Twitter Pitch “Likes”: This time around I did not participate in any Twitter pitch events.
Number of R&Rs: None
Number of Rejections: 5, three of those came after reaching out to say I had an offer of representation
Number of Offers: 1
Agent and Agency: Charlotte Wenger with Prospect Agency
Huge congrats, Lindsay! I know that we don't talk a lot about the process of finding a second agent, so it's nice to be sharing that side of things. I'm so glad to hear that you landed with Charlotte so quickly after jumping back into the trenches. To any readers who are seeking new representation after previous representation, I hope this interview will give you a lot of hope!
Lindsay, how did you keep track of it all? What was your method for organizing queries? Spread sheet? Query Tracker? Etc.
It’s all spreadsheet for me and I make a folder in Outlook for all correspondence.
I'm a big spreadsheet lover myself, so I feel you there. You didn't have may this time, but how did you handle rejections? Did any sting more than others?
I’m used to rejection and have a tough skin. OK, I do a little moping, but I get back out there. I can’t get a “yes” if I don’t keep going.
That's a fantastic point... a "yes" will never come if you don't keep pushing forward. How did you find agents to query/how did you decide who to query?
Through research and any interactions that I’ve had, whether catching them on a webinar or knowing their track record and who they currently represent.
That's wonderful. Lots of great resources available! How did you ultimately connect with Charlotte? Did you cold query? Participate in a twitter pitch event? Or connect in some other way?
My agent was my editor of my first three books: This Books Is Spineless, Nova the Star Eater, and Dusk Explorers. We worked really well together in that capacity. When I found out she had transitioned to agenting, I thought it would be a wonderful and known working relationship. Also, I know the agency and have friends who are represented by them, so I felt this decision would be an absolute win-win.
That is such a unique experience and I love it so much! How wonderful that you can transition from an editor/author relationship to an author/agent relationship and go into it knowing what to expect.
How much time passed between querying your now agent to getting “the call”?
About a week, if I recall correctly.
Wow, that is fast! I love when the waiting isn't too excruciating... But then again, even a day can feel like a year when your in the trenches.
Can you tell us more about “the call”? How did you know Charlotte was the right choice?
The call was like catching up with an old friend. There was an absolute comfort and transparency. I didn’t feel like I was intimidated in any form or fashion. I also knew in my gut that Charlotte would go to bat for me and that she really connects and enjoys my work.
That is so so wonderful. I am loving that you knew Charlotte already and had that comfort level. I am thrilled to see all you do together.
Could you tell us a little about your book that landed your agent?
There are two that she really enjoyed and they are on submission right now. Both are picture books. One is more conceptual in nature and focuses on a growth mindset. The other is a traditional narrative focusing on the pains and pleasures of growing up.
Those both sound wonderful!! And best of luck on submission... that is a whole different ball game and stressful in its own way.
If you could give querying authors a piece of advice, what would that be?
I’d say it’s hard to know what the right fit would be until you’ve been in an agent/creator relationship before, and you don’t really know how it will all go until you are in it. I think my best advice is to be clear as to your expectations of the relationship and to understand how those line up with what the agent is thinking. And communicate! Keep communicating. This is a partnership and both sides should be reaching out and touching base.
That is truly fantastic advice! I couldn't agree more. There is a lot of "unknown" in an author/agent relationship and making sure your visions line up and that communication is strong is absolutely essential. Wonderful advice, Lindsay! Is there anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
The process of finding and connecting with an agent seems so mysterious. I guess it’s because there is no one way to do it. Your journey is yours. Just keep learning along the way about yourself and what you need in a client/agent relationship. I think that is the key. You may not get it right the first time, but you are learning and that’s what is right.
I love that! Before I let you go... where can we connect with you online?
Thanks so much for joining us today! I’ve had a blast chatting and learning more about your journey. Best of luck on this journey! I can’t wait to see more of your books in the world.
Make sure to enter, KidLit friends! Lindsay's books are wonderful, and you'd love her eyes on your work!
About Lindsay Leslie
A diary keeper, a journalism major, a public relations executive, now a children’s author—Lindsay Leslie has always operated in a world of written words. She likes to bring her unique outlook on life, quirky humor, and play with words to the page in picture books. Lindsay is the author of This Book Is Spineless, Nova the Star Eater, and Dusk Explorers. (Page Street Kids), and the upcoming SO YOU WANT TO BUILD A LIBRARY (Capstone Editions/August 2021). She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, two kiddos, two fur-beasts, a guinea pig, and a tortoise.
About Kailei Pew
Kailei Pew is a wife, mother, and picture book author represented by the amazing Emily Forney of Bookends Literary. She is an active member of SCBWI, a 2019 Write Mentor Mentee, and a finalist in Susanna Leonard Hill's 2019 Holiday Writing Contest. She loves writing picture books that help kids see they can do anything they set their minds to.
Kailei can't wait to get her stories into your hands.