Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let the Waiting Begin--The Sequel

Since early March when I received a rejection e-mail from the agent of my dreams for Glass Houses, nothing has happened. I've shared my memoir with several more friends and joined a local writer's group. Barring unforeseen delays, we'll discuss my book at the writer's group meeting this coming Saturday.

I really don't know what to expect. People who have finished the book tell me Glass Houses is very well written and that they thoroughly enjoyed the read. The positive feedback means the world to me.

Two-thirds of the people I shared the book with haven't said one way or the other. I have no idea if they hated it and quit reading, never had any intention of reading it, or are just busy and plan to read it later. Wondering drives me crazy.

It would be different if I'd given them a book somebody else wrote. I might even feel differently if my book was a work of fiction. Given that it's a memoir in which I bare my soul, the silence is deafening and a little frightening.

I asked the writer's group to give me a thumbs up or down on the entire manuscript. Is Glass Houses OK more or less the way it is? Or do I need to go back to the drawing board to start over again?

My own opinion varies with the day of the week and whoever I last talked with about the book. More and more, however, I'm standing behind the book as it's written. Yeah it needs some editing--but not a major rewrite.

My friend Adrienne Wilder just received a contract and an advance for her latest book. I'm thrilled for her. Since she's already read my book, I sent her the query and one-page synopsis I'd sent to the agent of my dreams. Her comments and suggestions helped tremendously.

Today I submitted my revised query, an improved one-page synopsis, and the complete manuscript to a small, gay publishing company. I researched my options and believe this company is a good fit for me. The fact that at least two editors review every submission makes me feel better about my prospects with them, too.

Even successful writers receive a lot of rejections before they find a publisher. Since the editors will have theoretically read the entire manuscript, a rejection from this publisher will sting a bit more than the one I received from the agent of my dreams. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

In the meantime, I'll listen to what the writer's group has to say. If they give me the thumbs up I'm expecting, we'll figure out how to go about improving the manuscript. Getting a thumbs down from them would be a surprise, and likely result in a lot of push back from...

The Crotchety Old Man

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