Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Slings and Arrows

As my dear, darling critique partner Kate D. now knows, it's official: I'm a rejected author.

Last week I received in the (e-)mail box my long awaited response to my first agent query (an exclusive, which is why I hadn't sent any others out). Then Comes Marriage was denied. Shot down. Turned away. And all those other we-don't-like-you-soundy phrases.

However, let us not despair. After about 20 minutes in which I surprised myself by wanting to cry, I pretty much got over it. Wannabe writers get rejected. That's part of the process. And at least I'm now a wannabe writer, not a wannabe wannabe writer.

The email was also a "good" rejection, and I feel rather fortunate to have received one of those famed breed on my first try. The typo in the first sentence leads me to believe it's not a form rejection (if it is, then this agency's a bit more slipshod than I thought and I made a lucky escape). With addresses and proper names omitted, it follows:

"Thank you for submitting to ------ Agency.

"We greatly appreciate your submission, and though Then Comes Marriage is not a good fit for us. The story line and love scenes were strong; however, it felt too familiar to be able to distinguish it in the market. Still, your writing shows promise and we would be interested to consider any future projects.We wish you the best of luck in your writing career.

"Again, thank you for thinking of ----- Agency."

Now I understand why they advise having a stockpile of ready manuscripts under your bed. If Secrets and Spies were ready to go, I'd shoot it off to the agency with a personal "Hey, you asked for this!" note faster than I could get to the post office. Sadly, it's only about 1/5 written, and I likely won't even have a first draft until the summer.

Still, I'm cautiously optimistic.