literary agent

Top Twenty

Top Twenty

I've written before about how writers, even the great ones, suffer from "corrosive self-doubt," a term coined by the great James Lee Burke.

I do bite my thumb at Thee, sir.

As some of you may have noticed, I am a writer of self-admitted minimal success and enormous failures, but I still write. I think psychologists call that "self-injurious behavior." So be it.

Today's "Writing Wednesdays" blog is about a weird kind of retribution for all the rejections I've suffered from agents. When I research a literary agency, I review what each agent is interested in before deciding whether or not I should contact them. I wouldn't send a murder mystery to an agent who only handles historical non-fiction, for example. This is a standard process.

Now, I do the rejections, dumping agents that aren't appropriate for my work. "Take that!" I shout at the computer screen when I reject an agent. "How do you like that, you arrogant, elitist, literary snob!" Of course, they don't know I've rejected them; whereas, when they reject me I get it in writing or, even worse, silence.

This approach is recent, and I know it may fall short just a tad from reality. But therapy can take on many faces. I find comfort in it, but I suspect it is only temporary. Stay tuned for next week's "Writing Wednesdays" blog.

Writing Wednesday

I plan to dedicate a blog about writing on Wednesdays from now on, as much as possible. If you've been following curlylarryandme, you know that I'm a writer with some success and lots of failures. I have written more about rejections than anything else, because I'm an expert on being rejected, as is nearly every other writer regardless of publishing credits, or not.

Usually, when I query a literary agent I think would be a good match for me, they explain on their website, that they are busybusybusy people, and a bit self-important, too. Most of them have a tone of condescension, too. They say they receive 5,342 queries every day of their busybusybusy lives, and because of their level of busy-ness, they may not be able to tell you that you stink for a month or two. Or not at all. The "or not at all" attitudes are especially annoying. In other words, they are so busybusybusy they don't have time for good manners, common decency, or simple professionalism. 

So, when I sent off a query letter and a few sample pages to an agent who seemed to be a good match, I was a bit surprised to receive a polite, professional, and kind rejection email in, get this, 18 HOURS! Was my letter so terrible that the poor woman threw up and hit the REJECT AUTOMATIC REPLY that fast? I could not believe it. A first in decades of rejection letters. 18 HOURS!

When I told my astute Book Concierge, Rowe Carenen, she said not to worry, that the busybusybusy agent's "In Box" was probably full, triggering the response, and she probably never even saw the query letter and sample pages. That made sense. I tried again with another agent at the agency. That was a little over two weeks ago. No rejection. Yet. Maybe she's reading what I wrote. Maybe she'll be impressed. Maybe she won't. Might be too busybusybusy. I'll let you know when, and if, I hear from her.

In the meantime, keep writing!