It Takes a Village

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It Takes a Village

Lisa Gallagher websiteIt is official! I am thrilled to announce that Lisa Gallagher, of the storied Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, is now my literary agent. Not only is she an amazing woman with years of experience as both an agent and publisher (check out her impressive bio), but she’s also someone who “gets” my novel and what I’ve tried to achieve within its pages. Oh, and she’s a nice person with a lovely British accent to boot. (Everything sounds better in a British accent.) Jackpot!

When I first started writing Tracing the Light in June 2009, I never imagined how long this journey from idea to published book might take. I mean, yes, I did have a clue. I had read all of the (many) obituaries on the publishing industry, so on some level I knew what I was getting myself into. But even when you know something, that doesn’t mean you truly KNOW it—if you know what I mean. Life has a way of teaching you over and over again how little you actually understand about the things you thought were absolute certainties.

Even so, I have no complaints. Though it’s true that I have been disciplined and have worked extremely hard to get this far, it’s also true that I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to land an agent so quickly (and not just any agent but my Platonic agent). For that, I am grateful beyond measure. (I was going to say “beyond words”, but if there’s one thing you can always count on me for, it’s words…)

It’s a cliché to say that I couldn’t have done it without the help of my metaphorical village, but it also happens to be true. Regardless of where I go from here, I sincerely thank all who helped me get this far. That includes my remarkable family (especially Mom and Dad, my cousin Finita, Tío Celso, Abuelita, and my Madrina and Padrino); my friends in Spain (Mikel, Koldo, Verónica, Andoni, Alicia, Josean, and so many others) who made it possible for me to see a country with which I was so familiar with fresh eyes; all of my wonderful and supportive friends and acquaintances on this side of the ocean, who pushed me to keep going whenever the whole process became overwhelming; Elizabeth, Jacob, and Kristin, the first three readers of my manuscript, who provided valuable feedback in an extremely gentle way; the executive editor who read an early draft of the book, and not only gave me great advice, but also referred me to three literary agents, of which Lisa was one; the many folks who assisted me with research (including María Xosé Fernández, associate director of the folk museum in Santiago, who passed on materials, and allowed me to pepper her with an endless stream of questions about farm life in 1930’s Galicia); and all of the talented writers, filmmakers, and historians (especially Paul Preston) who have done yeoman’s work in reconstructing a period in Spanish history that the powers-that-be did their damnedest to keep hidden. I wouldn’t be here today without any of these folks.

And now it’s on to the next stage…