Going to take a moment to talk about the R word. If you have ever submitted anything for publication and you’re not Steven King you can probably relate.
I attended a Thriller/Mystery writers’ conference this year, Killer Nashville. While I was there I had some great one-on-one time with agents, editors, and other writers. There was one agent that I really clicked with, and after pitching her she was pretty excited about the Liberty series.
I went through all the polish to query her, and with more confidence than usual I sent For Liberty… off for her consideration.
I got back the nicest rejection I have ever gotten. Keep in mind when I wrote my first novel back in college I queried A LOT. So this is by no means my first time getting shot down, but this one was different. This was an agent I know, and someone that I know was interested in the project.
So what went wrong?
The short answer is I pitched the wrong agent. I pitched something out of the agent’s genre interest, and I pitched something a little off-beat. Nothing wrong with any of that, but It’s like asking her to take a chance three times over. Take a chance on a new author with no proven history. Take a chance on representing something in a genre you don’t work in, and to top it all off it’s off-beat so some people will love it and some will hate it.
What did I learn from this?
I learned there is no such thing as a sure-thing in writing. If there was everyone who wants to be a writer would simply use that formula and get their book out there. Writing is deeply personal, and not ever story connect with every reader. PITCH THE RIGHT AGENT THE RIGHT WAY.
There was a solid 24 hour pity-party at the DeManche house, and then I dusted myself off and sat down and went back to work. I wrote. I wanted to let myself be expressive and not weighed down by the recent failure. I wrote the pitch, prologue, and first chapter of a new project, and then I took a break.
For Liberty… is about to go through a whole round of queries, and it’s going to find a home in time. In the mean time, I’m a writer, and I will write. I don’t do it to sell books I do it to give these stories a home and a voice.