Monday, May 2, 2011

Double Reject

Last week I got an e-mail from an agent.   I'm used to getting rejection letters, but this time I received a request!

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So, even though I keep telling myself that self-publishing is the thing for me, I almost died when I read her e-mail.  It read something like this:  I love your blog and would like to take a look at your non-fiction query.  Can I just say I was pretty damn excited.  I jumped on that like it was on fire and sent her the query as fast as my little fingers could.

Then, I waited.  You don't want to pester these poor agents.  Anyone knows they have more than they can handle.  Hell, they have people stalking them in the night, others who bribe them with sweet-smelling chocolates, writers like me who just hope and pray they'll call.  

Well, I got my hopes up until I started thinking; that agent's name sounded familiar.  I looked her up in my submission history and sure enough, I queried her last year.  The rejection she'd sent had been a quaint little form letter.  Something along the lines of: We're not interested.  I'm sorry to send such an impersonal letter, but remember it only takes one "yes" to go the distance.

That stumped me as I thought about it.  She'd already denied me once.  Why would she want to look at my query again?  Maybe she forgot?  Maybe she secretly likes to turn people down--twice.  Maybe she just thought I'd shown initiative by starting a blog.  Whatever the reason, I got nervous.

I danced around the house, like a had to take a leak.  I didn't want to get turned down twice.  Once was enough, but twice!  I have to admit though, it did feel nice having someone request a query from me, like my book was actually interesting. 

So, with that in mind, I checked my e-mail a couple days later and there it rested, the e-mail I'd longed to open.  My hand shook as I clicked on the message.  I gasped as time slowed to something ethereal.  I had mail--I had thee mail!  

I thought of what I'd do if I had an agent.  We'd be great friends and a great team.  I'd even buy them lunch!  Something fantastic like that expensive Indian food my friend always talks about.  Then that agent would know they'd gotten a real winner because ALL agents love Indian food! 

When you apply to be an agent, they have a questionnaire they make you fill out and on that questionnaire is one highlighted question:  Are you adverse to cilantro or curry?

I know that question is on there because I talked to a girl who didn't make it past the first round.  She wanted to be an agent as bad as I want to go to Heaven.  Too bad it wasn't meant to be; that girl doesn't like curry!

Anyway, I opened the e-mail from the woman who obviously adores curry and guess what--the first word said "sorry."

Sorry, but your manuscript isn't a good fit for me at this time.        

But the funny thing is that I'm not sad.  This is a huge triumph.  I got three e-mails from the same agent--one more than I've ever received before.  One was a form rejection, one was a request and one was a PERSONAL REJECTION!  I got a type A (never leave personal rejections) agent to leave a personal rejection.  Plus, I thought it was awesome that an agent read my blog.

So, I have a smile on my face.  Yes, I got rejected, but it's never felt quite so good.