We are delighted for novelist Ana Garcia, who has signed with literary agent Joanna Swainson after pitching to her at the BPA Away Day in October. Joanna judged the Pitch Prize in 2021, and we can’t think of a better match for Ana. Her debut novel BLANCA, a female-led The Godfather with a Romeo and Juliet love story, is on submission now. We can’t wait to see where this career goes.
Ana shared a little with us about her journey to securing representation:
“After a lonely five years of writing and a fair number of rejections, I found my way to a wonderful editor who gave me some fairly hefty notes. I spent most of this year acting on those notes, restructuring the novel and really brushing up on the writing, but the agent process still felt very intimidating and gut wrenching. I had a strong sense that it would be better to meet people in person, if not agents, at least other writers to help boost my morale.
I knew Joanna Swainson would be there but I was mostly just hopeful to get more of a sense of how agents work … although I did print my opening 10k words and slip them into my bag. Just in case.
“I was lucky then to find the away day with Blue Pencil. It came at just the right time. I knew Joanna Swainson would be there but I was mostly just hopeful to get more of a sense of how agents work … although I did print my opening 10k words and slip them into my bag. Just in case. I couldn’t quite believe my luck when I asked if I could pitch to Joanna and Emma said yes. I passed over my pages with a flutter and a skip and less than a week later she offered me representation! It felt like a very serendipitous meeting; not only did I know a fair bit about Joanna already (I had done my research), but having listened to her speak and answer questions, I knew I wanted to work with her. I felt, and still feel, very lucky.”