Thursday, October 23, 2008

Positive Rejection

Last week I started writing a piece about rejection. I’d received a few query rejections. Two agents had passed on my full manuscript. Don’t get me wrong, I was crushed. But an agent I met at a conference sent one of the nicest letters to date, a hand-written note praising my writing. Letters like hers encourage me, make me determined to do whatever it takes to write the best novel I can and get it published.

No one loves rejection, but when I get an email back from an agent query or hear the slow tires of the mail truck, my pulse quickens. I don’t always run outside right away--mostly because I’m usually still in my pajamas! Sometime in the afternoon, I head to the mailbox. Finding a returned SASE is thrilling. It means I’m putting my work out there. Others are reading my work, even if they’re not convinced it’s “right for this agency.” Once, an agent requested the full via my SASE! “Love to see it,” she wrote. I might never receive another request in the mail. But, then again, I just might.

Fast forward. This week, I received two requests for full manuscripts. Better still: they were for two different books.

I’ve revised The Bodley Boys after receiving valuable feedback from critique partners and a few other trusted readers. I still love it. Maybe this will be the agent to champion it. And, if I’m lucky, an editor will, too.

Pamela and I started querying on our Center Court Seats and a Pair of Jimmy Choos and within two days we had a request. We knew when we read our chapters aloud to a critique group full of non-women’s fiction readers and they all laughed, we had something good. This might not be the one. But even if it isn’t, we know we’re getting close!