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I have Six Pence None The Richer stuck in my head. Their cover of “There She Goes” specifically. It’s a pretty good run down of what querying for a literary agent is like. “There she goes, there she goes again, running through my brain…” Only the last line of the song would have to end with “my soul dies a little every day”
Dramatic enough for you? I don’t care what you think. I feel like I’m going to vomit every time I send one. It’s that same feeling you get turning in a paper that your entire grade depends on to that one professor who hates you, but you don’t know why. Only worse. Because this isn’t a paper you were assigned, you took this on as your baby. Actually  for me it’s more than my baby, because my child was as an accident (sorry sweetie, mommy loves you), but I planned my book.
I sent my first query of 2013 today and the second I clicked that send button a small mountain of panic rumbled it’s heartburning, adrenaline rushing, neon-orange head of lava deep inside my chest.  It’s been about 48 hours and my heart still goes tachycardic thinking about it. Peppermint tea isn’t really cutting into the stress they way I’d hope. This marks a two-year publishing mark for me. It’s not always like that, I use to get really excited. I’m expecting at some point in the future to feel really excited about querying again too. This is just where I am now after trying for two years to find an agent. Year 1 was a growing experience because it took nine months to realize that the manuscript sucked. There are a lot of elements, scenes and chapters even in the last half of the book that are fantastic and I’m proud of them. The book as a whole? Terrible. Really terrible. One day I will re-write the whole thing.

The last 15 months now have been spent on a vampire series I’ve been writing for 3 years. It started as a NaNoWriMo project and got stored away just as a “just for me” project. But then the next year I had really great ideas for a sequel, and at the end of NaNoWriMo 2011 I already knew I’d be working on book three in 2012, which I did. So far no agents have wanted it. I’ll admit I could be sending it out more, I hit up 7 agencies last year, which to some may seem like a lot, I don’t know. To most it may look like pathetically little. I just don’t know. I know that to date I’ve never put more into the character development, research of my subject and location, or voice of my writing. It may be that a year from now I realize that these too, are terrible. That may be hard to deal with, but I once thought that my 1st manuscript was also the crowning glory of my head full of stories. That last bit really says it all though. I have a head full of stories, so who am I to judge my work when it’s still the tip of the iceberg and I may of no fault of my own somehow still be 8 books away from The One?

Well, I guess that’s my version of a pep talk.

Anyone with experience have advise they would like to share? What did querying feel like for you?

 

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Oh, and I asked my author friend. She said she sent out over 400 queries before an agent said yes to her. 400! Oh Sweet Jesus, I hope I don’t have to send out that many.

    Her name is Jess Lourey, and she talks about writing a lot on Facebook. She’s wonderful and very helpful.

  2. OH, you’re so brave. I’ve only been sending out my children’s book so far. I’ve gotten it to 11 or 12 publishers now. I’m waiting to hear back from 6ish of those. From what I hear about children’s publishing, I need to submit it to about… 90 more. Blah.

    I asked a published writer friend of mine how many times she had to query and agent before she got hers. I only remember that it was terribly high. I’ll let you know when she gets back to me.

    I read the first of your vampire books and was so impressed with your writing and your way of story telling. Everything was so clear and smooth. Not choppy like my stuff. Keep at it and I couldn’t imagine you NOT getting published. It was really good.

    I’ve been following Sarah J Maas who wrote Throne of Glass. Great book. Read it. She started her book when she was 16 and it took her 8 or 10 years to get it sold to a publisher. She has two videos on YouTube you should watch. They’re both like 4 minutes long. She gets really dorky in them, but I love her:

    and

    Keep at it, BJ! We’ll get there one day!

    • My first manuscript I started when I was 15 too, the first half. The second half was finished in college. One day I’ll go back to it. hehe. Thanks for your encouragement!


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