Fly By Rejection

Mentioning that Laurie McClean of Larsen Pomada sent me a rejection. It was a little over written for a form letter, but I applaud her attempt at trying to make a writer feel it was her, not them. She could scale back a bit, but I think that other agents could take a look at some of her boiler plate and use it to their advantage.

I particularly liked this paragraph:

Assume I’m wrong. Persevere until your books reach the goals you set for them. I can’t suggest a publisher or an agent who might be interested in a particular writer’s work, but directories, your publishing network, and the Association of Authors’ Representatives might lead you to the agent you need. Persistence rewards talent. I can’t make a living saying no, but as author Joe Girard says: “Every no gets you closer to yes.”

So, golfer’s clap, Laurie. Tighten it a bit, but at least authors can’t charge you with the idea that you don’t pay attention. Also, you don’t feel that you are burdened, the way some of these letters occasionally do.


The Rest of the Story

Agent A was Ann Behar of Scovil Chichak and Galen. This was the agent who had requested a partial, a full, and a revision.

You can see why I was excited. This is a very prestigious agency, with some excellent clients.

Unfortunately, I used up all last month’s good karma on Hulk Hercules, as Ann decided she wasn’t interested in picking up Substance. I was hopeful, but I’m always realistic about my odds. Still, it would have been nice to have been represented so well. So, yeah, a little down, but moving on, and reminding myself that I made it farther than 98 percent of my fellow writers in a mere 9 months. Nothing wrong with that.

Just would’ve been nice to be agented.

Here’s some interesting stuff from the final letter, things to think about…

Further, all of the children have a distinctly mature, adult-like voice that I can’t see young readers going for. The editors are looking for a young, authentic voice, where the children, whether they are 10 years old or teenagers sound like real 10 year-olds or teenagers that the reader can relate to. This stiff, formal way of speaking distances the reader from the characters.

What I could see future revisions looking at is making sure all the kids besides Errol and Stephan speak more naturally. I thought I had made an effort along those lines, but apparently not enough. I’m not sure if I want to make those revisions. I think it would be a very different piece, and I like this piece.

I didn’t really start to get interested until the children go off to boarding school. That long first section when Stephan and Errol are at home still struck me as too long and not particularly engaging.

Food for thought. Again, maybe the first section is more for me than the reader, and maybe that could be a problem.

I liked the scene with Esme’s trial very much–it was compelling and thrilling–but nothing else I read drew me in that way.

At least we succeeded in some way!


The book still has a partial out to Agent B, who is reputed to be very slow, so no news is good news here. I still have queries out to five agents, and will send out another 5 this week. I’m not giving up, but the book may well have too much strange tone to be the book that gets me agented. Well, it will be or it won’t be. And we move on to other projects to take another stab.


It’s all part of the journey. It’s all good. I mean, if I have a movie deal in the wings, I find myself wondering if I can get an agent then? 🙂

So, focus. I have projects to be working on in sewing and academia, and I have two published pieces to work on this year for which I will be paid. If one of them has a film deal attached, then maybe someone will be interested.

And the next book will go around too. And there’s always the slush pile for Substance, or later, when I am in demand. Perhaps.

Okay. Teachity-teach today. Still positive. Go, me.


A Variety of Writerly Announcements

Thanks, Jools, for the Publisher’s Weekly with the children books features.

Rejections from Robin Rue of Writers House and Jennifer Jackson of Donald Maas.

Sonya mentioned casually at dinner Friday night that Jim Henson is interested in looking at Cats Curious’s Faery Tale project. That’s good news for Jim Hines. AND also Hulk Hercules. That’s good news for me. Yes, count ’em. Two companies interested. (Soap bubble! Remember, soap bubble!)

Bob and Sonya, if it’s a snow day, I’ll send you both feedback tomorrow, as well as send out this week’s queries. If it’s not, it’ll be Wednesday.

Believe it or not, I actually taught my last make up class tonight. 🙂


Sending Queries Out into the Cold, Cold World

Today’s doing them at home while I’m snowed up queries:

Joy Harris from Joy Harris
Steven Axelrod from Axelrod
Moira Sullivan from Maria Caivainis

That’s the end of the AAR member prefer snail mail queries for whom I don’t have duplicates out for agents at their agency (which means as I get some rejections, I’ll be sending out a few more of these!)

and a new email query:
Jamie Weiss Chilton of Andrea Brown (which essentially means all of Andrea Brown)

That’s it until next week.


Query to…

…Colleen Lindsay of Fine Print Lit. Mark pointed out a new agent, and I couldn’t add her to my Query Tracker list, so I wanted to send something out before I lost track of it.


ps also bumping the revision of Mistoreth’s Eyes until later. The venues I haven’t tried for a story its size are few. So, we’ll lay low for a while and see what opportunities present themselves.