It seems I start out confident and excited when I submit my work, but, as the months go by, my confidence dwindles and I begin questioning myself.
It has been over six months since I submitted my first novel Holler’s Pond, to three different publishers. The package included: A cover letter, synopsis, and the first three chapters, all according to their specific guidelines. One was electronically sent, and the other two went by snail-mail.
So, do I even know if any of them received my manuscript?
There were no confirmations and most publishing houses state they won’t respond to, phone calls, emails, or letters concerning in-progress manuscripts. They are busy and if you don’t hear from them in three to six months, they are not interested in your work at this time. Maybe, this is one reason why so many authors have turned to other methods of publishing.
It made me sad after all the time and work I’d put into the manuscript packages, not counting the years I’ve revised, rewrote, and reworked the story. Holler’s Pond has been through several critique groups, individual friends, and even was edited by my last Institute of Children’s Literature course instructor. Not that I expected an acceptance on my first try out, but to not hear anything at all had me disheartened, to say the least. I truly had begun thinking, maybe writing fiction is not for me and I should stick with articles. Then something sort of bizarre happened.
Several weeks ago on this very blog I received a strange comment to one of my posts. I wasn’t sure if I should reply or delete. The person said that he had received something to do with my manuscript which had nothing to do with my blog post for that week. After questioning his statement and asking for an explanation, it was clear that he had received a letter, addressed to him meant for me. It was accidentally sent to his address in California, a long way from Michigan. Anyway, I was thrilled at the news, even when he told me it was a rejection letter. He offered to scan and email it to me. Being an author himself, he knew the importance of this particular rejection. That news made my day.
This letter is what authors call a gourmet rejection and that’s why, it’s in a frame on my desk.
I’ve been asked by several people, “Why would you frame a letter of rejection?” My answer is, because out of dozen(s) of past rejection letters, this one is the best . . . it’s personal. It’s for my first novel. It also made me smile to know that editor’s can and do make mistakes too. Something that is never mentioned at conferences. Second, it’s a confirmation that someone actually read my work.
This editor recognized some of my writing strengths from the first three chapters and also made her suggestions for the relevant weak areas. To me, this means there is still hope for Holler’s Pond and because of this rejection letter, it gives me the will and the motivation to carry on.
I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness that the gentleman, a fellow author, from California went through the time and trouble to locate me on the Internet. After he scanned and emailed me the letter, I noticed that my name and address had a typo in it as well. It never would have gotten to me if he would have tried to mail it through the post office.
So once again folks, I believe the Universe lines things up perfectly and I am now convinced that Holler’s Pond is meant to be. I will add a few more ingredients and make sure it is baked to perfection before I send it back out into the world for sharing.
Special Blurb . . . for the kind, considerate, author who made my day.
If you are a Star Trek fan or have a thing for zombies, you will want to check out this children’s author’s website by clicking on his name. Kevin Anderson .
He is the author of Night of the Living Trekkies and many other books.
It makes me wonder if anyone else, a non-author would have bothered finding me to share a rejection letter. I have my doubts.
My appreciation goes to you, Kevin. You may have saved my novel from the deep, dark, horrific shredder.