Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More Response Times

Just over three weeks, and Mary Beth Chappel of Zachary Shuster Harmsworth has decided to pass on the full manuscript. Strong writing, she says, but the story's not for her. Maybe it's been told too many times. Maybe there aren't enough famous characters in it.

That's hot these days, historical fiction that re-tells the life of some famous person. No one cares about the servants' lives, or the existence of those who only watched the important person pass by. The story that agents want is not the one I tell, so it's a pass.

Someone was intrigued enough by the query to visit my website and read the excerpt posted there. But that strong writing must not have been enough to garner a request for more, because I've yet to get an e-mail from anyone I've queried in the past couple of weeks.

It wasn't Joy Harris knocking at my digital door. I sent her a query letter via snail-mail ten days ago. Her rejection letter arrived today, postmarked Friday afternoon, but my web visitor came calling well after dinner on that same day.

I've reached that hazy point between giving up and continuing. I could do the research for the next manuscript I've been plotting out. Or I could drop the whole thing and give up the stress of waiting and querying and the whole idiotic business. I could write another short story and pursue some tonier literary journals for a decent credential. Or I could abandon the lot.

I'd go read something, to take my mind off it, but my last trip to the library resulted in slim pickings. There's nothing there that piques my interest. Good thing I'm not a literary agent. I'd have starved to death by now.

No comments: