Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Query Letters Off and Running

It is done.

Earlier today, 1:40 am to be exact, I hit the dreaded "send" button hurling my very first query letter for my novel, The Child Clare, out into the cyber world.

Preparing that query letter was more nerve shattering than preparing for the birth of my first child, which is sadly no comparison at all because at 21 all I could think about was getting the poor dear out. Preparing for anything back in those pre-dawn ages was not in my skillset.

While on the other hand I obsessed about my query letter for weeks. First I had to find the perfect first agent to contact. Then the letter had to be perfect. The delivery...via email as the agent requested, perfect as well. Even though the response itself may not be so perfect, as rejections for this particular agent average more than 100 each week, I felt true excitement as I hit that keyboard firmly with my index finger. Later today I will select the other four agents who will also get a query letter.

But it's funny. After all the work, all the removals of all the commas followed by the reinsertion of all the commas, followed by the checking and rechecking of the agents name, not to mention the hours spent deciding on my genre (is it women's fiction? women's contemporary fiction? women's hysterical fiction?) I expect a rejection.

 I am OK with that.

 You see, I am new at this and have not yet paid all my dues. I have few scars which means no scar tissue and without scar tissue I have no means of protecting my delicate self.

So fine. Hit me. Send me the rejection and maybe even a tidbit or two about what might be needed and I will be happy. Please readers, don't give me the whole "you have to be positive" malarkey. I am positive. Positive that the likelihood of my first query letter for my first novel will result in my first rejection.

The way I see it, each rejection is a brick on which to build this new foundation for the second (or is it third?) career I have initiated. With additional query letters followed by additional revisions to my novel, followed by additional query letters for that book as well as others I have already started...I am building a new life.

A writing life.


  1. Not too long ago I did an internet search for famous authors who had received rejection letters. It was amazing to see who has! Interestingly, the ones who have been successful all had a similar attitude as you. They didn't let it drag them down, they took it in stride and pressed on. It's just finding an agent with the same vision as you, isn't it?

    1. Leigh, it also helps to be beyond middle age where we have learned that hard work is the key to success. And more hard work. And even more hard work.

    2. Agreed. At some point we should be old enough to not care what others think. I just haven't figured out exactly where that point is yet.

  2. I know the feeling - a bookshop owner has described my book as a social history, a satire and rural humour! Now to find a genre that encompasses all 3 of those!

    1. Obviously it falls within that new genre title called "Social Satire of The Funny Farm"