Kimberly Wisnewski (kski225 on QT) has signed with agent Alyssa Jennette of Stonesong.
I can safely say, with 100% confidence, that my group of writer friends kept me going through the query process. We have a group chat that 20-something AMM mentees visit almost every day to commiserate, celebrate, vent, give advice, and generally hold each other up as we fight our way through the query trenches. Knowing I wasn't alone through the trials of querying, from full requests to full rejections, has truly made all the difference.
Having researched extensively, read lots of horror stories, and heard firsthand accounts from fellow writers, I knew not all agents were created equal. For that reason, I didn't query anyone I wouldn't be thrilled to work with. It's always important to do your research and ask around—not to gossip but to be safe with your work and your career!
Second to that, I would say to do your research and cultivate your list carefully. If you reach the end of your list and your book still hasn't been picked up, write and query another book. Don't settle. Speaking of which, keep writing. Querying is agony, and it's hard for people who are so deeply emotional and contemplative to cope with all that uncertainty. So what can you control? Your own writing.
Write another book. Attend classes or workshops if you can. Find free online contests and prompts, anything to keep you writing and growing. Because maybe that first book didn't work out, but there won't be a second one if you never write it!
17-year-old Leigha Kelley views the world through numbers. Like 7—odd, prime—how many years she and best friend Nick Moony have lived inside their own perfect world. It's also how long she's helped Nick hold his head above water when depression pulls him under. Then there's 371—deficient number, square root 19.26136—the days left until college, when they'll escape their boring Georgia town and start life over. But at the beginning of senior year, Nick moves to California. 2400 miles away. It's not a number Leigha cares to analyze.
Nick realizes he loves Leigha the day he moves. He spends his time waiting for her texts and refusing any attempts at friendship—until his school's reigning publicity queen creates a new persona for him. Now, he isn't Nick Moony, Sad Kid. He's cool and impulsive, someone who parties and leaps off cliffs, not someone secretly in love with his best friend. It's the perfect escape from himself. Almost.
When their worlds collide again, Nick and Leigha struggle to move forward while still clinging to the past. Leigha worries Nick doesn't need her anymore. Nick is too afraid to tell Leigha he's drowning. If Leigha lets go of Nick, his new friends might not know how to save him. And he might not be strong enough to save himself.
Holding onto their friendship is painful, but letting go could destroy them.
Informed by my own experiences with mental health and by observations as a high school teacher, this story combines the humor and heart of Jennifer Niven's All the Bright Places with the lyrical writing style of Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun.