The big news is: I got my first rejection letter.
This is important for a number of reasons. First, it’s important because a rejection letter means that I actually sent a query letter to a living, breathing human being. This is a huge step for me, as I’ve spent months and months tweaking and staring at my query letter, ‘preparing’ to send it, and never doing so. So, while I really wanted to kind of run away and consider a career in being the crazy person who sits along the banks of the Charles River and talks to herself, I also kind of felt like, “You go, query-sending rejected girl.”
Second of all, this is the first of many query letter rejections that will go into my Lady Gaga-esque rejection letter dress, which I’m planning to wear to accept my first book award some day. I think it’s really essential to accumulate a decent amount of rejection letters early on, since I am a rather tall girl and would prefer a floor-length rejection letter dress in order to look particularly sweeping and lovely.
Finally, a rejection letter is like a gentle reminder to Query More Agents. No one gets accepted on the first query (and if you have, you should know that I, and every other aspiring author in the world, hate you). So now that the joy and terror of the first query letter is out of the way, it is time to move on to the next dozen.
Latest in my list of Query Terrors is the realization that the humor that is plentiful in my book is absent from my letter. Sure, your query letter is a thing of business, so you shouldn’t be tossing in jokes and taking it un-seriously. But the more I read through it, the more I wonder if there isn’t some way to sneak in a subliminal note to the agent:
I know that my query letter explains to you that my book is full of supernatural elements and features Death as a major player, but I want you to know that really, at the heart of all things, my book is funny. I assure you that, betwixt threats of impending doom and serious teenage relationship drama, there are jokes about polyester pants and cute hockey players.
All My Love and Dreams,
I realized this today, whilst querying an agent who is interested in humorous narratives. I found myself typing something along the lines of, “I chose you because you appreciate humorous voices” while realizing that, until she reads the first chapter, and not just the query (which she hasn’t requested, for the record, and therefore would not read unless she gets past this letter), she will not know whatever the fuck I am talking about.
It’s hard out there for a query-er.
Regardless, with all of that in mind, I’ve been working on continuing to query all sorts of agents who will probably never want my book, in the hopes of meeting that One True Agent who will love me unconditionally, and ever-so-slightly more than she loves my book. I’m going to attempt to figure out how to hint at the fact that my book about Death is not heavy-handed, and in fact, if watching my husband read is accurate, actually includes some laugh-out-loud moments. And mostly, I’m just going to be relentless.
Love me, world. Please.