Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Strange (But True) Tale of Getting An Agent

So you're at a writer's conference. One you've spent thousands of dollars to attend. You've spent the last couple of days pitching your latest manuscript and gotten some good responses. Directly to your left is a well-regarded, top deal-making agent watching a football game. Suddenly, he turns to you and says the two words that every wannabe writer dreams of hearing. "Pitch me."

I said no. Twice. True story.

And that ladies and gentleman, is how I met my now-agent, Chip MacGregor, of MacGregor Literary Inc. And I'm probably very lucky right now that I live far, far away, because I'm sure there are many writers who would give their right arm to meet Chip who would like to wring my neck right now.

To be fair, it was 1am, we were in a loud bar, I was there to say goodbye to a friend and pitching was the last thing on my mind. I'd spent the last two days pitching my manuscript. In appointments, hallways and workshop rooms. And the last thing on my mind was shouting my well-practiced two lines across a table filled with empty margarita glasses and the remains of pizza.

I mean hey, I was only in Dallas, thousands of miles away from home for this exact reason. He only represents some of my all-time favourite authors like Susan Meissner and Rachel Hauck. Just frequently listed as one of the top deal making agents. Could only open the kind of doors I'd spent years dreaming about. Just sitting there, asking me to tell him about my manusccript. Yeah, I have no idea what I was thinking either. Fortunately, God is bigger than my stupidity.

I'm not sure if it was the shock of a wannabe writer refusing to pitch him after spending days with people practically throwing themselves at him for the chance, or he was feeling especially generous that final night of the ACFW Conference, but fortunately for me he persisted instead of rightfully taking offense and asked me a third time.

Three months, a proposal, a full manuscript and a long Skype conversation later, I am the newest (and probably most grateful) writer to be represented by Chip MacGregor. It still hasn't sunk in. I have an agent. An amazing agent. And sometime soon he will be sending my manuscript out to real editors, at real publishing houses, and finding out if they love Rachel and Lucas as much as we do.

If any of them do, you'll probably be able to hear me screaming all the way from down here :)

Kara Isaac is a political advisor, Pastor's wife and bewildered mum (or mom) who lives in New Zealand. She writes romantic comedy and is proudly represented by Chip MacGregor of Macgregor Literary Inc. When you read this, she will be spending her Christmas break in Sydney, trying to keep track of her ninja toddler who has no fear and is a big fan of any activity that allows him to use his new favourite phrase "UH OH!"


  1. So exciting. What a lovely Christmas gift from our great God.

  2. Congratulations again, Kara! Had to laugh though as I've seen Chip MacGregor in his kilt at an ACFW Conference and trying to picture him when you were saying "No". Will be looking forward to "hearing" you scream when he sells your book.

  3. He looked very confused and bewildered! I'm pretty sure it's not the usual response to his request to hear about someone's manuscript! :)

    1. Congrats, Kara!! What a story! :) So exciting! God is good.

  4. Love the story! And congrats to you as well, Kara!

  5. That is such awesome news, Kara, and such an incredible story. God does work in strange and wonderful ways, his wonders to perform. I have no doubt that scream will be coming soon ... I'm bracing myself already :)

  6. Kara, what a cool story, and I'm glad he asked a third time :) Congratulations!

  7. Congratulations Kara!! That's a great story too!! Best wishes for publication!!

  8. Kara, what a wonderful story! And it gives far-from-American authors real hope! I'm moving into an agent search next year and am dreading the experience! I'll keep your story close to my heart!