Yes, I’ve been in the military, but no, I’m not Jack Nicholson. And do I think you can handle the truth…yes, sometimes. Other times, according to some of the responses I get from authors unhappy with me turning them down, I’d have to say no.
What is she rambling about this time—you ask? It’s time for some very important contest results to be out; it’s time for some tears; it’s time to take stock in ourselves. Each day, as an agent, we are faced with answering queries from folks, many like those who send their submissions to contests, who are anxious to have someone say “Yes! I love it. I want it. How soon can I sign you?” I talk about this each year when many folks—I’ve been one of them—are discouraged when their names don’t make the semi-finalists’ list. We’ve all been there in some form or another.
Contest from 1-100. Three scores: 100, 98, and…57. What???
We all want someone to say, “What a wonderful novel. No-no. You don’t need to change a thing. This is perfect. You’re amazing. Here’s a win, a contract, a great deal.” Whatever you’ve been hoping for, but reality says, You can’t handle the truth. Not many of us can. We want to make the grade right away. We don’t want to work harder, rewrite, or “hone our craft.” But reality teaches us that while a contest or an agent’s response is just one opinion, we might want to take a hard look at our work and decide whether or not their comments have any merit. Some will, some won’t.
CONGRATS to all the Genesis semi-finalists. To all who did not make it this far, take heart. You’ve written a novel. Not everyone can say that. CONGRATS to you as well!