In The Writer's World

Just after the first of the year my professional relationship with Irene Kraas Literary Agency ended. I agreed to limited representation. She did what she had agreed to do. Naively, perhaps, I sat back and waited to see what would happen. I expected a miracle. Nothing happened. End of story.

Then I had to sit around and feel sorry for myself for a while. I mean I’m human. This is a rough business. People’s feelings get hurt.

Next, I decided I’d buck up (for what seems like the billionth time) and get going and do some real querying. For people who know nothing about this process, sending out five or six, or even a dozen query letters is not real querying.

Sending out 50 query letters, all the while refining and revising said letter and whatever part of the novel I am sending with the query (some agencies just want a letter; some request a first chapter as well–or 20 pages, or 50 pages), is real querying. All of this takes time and more time.

Since mid-April I’ve sent out 34 queries. My near-term goal is 50, but it ultimately will be more than 50. perhaps a lot more.

Every time I get a rejection, I take it personally. This is my baby these cold-hearted, anonymous people are rejecting. (Ask anyone who has written a book and if she is female she will tell you it’s exactly like having a baby, only for those of us who are as-yet unpublished, it’s like being terminally pregnant!)

I withdraw and beat myself up and act like a drama queen for a bit, and then I send off an email to a writing buddy or two and drag them into it. My writing pal Toni, who has sent out way more queries than I and had far more interaction with agents, tells me to just keep going. She’s written three very good novels. She’s sending out queries for all of them all the time. When it comes to querying, she is a poster child. And sas come so close to finding representation that sometimes I ache for her.

 “It’s a numbers game,” she says. And I know she is right.

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