I'll admit it, I've been kind of bummed these past few days because I've been working so hard sending out queries and so far, I've only received rejection letters. So, I was complaining a little bit (ok, a lot) yesterday. It's really incredible, though, how when your mind is open to it, something someone says can take everything you're thinking and turn it on its head.
I was saying how frustrating it is when these agents read my query letter or even my sample chapters and write back with a rejection letter basically telling me my work is not good enough because I feel like they're not giving me a fair chance. I've even blogged about this same concept. Maybe that is what they're saying...but guess what, not a SINGLE rejection letter has said that--not in so many words, not in so few words, not in any kind of cryptic innuendo... nothing of the sort. It was a conclusion I jumped to in this "me vs. them" mindset I was in.
In fact, they might think my work is really great...they might have just been rushing out of the office...they might just be only looking for "Twilight-like" books right now, they might have an assistant reading their stuff and have told them to ONLY bring them stuff that is vampire-esque, which my book is not. Looking at it from that perspective, a rejection letter does not say anything about the quality of my writing. Timing= yes; subject matter= perhaps; market= possibly; quality= no!
It might not even be any of those things. They might just not feel like it's THE BOOK for them and this point in their lives (the subject matter is a bit heavy and controversial)...and that's ok, too. In fact, my favorite author is Sophie Kinsella. I have read every single one of her books, except for one. I don't know why, but the one book of hers, I have picked up and tried to read three times and I am just not identifying with it. Is she a bad writer? Far from it. Do I love her work? Already said I do. But if I was an agent and had received a query letter or sample chapters from that particular book, I might have passed as well...and I might have missed out on something amazing.
The fact of the matter, though, is that a lot of people probably did pass on Sophie Kinsella (Madeleine Wickham as people know her in England), but someone didn't and now hundreds of thousands of people get to read her work. So, I'm hoping that my work will resonate with that one special agent at the right time and my stuff, too, will get out there when it is meant to.