Saturday, 31 May 2014

End of May Update...

So, one month after my first submission, the rejections are rolling in thick and fast.

Oh, the glory of failure!

Last night (7pm on a Friday, I mean come on! Give me a break!), I heard back from the very first agent I sent to. Another no, of course. I know I said I was realistic about my prospects, but I couldn't help feeling pretty down about being rejected. It was my very first go-to after all. Cue self-pitying sulk and a large glass of wine.

The trouble with submissions - and the inevitable rejections that come with them - is that you go in totally blind. Most of the responses you get are form letters, typed up years ago to send to every 'No thank you' submission. Without feedback, it's hard to understand why your writing is being rejected.

Are my characters flawed? 
Did I write the cover letter wrong?
Was my synopsis lacking?
Is my writing just terrible?

Of course, agencies are overwhelmed. They don't have time to give critique on every submission. But it's still pretty rough to be on the receiving end, with no hints to help you improve.

All I can do right now is keep trying. But I can't help but wonder if I ought to change something. (Re-write? Edit? Start again? Something!) Ultimately, I am SO proud of 'Grey Sister' and I love the story and the characters as they first appeared. But I realise it isn't perfect and that knowledge gives the rejections room to itch.

 As well as submissions, I've also started writing Book Two in the 'Ellorah' series. It's lovely to be back at the beginning again, planning new plots and creating new characters. I can't wait to explore Thea's story more. 

I hope I have some better news next month...

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Rejection #2

Date Submitted: 3rd May 2014

Date of Rejection: 24th May 2014

Response Time: 15 working days (3 weeks)

Rejection Type: Form, no further request.


I was better prepared for the rejection note this time and I wasn't so upset as I was with #1. This agency was one of the less specific ones I've chosen and I approached them more for their wider experiences than because they are known to produce a lot of fantasy titles. 

The form letter was a little softer than the first and - though, of course, I know it IS just a standard response - it left me feeling a little more optimistic about my chances elsewhere. 

It probably took a little longer to hear back because the submission was sent through the post, rather than email.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Rejection #1

Date submitted: 30th April 2014

Date of Rejection: 9th May 2014

Response Time: 8 working days

Rejection Type: Form, no further request.


My very first rejection. Hurray and Huzzah! I'm part of the big leagues now.

I was more shaken by my first rejection than I thought I'd be. I was so prepared to be upbeat and, though I did expect it, it was still a little unsettling to get that first knock. No tears though, which was good since I was at work when the email came!

This was a large agency, with an established rapour and a big team of staff. I chose them because they represented an author I greatly admire *ahem*, with the dream of being on the same books as a hero of mine.

Que sera sera. Onwards and upwards! Bring on the next contender!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Birthday Book Haul...

Loath though I am to jump on the internet meme train (I'm not- I've just never had the opportunity to play with the cool kids), I thought I'd have a go at a book haul. The girls at work have me a Waterstone's voucher for my birthday, which I had a brilliant time spending...

'ACID' by Emma Pass
I picked this up after finding Pass while looking for agents. Pass is actually on the books of the very first agent I submitted to (no responses yet. My butterflies have butterflies!). I read the whole thing in two days- due to enjoyment, not shortness. 'ACID' is your standard modern-day dystopian, complete with modern-day dystopian booty-kicking heroine. I loved the premise, though it was a little disappointing that one of the biggest revelations of the book was given away in the blurb... a fun book though and a nice variation from a trilogy/series.

'Fangirl' by Rainbow Rowell 
I heard about 'Fangirl' through the artist who designed the cover art, who I happen to follow on tumblr. Having been the awkward fanfiction writing teenager myself, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. Rowell's writing is so lyrical and swift and deliciously funny! It was such a pleasure to read, with real gasp-out-loud drama and tummy-warming references to nerd culture that just made my little dorky soul so happy. Probably my favourite of the haul. 

'Daughter of Smoke and Bone' by Laini Taylor 
I've had my eyes on this one for a while and I've heard lots of good things about Taylor. I always love finding a new series. Can't wait! 

'The Prisoner of Heaven' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
This was a gift from my boyfriend. It's a little different from the things I usually read (no magic, no female lead, no apparent romantic tension) so it'll be interesting to expand my horizons a little. It's all about the power of books though...

'The Wild Girl' by Kate Forsyth 
This was a spur of the moment pick-up but I loved the blurb (and the cover) so much I wanted to take a chance. The story, based on the Brothers Grimm, sounded brilliant and I'm always a sucker for a good romance! 

Happy reading to me!