Boundbytheword Blog

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Add a Dash of Manners July 26, 2010

Filed under: What's Up? — Noelle Bickle / Abby Brooks @ 10:27 PM

My mother is an English rose, so it goes without saying that she delicately pounded me with lessons of etiquette and all-around good manners my entire life.

That being said, our world has changed. Manners, good penmanship and marrying your high school sweetheart have pretty much fallen by the wayside. So it’s inspiring to see that people use good manners even when they really don’t need to.

I spent last week honing my first four chapters (see the changes above under the “meet character” tabs) to send to an agent. It was hard work, often done at a ridiculously late hour based on the fact that it is summer and I have two bored kids chained to my feet. But I did it! I polished the chapters even more and sent a query to a well-respected Toronto agent on Friday.

Whew. It was a relief to finally do it, just hit send and have that hurdle of fear completed. I decided I would completely put it out of my mind, so I didn’t go completely out of my mind as I waited for a reply. Most writers will tell you that wait time for agent response is anywhere from 1 month to 1 year (WHAT??).

So it was with great surprise that I received a response from the agent’s assistant letting me know they received my query, would be delighted (isn’t that nice?) to read my work I submitted. She informed me that the agent was very busy so it would be the end of August before I would hear back from her.

And I just thought – that is so nice. That is manners and professionalism at it’s finest. Agents don’t have to do a thing other than throw your work on the top of the slush pile, so a response letter just to be kind? How lovely is that?

My British mother would be proud of this agency. And I think if that is any indication of how they treat people…sign me up. (oh, please god, sign me up!)

So I will meditate and write and occasionally shake my kids off my legs while I wait with high hopes for this agent with impeccable manners.

So impressed. πŸ™‚


11 Responses to “Add a Dash of Manners”

  1. Deepam Says:

    Oh Noelle, how wonderful. I got goosebumps reading this post. In this day and age, as you note, even an acknowledgment is a triumph… and yours was on the first go. I’m so happy for you, and heartened for us all.

    • I am learning to celebrate even the smallest of victories, to keep me in good form to weather the storm that comes with rejection. Lets hope I don’t need the raincoat. Or at least not have to wear it endlessly. πŸ™‚

  2. Dale Long Says:

    Grumble…mumble… four weeks ago and nothing yet…grumble.


    I’m happy for you, and excited for you, and not the least bit surprised, but I’m also jealous… so very jealous.

    • You and I are perfect pacing partners actually, becuase we are right at the same point in our journey. The other reason is because we cheer each other on, but still have shades of green. That’s okay, green motivates. I sent you an email about the agent I queried – check it out.

      PS – you get points for being brave first. πŸ™‚

  3. Steph Says:

    What exciting news, the best I’ve heard all summer. So I know how you feel, I’m there with you all the way. I knew your could do it. You shouldn’t be surprise to hear from them so soon, after all your writing is wonderful and true. And, you truly are humble. I am so looking forward to the launch.
    Congrats, congrats and congrats.

    • Only congratulate me on putting on my big girl pants and finally sending out a query! That is all I have right now, but that is still more than I had last week, right? Thanks for being in my corner!

  4. Nicole Says:

    So true Noelle! Good manners are fading from our society, but when we find someone taking the time to be so courteous – it sounds corny, but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling! I wish there was a way we could bring back some of the old conventions of society – the ones to do with manners, that is – I’m not ready to give up the vote! LOL.

    Kudos on getting your 4 chapters polished up, especially with the kiddies around. Another thing our society needs: year-round school!

    Take care,


  5. Laurie Says:

    Congrats Noelle! I can’t wait to hear what happens next with the agency. Thanks for this posting. I think the more we talk about our experiences, the more we demystify the experience of searching for a publisher.

    • So true Laurie. Plus I am a big believer in getting the boogie man out of the closet. If I expose it, I’m less afraid of this process. A little less afraid anyway. πŸ™‚

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