Bad Query Day

on September 22, 2014 in Misc

Well, that was embarrassing.

I pay my bills.  I pay all of them on time or early.  Really I do.  But my pal Alfonso who maintains the tech part of my blog was out of town and didn’t see the notice that the payment for keeping my blog up was due and you saw the result.  But he’s back home now and I’m back.

So now I can go ahead and tell you that last week was pretty rotten for me because…

That agent turned down my book.

reject letter

What a blow.  And after several months of waiting and that mix-up.  I mean, she read Charity MacCay and so did a second reader at her agency.  And then in a sweet email she praised my book and especially the lead character—and I mean she gushed about Charity’s story.  But in the end she felt sure that I would find another agent who could better represent it.

Crap. Crap crap crap.

I mean, I do realize that my novel blurs a couple genre borders, which can make some people in the business nervous.  And I don’t think that particular agent deals with humorous books or knows editors who do.  Charity is definitely a funny, irreverent book about America circa the Gilded Age.


Sigh.  And crap.

But on the bright side, for once I didn’t wallow in self-pity or grief.  Instead I turned off my emotions and got business-like and spent my lunch hour sending out four more queries.

And that’s when an agent emailed me back and asked to see my complete manuscript for Charity!

That was the fastest request from an agent ever for me, and oh, how it made me feel better!  Then in the next couple days I got out still a couple more queries.  And this week I’ll get out more.

I hope all of you had a better week than I did, complete with books sales and agents and editors clamoring for your stories.  Got some good personal news for me?  I’d love to hear it.

8 Responses to “Bad Query Day”

  1. Heck with the rejection then! You got a full request and that’s awesome.
    Sorry your blog was down for a while.

  2. Now you are officially a writer! Good for you. And kudos on one asking for the full right away. Good sign :)

  3. Helena says:

    Alex – Let’s just hope this second request works out.

  4. Helena says:

    Carol – Thanks, and congratulations on your Secrets of Honor! It’s so exciting you have a new book out.

  5. If you had any kind of fame, that book would be onto the presses right now. The reason that agent didn’t pick up your book is because she didn’t want to do the work to get an uncertain paycheck. It was a business decision and the agent wants profit. That’s how our system works. But do whatever you need to do to convince yourself that in some way “Everything happens for a reason.” I for one never buy into that phrase. It actually irritates me. In a world where there is so much competition for book sales, only so many stars can rise. That’s a fact.

  6. Helena says:

    Mike – Thank you, darling, for your faith in me. I don’t believe in that phrase either, but I have to believe that in a lot of things we make our own fate. So one way or the other (traditional or indie), Charity will get into print. And you’re right about fame, which means that if I want Charity out there and selling, I gotta get famous. Got any ideas?

  7. That’s how you do it, Helena — way to go! Get those queries out there. Where there’s one agent who likes your work, there will be many others. And all you need is one, right?

  8. Helena says:

    Milo – You really have inspired me with the way you’re so smart about hanging in there and submitting and resubmitting your work until it’s picked up. If I ever grow up as a writer I want to be like you.