Friday, April 19, 2013

How I Got My Agent- Nikki Urang

So, the post title might give it away, but I have an awesome story to share today. My fantastic friend and CP, Nikki Urang, has graciously agreed to let me interview her, and she's got some wonderful things to say.

1) Thanks so much for letting me interview you, Nikki! Can you tell us a bit about what you write and how you started writing?

Thanks for having me! I had an active imagination when I was little and I was writing stories in my head from an early age. I finally started writing my first novel, a YA Urban Fantasy, my sophomore year of college. I worked on it off and on for five years before giving it up. I was not the right person to be writing that novel. Everything about it was wrong. I officially trunked it last year and I haven’t looked back since.
I started writing seriously on March 31, 2012. That was the day I officially switched from YA Urban Fantasy to YA Contemporary and the day I sat down and outlined BROKEN, the story of a teenage heroin addict. THE HIT LIST followed a few months later. I’ve really found my niche in YA contemporary and I can’t imagine writing anything else at this point.
2) The Hit List- the manuscript that got you your agent's attention! Do you have a brief pitch for it you can share?

Of course!

After her rape, sixteen-year-old Sadie finds dancing with a partner hard enough. But when she suspects he’s a player in a web-based sex game, she must confront his betrayal and her feelings for him.

3) What's changed for you about being a writer since you've signed with an agent?

I always told myself that I would be so much less anxious once I had an agent. Wishful thinking. It’s a different kind of anxiety now, but it’s still there. I still get anxious about emails and what’s coming next. But it’s a good anxiety. I think one of the biggest things that changed for me since I signed with Nicole is my confidence. I wasn’t necessarily lacking in this department before, but it gives me faith in my writing and in myself to know that my agent has confidence in it and in me. I was struggling between writing three different manuscripts because I couldn’t decide which one felt right at the time. I’d actually moved away from the one I’m currently working on and hadn’t touched it for a couple months. But one conversation with Nicole and I was so excited to focus on it again. I’m even more excited to be able to just focus on one manuscript again.
4) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

I have two things. The first is to never give up. It’s cliché, but it’s true. I definitely went through times when I wanted to give up. The road to publication is filled with rejection and it’s so easy to quit along the way. As writers, we hear this advice everywhere and it’s easy to brush it off and say it won’t happen to you. But everyone has their doubts. Everyone has days where they hate every single word they’ve written. Don’t let those days define your dream. Allow yourself time off from writing. Force yourself to write words on paper when you don’t feel like it. Cherish the moments when your fingers can’t fly across the keyboard fast enough. Live for the high word count days that will happen again. Dream about the day you get the “yes” you’re looking for.
My second piece of advice is to enter contests. Every time a contest runs, there seems to be someone out there who complains about the process and the way people get picked. But contests aren’t just about winning or losing. I’ve met most of my writer friends through contests or on hashtags associated with contests on Twitter. The writing community is amazing. And those are the people that will pull you through when you feel like giving up. Plus, I got my agent by entering a contest I had no intention of entering, so I have to plug them a little. :)

5) Okay, now for the big question: how did you get your agent?

My amazing agent, Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency, found me in a contest. I entered PitchMAS in December 2012 on a whim and at the advice of an awesome CP. I think you know her :) Anyway, Nicole requested my partial and eventually upgraded all the way to an R&R. I didn’t know a lot about her or the agency when she made that initial request, so of course I researched her as much as I could. And through all that, I decided she was the perfect agent for me. Lucky for me, she decided the same thing. I’m so happy to be working with someone as knowledgeable and awesome as her. I’m so excited to see what path we take from here.

You can read my full story about how I got my agent at my blog. And in case you’re interested, you can also reach me via carrier pigeon or smoke signals. :)

That's some high technology there. Personally, I'd chose Owl Post! Thanks for the interview, Nikki, and we can't wait to THE HIT LIST on the shelves!


  1. I found my agent through a contest as well. It can be hard to put your stuff out there so publicly, but it works, and the connections with other writers are priceless.

    Great interview and best of luck to Nikki!

  2. I'm SO glad Pitchmas was a success for so many people - including myself! Glad to have you as an agency sister!