For anyone interested in how exactly I ended up selling the book (and by “I” here of course I mean my wonderful agent Joanna), here’s a timeline as to how things went down:
June 2007: I finish All Unquiet Things; it is my graduate thesis. If you have access to the University of Chicago MAPH archives (meaning, you are a current or former U of C MAPH student), you can see a first draft of the first 60 pages there.
January 18, 2008: Joanna emails me on an unrelated subject (I was a Browne & Miller intern in the summer of 2007, she was catching up and asking for permission to give another intern my email address); I email her back with some personal chit chat, permission to disseminate my email address to anyone she wanted, and the query letter for my novel. She requested to see the full manuscript that same day.
March 10, 2008: Joanna called and offered me representation.
March 14, 2008: Joanna emailed me a 10 page editorial letter.
April 9, 2008: I emailed Joanna the revised manuscript.
May 6, 2008: Joanna emailed me a copy of the manuscript with her changes tracked, plus a short list of line edits.
May 17, 2008: I emailed Joanna the revised manuscript.
May 20, 2008: Joanna emailed me back about the revisions. The other revisions were fine, but there was one stumbling block we’d discussed a lot and that I’d attempted to fix that Joanna wasn’t feeling. She gave me some suggestions and I went back to that section to try and fix the problem. Basically, I overshot it; I was trying to ground a new narrator in the reader’s mind and ended up raising all these questions about another character, who wasn’t really going to feature much in the book. Which is really too bad, I found her quite interesting, but there just wasn’t room. Sigh. There never is, is there?
May 21, 2008: I remember really attacking this that night and trying to come up with something better. I emailed it to Cambria and asked for advice and eventually got to the point where I thought it was pretty good. I emailed it to Joanna the next day (May 21).
May 30, 2008: Joanna liked the changes I’d made and didn’t have any more edits for me. She decided to give it to Danielle to read it and comment.
July 23, 2008: Joanna emailed me Danielle’s “big picture comments” and mailed me the marked up manuscript, which I was deathly afraid of. Turned out, revisions aren’t lethal. Something to keep in mind for next time.
August 14, 2008: I emailed Joanna my revised manuscript and went back to finishing MB.
September 9 to September 12, 2008: The top six editors on Joanna’s pitch list were emailed copies of the manuscript.
September 12, 2008: Word that we were to expect an offer on Monday.
September 15, 2008: Said offer is made. It’s a pre-empt!
September 16, 2008: We accept said pre-empt. I’m a Delacorte author!
September 17, 2008: Publishers Marketplace blurb goes up:
September 17, 2008:
Children’s: Young Adult
Anna Jarzab’s ALL UNQUIET THINGS, pitched as The Secret History meets Looking For Alaska, about two unlikely allies from different ends of the social spectrum at a NorCal prep school who band together to solve a friend’s murder, to Francoise Bui at Delacorte, in a pre-empt, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, by Joanna MacKenzie at Browne & Miller Literary Associates.