Those outside the querying trenches often mock those inside them for comparing the process of researching on-line, writing a letter and hitting “send” to the experience of sitting in a freezing hole in the ground while shells explode above your head. However, in my humble opinion, those who’d never tried to run the minefield of MSWL, died an agonizing death in no man’s land while waiting for requests, or felt the bayonet-in-the-guts pain of the full rejection have no right to express their opinion on the subject.
However, I’m not here to moan but to celebrate an extraordinary occurrence, the white whale of story writing: four days from the first word written to the story acceptance. Call it a wild fluke or karma or divine benevolence, but it was a ray of sunshine in my trench. Started the story on Friday, sold it on Monday. Admittedly, it is a very fast market and, also, I had a hunch that the story was right for them, but it’s still a miracle. What makes it even more important, on a personal level, is that the story was my reaction to the anxiety and heartbreak of the querying process.
I suppose it’s better to pour out your pain and sell it than to keep it in.
Anyways, Immortelle is coming soon. It’s dark, violent and crawling with zombies.
Let’s make this clear: The Book is not the first novel I’ve written nor it is the last, so all the drama connected with it is purely subjective. But it is my current project and it has taken me on a roller coaster ride of hope and disappointment of epic proportions (subjective, remember!).
I’ve finished the first draft of my manuscript in the summer of 2019. I’ve found some great beta readers (thanks, Scribophile) that helped me with the plot, characters and prose. I edited it and sent the first few queries in November and December. I had no luck with agents in that first round, so I went back to the manuscript, did a complete structural edit, rewrote some chapters and added new ones. I polished my query and synopsis. And started querying again.
In April, an agent saw my Twitter pitch and asked me for a full. In less than a month, I had an offer of representation. I signed the contract in May.
And then… nothing.
Global pandemic struck and I think my agent just didn’t handle it very well. There were enthusiastic emails and chats about developmental edits and line edits and submission packages, but those things never materialized. I’ve never received her editorial letter, never got any constructive feedback. My manuscript got no attention and no opportunities to get published.
I think our relationship has come to an end. And just like with any other relationship, there’s disappointment and sadness.
But the manuscript is still here, complete and polished. I just need to gather the courage to go back to querying. Wish me luck.