Saturday, February 27, 2010

First the Good News

Have I mentioned how cool you guys are?

I'm not just saying that because of how positive you've all been about this book stuff. Or even because of last month when a handful of you rallied 6,000 people of all faiths all over the world to pray for a sick little girl most of you'd never even seen. In less than two days.

(She's home now, and recovering nicely, btw. Thanks to you all; thanks be to God.)

Nope, it's not even because of how impressive it was to live here during H. Ivan and watch everybody before the storm boarding up little old ladies's houses, giving advice to us newbies, helping people prepare. Then after, seeing everybody get to work cleaning up and helping people rebuild. Those of you with generators making sure folks had hot meals and a place to shower.

Or a year later after Katrina. I remember sitting on front porches with some of you as you wept telling me about your friends and relatives in Mississippi and Louisiana. Then we all went out and collected food, clothes, water, and the ones with trucks and trailers made daily runs to Gauthier, D'Iberville, Long Beach, Ocean Springs...

No, I really like your big mouths and opinions. Your funny snaps and how for the most part, you're all straight-shooters. You're just a big gang of good people.

So shoot this one to me straight. Why is the bad news so much easier to believe than the good?

Yep, I got it. The big R from one of the three asking to see more of Debut Novel.

I've been telling myself not to feel bad about it. It was the agency I was most shocked had wanted to see it at all. I honestly couldn't tell Richard why I had queried them in the first place, and it was from the early days when I had no idea what I was doing.

So it's probably for the best, right? My pants were shocked off when they asked for more, then yesterday they stayed firmly in place (not on the ground) when I read the short, "Sorry, this isn't for me."

It wasn't even my first big R. Remember O.J. Berman? But it did sting. It's the whole getting the hopes up followed by the swift kick in the guts. Bluh.

But that brings me back to my Woody Allen dilemma. It was actually easier to believe they didn't want it than they did. Easier to believe that little voice in my head that says they're probably right. A book out there with my name on it? That's ridiculous! I'm no elitist member of the literati. Have you heard me laugh?

Of course, Richard is annoyed when I say that. He might think my blog title's dorky, but he actually likes the books. At least he says he does... And having read everything on the planet, he's now taken to ridiculing all books represented by said agency. None of which I've read. (See?)

Still, I'm feeling lower than... hmm... I read a really good "lower than" the other day... What was it? I'm feeling lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut. And I don't even like cowboy movies.

Sorry, they're not for me.

UPDATE: Just got another request for full MS of Debut Novel from agent who previously rejected then came back and asked for it. File this one under "extremely pleasant and very unexpected surprises." Keep those fingers crossed...


JRichard said...

I am sorry the agency best known for buggery fiction rejected you. But, if I were in prison, I would prefer to be rejected by those who promote that genre, if you dig. Be not discouraged; I suspect they stopped reading once they realized that your book is all story, well-told, without reliance on cruelty or exhibitionism to dupe pseudo-sophisticated readers into believing they are being edified. You gotta figure these agents are no more competent that Hollywood in finding ideas that work; and for every tentpole film that is actually worth watching, there is a lifetime of dreck that sinks into the recesses of memory; but many of them are likely looking for the big score without considering the literary talent or skill or, as Bud Light puts it, drinkability of the fiction that is being offered.

Here, as I see it, are the standards that are most likely to get non-fantasy/sci-fi/vampire/other-random-horror novels published: Do children suffer? Check. As a corollary, is there parental misbehavior that results in some incidental or ongoing childhood experience? Check. Is there unsettling death, physical attack and/or other assorted mayhem to titillate the voyeuristic reader? Check. If you aren't writing about these things, but are merely crafting plot-driven, engagingly-written drinkable stories, you have a hard row to hoe.

LTM said...

umm... Thanks? LOL! :D no, thank you, hon.

(Now I'm thinking my post is whiney-baby. Sorry 'bout that. Can take heat. Staying in kitchen~ :o)