Monday, January 5, 2009

Would you like my autograph now?

So, about three years ago, I wrote a novel.

Yes, doesn't that sound impressive? Well, I was impressed too, until I tried to get someone (anyone, frankly) to publish said novel.

I wrote roughly 5,643 query letters to literary agents.

I received roughly 5,640 rejection letters. (Some were rude and decided I wasn't worth the stamp, apparently.)

Now, although the letters were ALL rejection letters, they were only rejecting my query letter, as I had yet to have any of said agents actually want to READ my book. It still hurt my little blonde feelings. I mean, how good could my NOVEL be if my QUERY LETTER stunk that badly?? I was depressed.

So, I stopped sending the letters. Seemed like a big fat waste of time, I don't need all that rejection, and I have not sent a query letter for oh, say, a year. Then last week, I started thinking about it again, and how much I don't want to be a substitute teacher forever, but how much I want to still have time to be with Chase when he isn't in school and go on field trips, etc. Really, any other job (including teacher) will keep me from being able to be as involved in his life as I have always been.

I started to think of my options.

1. Win the lottery. Problem with this one is that you have to actually PLAY the lottery, which to me has always seemed a lot like flushing dollar bills down the toilet.

2. I live in Vegas - put it all on black and let it ride! For the problem with this one, see #1. Flush.

3. Knock off my parents and live on the gigantic inheritance I am sure to receive. Problem with this one is that I actually LIKE my parents, and there's that whole pesky murder rap/life in prison thing to contend with. I don't look good in horizontal stripes, so that's out.

4. Hey, dummy, you wrote a perfectly good book and it is just sitting upstairs gathering dust. Why not dust it off and shop it around again? Then, after my multi-million dollar advance and 5-book sequel deal from Doubleday, all my problems would be solved.

So, I googled awhile, found a literary agent that I hadn't bothered before and sent off a hilarious, informative, thoughtful and utterly-delightful query letter. Two days later, I got a response. THEY WANT TO READ MY MANUSCRIPT!!!!!

Say what?

So, I sent it to them, and they promise a one-week turnaround. They will email me this week and either say "What bank account would you like the million dollar advance deposited in?" or "Thanks, but your manuscript is kaka, we hate you have blocked your email address and think you should not even write shopping lists in the future, you are so untalented." Well, that's how I am going to interpret it, anyway. In truth, even if they love the manuscript, there are several more hurdles to jump before I can consider myself a published author, but this is the first step, and I am excited...and nervous.

So, say a prayer, keep your fingers crossed, knock on wood, rub your lucky rabbit's foot, throw salt over your shoulder or whatever you do for luck and think of me. I'll update you later in the week!


S.I.L. said...

Susie! Congratulations! That's wonderful news! I hope this works out for you. Will you tell us a little about your book?

Empress Zuni (EM) said...

Wow! Edward and I are impressed. We have even read the book and think that it is destined for greatness. We'll buy some copies for Christmas presents next year. Remind us not to put one in your stocking.

STQ said...

SIL - it's a young adult novel about kids who are at a special camp for kids of divorced families. There are 4 kid characters who talk through their journals and 2 adult counselors who talk through regular prose, providing background and info on the kids. I dunno how great it is, but I've certainly read worse!!! :) And Empress, I think your initials are really EZ which makes me wonder about your morality...careful with Edward. He's just a young pup and you know you are old enough to be his mother. :)

S.I.L. said...

Any way I can get a look at it? Sounds interesting. That Empress sure does sound like your mom.

EM said...

As far as the Empress is concerned, I can only tell you this: She is old enough to be STQ's mother. That's all I can say.

EM is short for Empress, by the way.

Vegetable House said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vegetable House said...

STQ--I am impressed that you took that risk again after being turned down so many times. They say that brilliance and perseverance are necessary for greatness. :)

Miz C (and Burton) said...

I'm doing "all of the above" to send all luck possible your way. You write beautifully, and I'm sure you will find the right pathway to get that recognized. (Just have them call me and I'll tell them how entertaining your writing is!!!)