Yep! I met the AMAZING, Erica Rand Silverman, who now resides at Stimola Literary Studio, through #PBPitch on Twitter in the fall of 2015. #PBPitch is sort-of like an online “speed-dating” or “speed-meeting” Twitter event for picture book authors and agents.
Well … the moon, stars and planets must've aligned that day to allow such an unlikely meeting of two fairly “un-Twitterly” people at the time. I decided to participate in the pitch contest very last minute, based solely on encouragement from my critique group to give it a go. And Erica told me in hindsight that she truly had a full plate then and really had no business looking for more work to represent. BUT, for some reason, she browsed the pitches anyway, saw my pitch with an illustration included, “favorited” it, and then sent me a personal email afterword.
Erica didn't have to send me an email. But that extra little email let me know two things:
1. Erica was a go-getter!
2. She really liked my work!
So I quickly Googled Erica and saw that she had an impressive talent line-up already and a like-minded love for beautiful/cool children’s books which further justified my good gut-feelings about her. Eagerly, I sent her a paper book dummy in the mail and then we had a phone call where she said that she was interested in working with me too!
Erica is a great agent match for me. She has remained a believer in me and my work even when I was (and still am) battling some health issues with my eyes and couldn't work (unexpectedly) for almost a year.
So the debut of DOLL-E 1.0 is a special one for both of us, a real testimony of perseverance, friendship, tough love, and all that surrounds the unique relationship of an author and an agent.
In conclusion – Listen to your friends, try technology, trust your gut, and keep going!
DOLL-E 1.0 by Shanda McCloskey
Little, Brown and Company, May 1, 2018
Available for Pre-order now!