Monday, August 2, 2010

Taking the plunge...

...deep breath, close your eyes, curl your toes... JUMP!

Every time I realize how close I am to sending out queries for my children's series, I feel like I'm at the edge of a 50-foot diving board, ready to jump, being watched by millions - and I forgot to put on my bathing suit.

I am so proud of my work, and a little bit defensive of it... my characters this time around are inspired by my children and I'm worried that I might not take their rejection very well.

I keep fluctuating between wanting the whole world to read these stories because they're magical and interesting and fun, and not wanting anyone to read them because they are delicate and personal and real.

Nobody told me that this point in the process, when the story is finally written properly, would be as full of conflicting emotion as the writing itself!

So I'll try not to do what I did as a child in my first (and only) diving class...I'll try to actually make that first jump and not stumble back down the ladder and into the dressing room without making eye contact with anyone.

And.... JUMP!


  1. That's very exciting Heather. It's great when you've done the writing and then the zillions of revisions and you're ready to submit. But it's also terrifying.

    You will be rejected, and probably dozens of times. Not because you're a bad writer, or because your story isn't good, but just because.

    Good luck with everything.

  2. Try to remember that to the agents and to the publishers it is not personal.

    It's a job interview.

    They are looking for specific qualities you bring to the table. You may be rejected because :
    1) They already accepted a novel similar to yours.
    2) Their slots are full.
    3) The agent may have already sold a novel like yours, and she will have nowhere to go to sell yours.
    4) The agent/publisher has become burned out by the genre you write -- although it is still listed in her interests.
    5)Your query was not short enough, long enough, presented too much bio, presented too little bio. (agents all have different takes on what makes a good query -- hint : be professional, hit the agent with a short hook at the start, be brief yet clear, and let the agent know the genre, length, and title in your subject header.)

    Hope this helps. Others find agents. You can, too. It truly is like looking for a job. It can be done, and you will do it, as well. Roland

    And, no, I haven't as yet. But anyone can quit. But you are not just anyone, are you?

  3. Hi Heather.

    Wow, I can imagine that having characters inspired by your children can make it doubly challenging. Good luck with dealing with that and with the querying process.

    The best advice I've ever heard is just to keep writing on something while you're waiting to hear back.