Wednesday, April 11, 2007

creator of buddy don: More Author

It's me again to give a progress report. I don't think buddy don much likes me usurping his place. For that matter, as I try to write this update, it's all I can do to keep it in standard English. Hillbilly wants to pour out, which shows you just what a habit it's become.

But on to the bad news, which is that the agent I wrote to yesterday is not interested. In fact, that's not the worst possible news since she has never represented anything like Shoot the Devil, and I doubt if there's any profit in it for her to recommend someone else who might not find the work worthy. I'm glad she answered so quickly so I can move on to the next step in the process.

One of the things I plan to do is to attend The Third Annual New York Round Table Writers' Conference this weekend. From all I've read about agents, making contact at a conference is a good way to get a little attention.

I was also very encouraged by some kind comments by readers. It's nice to know some folks believe in my work. IN addition, I got a very nice example of a reader's query letter and novel prospectus, from which I've already learned a lot. I am not certain whether I can mention this person by name, so I'll leave his/her identity secret for the moment.

But I realized something, after so boldly (or stupidly) sharing my struggle to find an agent with buddy don's readers: one thing that kept me going as much as I've gone (1,200 pages so far of the longer novel, life n pinions of buddy don, hillbilly) was having his audience. Knowing that someone was reading kept me wanting to write the next thing (as it does ever single weekday). Maybe sharing this pursuit with you all will help keep me going on this.

I've never been able to convince myself to keep making the next step, largely because any rejection would make me think whatever I'd written was unworthy, leading me to work on the next thing.

But I recently read an amazing novel, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. If you want to read a "sci-fi" work that is truly great literature, this is one to read. It one both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. Despite its quality, however, the book had its own nine miles of bad road to travel to get published. If you are ever tempted to despair, read this rejection letter.

I remind myself that every rejection is a sign of progress since the worst rejection is one made by the author in giving up.

(ifn ye wonta make a comment, ye gut to click on 'link' below.)


Anne Johnson said...

My favorite rejection anecdote: "The Hunt for Red October" was rejected by 24 publishers, including every major publisher in America. Its first edition was published by the Naval Academy Press.

Have you read that book? It is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Buddy...I'd suggest you send the best 500 pages of your life writings to Brad Pitt. He grew up in the near Ozarks (Springfield) and the early part of your story especially will interest him.