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!


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.


  1. Tell you what, if I were rich I would be an agent and publish my authors myself. I have an eye for talent and you have it! We could go out for Indian food on my private jet, sound like fun?

  2. Hang in there...I read your blog and laugh and listen to your music (wish it was on itunes so I could pay you for it), but, someday when you become rich and famous and I am sitting in the old people's home I will be watching you on Oprah and saying to all the the rest of the walker crowd "this woman made me laugh for free once" :-)

  3. Elisa will make it some day. She's too "crazy" to give up, and too talented to go unnoticed.

  4. :( I'm sorry Elisa. At least she reads your blog. Maybe she's the Anonymous commenter from your post about receding hair know, the unamused one!?

  5. Elisa one day you are going to be famous! There is no doubt in my mind. People throwing you rejection letters are gonna be kicking themselves in the pants soon enough. I agree with all of the above comments. In my book you're already a champ!

  6. Elisabeth, you have exactly the right attitude. We've all had "noes" along the way, and those who succeed are the ones who just keep right on trying. Take heart, as you have done, and the advice given before is absolutely right: it only takes one "yes" to go the distance. Go for it!

  7. The one thing I know about my friend is that she is stubborn and determined to do her best. She'll get 'er done and when she does, she'll help the rest of us do the same! ;)

  8. You have a wonderful blog and your writing is great! Just keep on, keeping on! :)

    Have a wonderful day Elisa!

    XO Shar!

  9. Thanks for following my blog. I'm sorry the agent decided not to publish your writing! Her loss, I'm sure!
    I'm following now!

  10. I love that your not willing to give up and you are smiling anyways...that is what makes you a winner and that is why you will make it one day, in fact, you already have :)

  11. There are few things in this world anyone can be certain of, but THIS I know! You are going to be published and when you do I will be first in line to buy it!

    C.J x