It's the end of another month, and that means it's time to fire off some more queries for Parallel Lives.
When I sent out my first batch of queries in April, I admit that I sent one to an agent who was:
- Notoriously fast
- Known to always responds
- Unlikely to represent me
It's important to note that I was not wasting her time. She represents my genre, and I would have been happy to have her as an agent if things had broken that way. But she works with a small, exclusive list, primarily of previously-published authors. While she takes on new clients, she doesn't take many. I figured it was a win-win: if she really liked it, great; if not, there's my baptism by fire. I thought it was important to experience rejection early, start hardening the proverbial skin. Five hours later, I had my first rejection, and that was good. It didn't really hurt, not at all.
Tougher was the rejection I got on Mother. Write. (Repeat.). Tougher, because it was public; tougher, because I got to see what the agent thought about it. Which is to say, not much. It hurt much more than a 'Dear author, thanks for you submission, but I'm not going to represent you, good luck', but it was also instructive, and got me on the query revision bandwagon.
Tougher than that, though, was what came in two weeks ago: my first rejection on a full. It came with a nice note, a very pleasant note, but it was obviously not what I wanted to see. This was one of the top agents on my list, someone I thought (and still think) I'd love to work with. The note was nice, but it wasn't a 'consider fixing this, this, and this, send it back, and we'll see.'
My reaction wasn't quite what I expected. I thought it would be a gut punch, like the time I got a call at work informing me that a close friend had been killed in a car accident. That was a gut punch moment, a 'you'd better sit down' moment, the sort of thing you read about in books but hopefully never have to experience. This rejection hurt, yes, it was a disappointment, but it was not a gut punch. I put a pretty good face on it, and moved on, but I think it may have worked its way into my brain and manifested itself in some of my negativity over the last two weeks of posting here.
So, there's still a full out there, with a fantastic agent, which will hit the three-month mark on Wednesday. There are still seven unanswered queries hanging around agent inboxes, and in the next few days they will be joined by another batch. One of them will hit the right person at the right time. As Bob Dylan said, "the only thing I knew how to do was to keep on keeping on like a bird that flew".
Enjoy the week. And thanks, Nancy, for the awards! I'll really think about doing them, really!