Thursday, February 25, 2010

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and That Agent in England.

Well, folks, I finally got a response from my agent. It seems that everything we've heard about the economic downturn and the publishing industry, particularly as it pertains to Britain, is true. They just don't want to handle new and unknown writers. The UK is struggling more than most, right now, so I'm going to back off a bit with Hafan Deg. I need a break from it, anyway. I've terminated the arrangement with the agent. In sixty days, under the terms of their contract, I could conceivably sign another agent. Doesn't that sound easy? Like finding a lawyer or an accountant? Hmm, that one sounds nice. I think I'll hire her as my agent...

In the meantime, I have begun the query process for Strachan's Attic, which wasn't under contract. It felt so amazing to send off the letter and the first one hundred  (Yikes!) 25 pages.  I realize now that I quite enjoy the process. It's exciting, at least at first. (We get a little jaded later, to put it mildly, when the rejections start arriving.)

But that process is the thing. Arrival is always as Gertrude Stein quipped, and I paraphrase, "The trouble is that when you get there, there isn't any there there."  We've been told all our lives that it's the journey that counts. It's true, but we don't listen. The thing that gives me such huge pleasure is the anticipation of things possible. My books in bookshops, and people dealing with me as a published writer - all of that will likely prove quite mundane and ordinary, if it ever happens. It's the excitement of the chase, the thrill of the departure, the joy of the now - that's what's important. In a way, we would probably all be much happier (and psychologists do say this) if we never arrive at our goals. It's all a bit like Tantric sex, really.

So today, along with a tiny bit of sadness, I am feeling relief. I no longer have to stress over what's happening with Hafan Deg. She's coming home to Momma for a while, until we can find a new home for her, and Strachan's Attic will be doing the rounds while I'm finishing Summer Must End.



Roz Morris of Dirty White Candy is offering an e-book in PDF format, "Nail Your Novel" which I think could prove helpful to you. It's free to download, and I'm not going to apologize for taking advantage of a technology that augments conventional publishing. This is a great book, available for purchase as a hard copy as well, in case you prefer that.
 
"Nail Your Novel is a writing buddy in a book. It holds the reader’s hand every step of the way, from the blank sheet of paper to the finished manuscript. And at less than 100 pages it's half the size of most writing books - for the reader who wants effective writing advice without the waffle."
 
Take care, everyone. Enjoy the adventure.

7 comments:

Melissa Marsh said...

It's rather like a fresh beginning, isn't it? I am happy for you, that you've decided to make the decision and move forward. Onward!

kate said...

That's so disappointing! But I like your attitude and the fact that you're looking forward to having your book come home. Good luck with the new search, sounds like you're already having fun! :)

Heather Wardell said...

I'm sorry that the agent didn't work out, but glad for you that a) Hafan Deg is back with you and b) Strachan's Attic is on its way into the world!

My newest one is going out on the weekend... perhaps they will encounter each other in an agent's inbox. :)

Jennifer M. Donahue said...

Best of luck to you in the search for a new agent. You have such a nice perspective on the process, and it is a wonderful reminder to enjoy that journey. The end point is irrelevant, it is how you handle yourself in the hunt of it. Optimism is a blessed thing in this environment. Thank you for the reminder.

Thanks for the link to the e-book. I will check that out.

Heather Wardell said...

Pardon my repeat comment, but... if you haven't already, you should find out where the agency sent Hafan Deg. If you do decide to find it another agent, it'd be helpful to be able to tell them which publishers have already seen it.

Jennifer Major said...

Good luck, Fran. Sometimes a new beginning can get you going. You're so right about the journey. It is hard to enjoy while it's happening. I really try to enjoy the little things like the waiting for rejections. ha!

Fran said...

Thanks to all of you for being my little cheerleading squad. "Enjoy the little things like the waiting for rejections"? You're right about that, Jennifer. I think we come alive a bit when our work is OUT THERE, when all things are possible. And our heart beats a bit faster when a reply comes, but we haven't opened it yet. Maybe THIS time, we think...