Monday, November 19, 2012

That's Not So Bad

Earlier this year, I signed with a new literary agent. By new, I mean new to me and not new to the business. I feel the need to qualify that statement because there are some in the industry who warn writers away from getting involved with new agents. However, that’s a topic for another time. My intent is only to remind my loyal readers that I managed to snag a great agent earlier in the year.

I was signed on the strength of one of my paranormal novels. For those of you who know me, or if you’ve read this blog before, you know the paranormal genre isn’t my first love. I’ve always been more of a realism with a touch of romance kind of writer. The problem with that was when I first tried to get my realistic novels into the hands of publishers, the timing wasn’t right. Teens wanted vampire novels. I wrote one only to be told it couldn’t compete with the existing vampire titles. Down but not out, I changed my tactic and wrote an entirely different paranormal novel whose subject matter scared away potential agents and publishers. Not willing to give up, I tried again and put a softer spin on a different paranormal novel. It worked. I found the agent I’m working with now.

Since signing with this agent, he’s been working hard to get this book into the hands of the right publishers. So far, they’ve all passed, but it’s not over yet. It’s still under review with several other publishers so you never know what could happen. In the meantime, my agent has forwarded me the rejection letters. Though he’s obligated to do so, I could tell he felt bad doing it when he prefaced the email with the words “no one likes to read rejection letters”.

My response to rejection letters depends on the day. There are some days when I barely register a reaction and other days when I cry and still other days when I go off on a long rant about the difficulties of this industry. Interestingly enough, the day I opened this email, I didn’t do any of these things. Believe it or not, my faith in my talent was actually buoyed by the comments from the editors. The most negative comment came from only one person who didn’t feel a connection to my protagonist. Most everyone else felt the plot was interesting and liked the characters and praised my storytelling ability.

It seemed the problem didn’t lie with me. Once again, it’s a matter of timing. You’re not going to believe this, but the young adult market is flooded with paranormal novels. Publishers are turning those away and looking toward realistic novels. I am absolutely thrilled to hear this since realistic plots are what I consider my bread and butter. As we speak, I’m in the process of editing one to send to my agent to see if it’s strong enough to submit to publishers. With any luck, I can catch this train before it takes off. Until its ready, my agent will continue to make the rounds with my paranormal novel.

Nobody likes to read rejection letters. True enough, but those letters weren’t so bad this time around.

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