(originally posted October 2, 2009)
It’s funny, too, because he doesn’t actually know me. But a while back he said, as I’ve mentioned before, “Being an Author is a complete cycle of “I’m a piece of crap/I’m the king of the universe” that oscillates on a minute-by-minute basis.” So, like I said, he totally gets me. That statement is an accurate description of my life these past few … well for a long time but especially these past few weeks.
When I started sending out queries in an attempt to secure representation I was completely logical about it – or as logical as I get, anyway. I understand this business, I know how it works, my eyes are open to the reality of the process, blah, blah, blah. The true reality is that impatience sets in quickly, which is a direct path to Christopher Moore’s prescient understanding of where I’d end up.
One of the first queries I sent was to an agent in the west that I respect. She’s notoriously picky. Within twenty-four hours she asked me for a partial (meaning a limited number of pages for you non-writers). I was ecstatic, but still a realist. I remember telling my husband that even if she doesn’t offer representation she has framed my entire experience more positively because my first response was good. Yeah, that was two weeks ago.
Since then, I’ve received her rejection, two other rejections and one other request for a partial from an agent with a prestigious New York firm. Besides that, nothing. Now, I understand the reality, which is that it’s way too soon to hear. And I also understand that on the strength of a one page letter, half the initial responses have been positive, which is huge. Doesn’t stop my minute by minute oscillations, though. Doesn’t even slow them down.
Hopefully, I’ll find another quote, from another author who’s been where I am, that helps me keep things in perspective. In the meantime, for any editors who happen upon this post, I offer this quote from Erle Stanley Gardner, “It’s a damn good story. If you have any comments, write them on the back of a check.”