Sunday, May 02, 2010

The Query Process

Novel number two just went out to its first agent. The submission process, a one-sided affair where you bombard literary agents with your work and get back no response at all most of the time, or form-letter rejections if you hear back at all, is the kind of thing you need a thick skin for. To keep putting your heart out there to be judged, and getting rejection after rejection, and never give up, is a serious challenge. I’ve been down this road before, many times actually, and I’ve always quit when it got too depressing. This time, I’m resolving not to quit. With my two novels circulating the globe, visiting the in-boxes of agent after agent, I resolve to keep them afloat and in circulation until I’ve run out of agents to query.

It’s one of those life lessons that children teach you: never giving up. Anyone who’s ever tried to talk a three-year-old out of something knows what I’m talking about. Peanut can be relentless in her stubborn nature. If she wants to watch Snow White, and you want to do absolutely anything other than watch Snow White, I can tell you now, after eight hours of killing yourself distracting her with every toy, craft, and show in the house, you’re going to find yourself watching Snow White. String Bean has the exact same never-stop-asking streak, and uses it just as effectively. She’s less about needing a movie fix and more about needing objects, but her fixation on the object she’s chosen to need at any particular time is staggering. I think she asked for Bendaroos every single day for six months before her grandma broke down and bought them for her.

If I can send my book out to a different agent every day for six months, I’m sure I could find one that was a good fit. I hope my demanding little munchkins can help me stay focused on my mission, reminding me that persistence, more often than not, does eventually pay off.

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