Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Reflection on the Query Process

I received a rejection for Hafan Deg yesterday, from a New York Agent. Here it is - succinct and concise - "Sorry, tough to sell here, in my view." Well, I think she said it all with that 'here'. Considering the amount of interest I did receive, I think I wasted my time with all those New York queries and should have approached Britain in the first place.

For your interest, I've now received 15 rejections, 13 haven't responded after 90 days, 1 offer of representation, 1 request for the full manuscript received after the offer, and there are still 3 pending, for a total of 33 queries since February 16. I suppose I could email the pending ones and tell them I have an agent now, but that would defeat the purpose of keeping a statistics summary. Of the ones who never got back to me, 2 were the only online form submissions, and 9 accepted one page queries only. They were also my earliest queries, and I improved as the weeks went by, became more confident, less tremulous in my approach. I hope all of this makes you feel a bit better about your own query experiences, if you're there yet.

Thankfully, Strachan's Attic is now safely with my agent, too, and perhaps I'll get a verdict on it before I take my vacation. I am now in a strange no-man's land of wandering my apartment finding odd things to do, little tasks that get put on the back burner during my normal day. It's the summer of course, making my brain slow down, and allowing me to appreciate this short, short time of easy strolls, and outdoor meals. Not that our summer has been so great; it's more reminiscent of an English summer the way things used to be over there, before their weather patterns changed.

Speaking of vacations, I think my cats know I'm leaving soon. They are strangely quiet and contemplative around me. I believe they sense my plans, somehow, even though I've only pulled my rolling bag out once, to clean the wheels. My friend up the street will come in twice a day to tend to them over the two weeks, and to sit with them and have a chat. Not that Jeevesie will come out from under the bed while he's here, although it's possible. It will be an opportunity to teach him that I'm not the only one in the world who cares about him. Perhaps by the time I'm back, Jeeves will be sitting on Larry's lap. I do hope that happens. I have huge guilt about this, you understand. But a cattery would be worse.

Have a quiet, easy weekend. It's that kind of sticky weather here where nothing too physical gets done, and that's fine.

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Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky