Guess What?!!

I’m interrupting this regularly scheduled post, to give you an exciting update (at least for me):

Unbeknownst to most of you, I’ve been agent-less for the last year, having parted ways with my previous agent who was a really delightful person, but who just wasn’t a great fit for me for a multitude of reasons that would be unfair to air here.

That said, she has supported me completely and I’d like to think we remain friends. She signed me at a point in my writing career when I was only a few weeks from throwing in the towel on the idea of ever being a novelist, having reached the end of my self-imposed deadline.

I was coming to grips with the fact that I had three college educations to pay for and fiction writing didn’t pay as well as freelancing or working at Burger King. I’d given myself ten years when I first began my quest to be a novelist.  I’d attended conferences, took webinars, read books and blogs, and built my ‘platform.’ I’d scribbled articles, essays, and blogs to validate (and pay for) the hours at my desk, but my afternoons had been spent with my stories. When I felt I was ready, I’d queried agent after agent after agent and gotten the requisite pile of rejections. The years dragged on and I wrote three manuscripts, each one better, but never good enough, it seemed.


And then literally weeks before my self-imposed deadline, I was playing hooky from my writing, riding with a friend, already trying out life without my dream of being a novelist, when I got THE call. So, I owe a lot to my first agent and deciding to leave her was a heart-breaking process, at least on my end.

That was a little over a year ago, and since then I’ve been agent-less, wandering in the murky, dangerous waters of traditional publishing all alone, unrepresented.

For those of you unaware, getting traditionally published by a significant publisher (one that has the power to get your book to the masses beyond your friends and family and the people who follow your blog), generally requires an agent. Sure, you can do it without, but it’s an insane amount of work for a rare success story. Most of us require the guidance and door-opening abilities of a literary agent, for whom we generally share 15% of everything we make.

Over this past year, I’ve spent a lot of time on literary agency websites, following agents on twitter and Facebook, reading their blogs, and investigating the agents behind some of my favorite books. I’ve questioned my decision time and again, wondering if maybe I got too big for my britches thinking I could just find another agent in a flash—poof! Considering it took me ten years to find my first, maybe that was a tad bit on the optimistic side.

I’m nothing if not optimistic, so I persisted. I made a list of dream agents in a skinny, pink notebook that I kept on my desk and finally began querying them this past fall.

Some of them didn’t want me as much as I wanted them, but by Christmas I was down to three agents. All were reading my material and had expressed interest in possibly working with me. In the end, I picked the one who was the best fit, and I am SUPER EXCITED, and relieved. I know I’m in good hands and excited to begin the process of making a book together.

So, without further ado and rambling, I’m delighted to tell you I’ve signed with Carly Watters of the P.S. Literary Agency. Super excited. Carly is first-rate, smart and funny, with the editorial skills to take my writing to the next level.


Nick asked if this felt like being called up to the big leagues and I said, Exactly! (Even though I’ve never played baseball.) Carly will represent my memoir and women’s fiction. Our first project together is a memoir called – you guessed it – Another Good Dog.

Wow, that was a big interruption, huh? I promise the next post will be back on task sharing the wisdom I’m gaining in my Reading-to-be-a-Better-Writer program. No more interruptions. Promise.

Have a stellar week!



If you’d like to read the blog that my memoir grew out of, you can read it here.

If you’d like more information on my writing, books, and blogs, click here.

Super grateful to you for reading and please don’t ever hesitate to give me a shout. You can email me at or comment right here!



Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

I am a writer, blogger, and dog rescuer. I live in the darling town of Woodstock, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley with my husband and three rescue dogs (who rescue me on a daily basis). Find more information about my books, my dogs, and all my writing adventures at

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