There would have been an entry here last week, but I got caught up in Pitch Wars, so I've spent the past week pounding on THE ACCIDENTAL WARLOCK and making sure everything's as good as I can get it. And polishing my query letter, which is always . . . fun. @_@ I do have a much more serious blog entry planned, but that's not for today.
Today, in the spirit of sending off submissions, I want to talk about the worst rejection I ever got.
I think every single writer ever knows what it means to deal with rejection letters. So what, you might ask, made this one so bad?
This happened back in 2003, when I lived in Vermont. (I'm originally from Southern California, so living in Vermont taught me what winter really means, but that's another story.) I'd written a book I thought was pretty damn good (it wasn't), and I was submitting to agents, just me and a crappy query letter and a "Writer's Market" book thick enough to double as insulation. Despite over a dozen rejections, I was still ridiculously optimistic that this book would get published (it never would, trust me). And then . . . a letter arrived.
Not just any letter. This self-addressed stamped envelope (nothing like paying postage to get rejected) was stuffed with a lot more paper than the standard rejection. And as I looked at the envelope before opening it, I saw lines. Blank lines. Like the kind you're expected to fill in before sending something back.
I opened the envelope so quickly it might have spontaneously combusted. Surely, this was a contract! I'd found an agent! This had something for me to fill out, and--
NO! Not only was there a rejection letter, there was an order form for - I swear I'm not making this up - the agency's book on how to be your own literary agent. They weren't going to represent me, but they wanted to sell me a book on how to not need them. Insult, injury, and idiocy all in one.
I've never actually burned a rejection letter, but damn, that one came close.
Next entry, not related to Pitch Wars but to some people who read books with female leads: They're Going to Hate Her.