There is nothing we like better at the Cabinet than bragging on each other. That's the nice thing about being women of a certain age (which is, really, any age above middle school): we don't see success as a limited edition item that, if one of us gets, means the rest of us are out of luck. We have been with each other through the absolute worsts (and I don't just mean writing), we have wept and raged and urged ice cream and chocolate through years of rejections, and we have all had occasion to give thanks for the others when this writing life Just. Seemed. Too. Hard. To. Go. On.
And when something awesome happens--well, here we go . . .
Patty has an agent!!!!!!!!
That is quite possibly my lifetime limit for exclamation points. I'll have to sell my soul to the writing devil to earn more for the next awesome moment, but I don't mind. Because Patty has an agent!
Not one of us in the Cabinet has worked harder for this moment than Patty. To read her own account of her signing with Pooja Menon of Kimberly Cameron and Associates, click here.
(Just so you know, Pat sounds awfully composed in that blog post. When she sent me the email saying she had an offer, she was so excited I thought her words were actually going to tumble off my computer screen and dance around me in the air. It also happened to be the release day for FINALE. There was some definite Cabinet magic happening on October 23rd.)
(Also, so you know, when Pat says she had tons of requests and rewrites and phone calls along the way, she is using that word very nearly literally. As in two thousand. NO ONE I know has come closer time and time again than Pat.)
So is delayed success sweeter? Quite possibly. Is shared success sweeter? Without question.
Here's what the other members of the Cabinet had to say when asked, "What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Patty as a writer?"
Ginger: Unstoppable, doggedly determined, courageous, unbeatable, humble, continually seeking improvement, knowledgable, hopeful.
Becca: Patty's writing is atmospheric and quirky with eccentric details lovingly woven into the prose--she knows how to give a reader chills.
Suzanne: So, this isn't technically a writer writing thing, but I think it still applies. My only in-person meeting with Patty was at SCBWI Nationals in NYC two years ago. It was awesome finally getting to meet her, of course, but it was also reeally nice to have someone I knew and could hang with. Given how big the conference was, I was inclined at first to pick the safe route and sit near the middle or back of the rooms, etc. But, when I went to sit with Patty at our first breakout together, she was sitting on the front row. The. front. row. It made me super nervous even taking the seat next to her cause it was a smallish room and we were within touching distance of the editor speaking, so I said something about how daring she was. She laughed, and asked why not? We had just as much reason to be on the front row as anyone. I hadn't really thought of it like that, since I was being all apologetic for my existence. But Patty knew she was putting in the time and stretching as a writer and on the path. It was only a matter of time, and timing, til she'd be published. So, why wouldn't she sit on the front row? The rest of the conference I tried to be like Patty, and just put it all out there. As a result, I had a question answered by Mo Willems, met and chatted with Jane Yolan, pitched editors and agents, and made some great writing friends I still keep in touch with. All because I stopped treating certain seats as 'reserved' for a more bona fide writer than me. I love the enthusiasm and belief Patty brings to her writing, and to her view of herself as a writer. She's never accepted anyone else's limitations on her talent or potential, or let anything stand in her way, and I really admire that. Go Patty!
One last word from me, the word that comes to my mind when I think of Patty as both a writer and a woman: Generous. All that work and research she puts in, all the knowledge she has obtained through years of often painful experience--she doesn't hoard it jealously. She freely offers everything she has and everything she is.
Who wouldn't want to represent a writer like that?
Here's to Patty!