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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Popping the query cherry

06/Jan/2011 I happened to read about a pitch fest on Twitter. Despite my lack of visits to the Twitterverse up until that day, I was lucky to have happened upon the tweet that rekindled all my creative urges. I put the novel down a few months, ya know? But, as it happened, I was more than anxious to send a 140 character tweet to pitch my work. So, like a good little aspiring author, I did a quick search of the agency, found the agent who would best fit my work, and waited for the fest to begin.

This was my tweet: "Kalinda is plucked from ordinary life and transplanted to Rakshala to meet and marry Shivari (God Shiva) to her Kali." (Of course, directed to my agent of choice)

This was the reply: "Could be cool. Can you send me a query letter? I'll get a better sense that way."

Turns out, the agent manning the twitter account was THE agent. The one with her name on the agency. My heart did a little flippity-flop and my head got busy. HOW DO I WRITE A QUERY LETTER???

Research. Research. Research. Draft. Email to confidants. Edit. Email again. Edit again. By Monday, I was ready to send. And send, I did. Happily. And nervously. And I waited.

31/Jan/2011 I resent the query, attaching a note to the original email stating I was unsure if she had received the first send. I also let her know, from researching her stats on Querytracker, I know she has an excellent (and prompt) response rate, thus my concern for the delayed response. And I waited a 'lil more. And checked my email. And waited.

02/Feb/2011 I happened to be checking my email from work on my break. The world around me disappeared when I opened the mail and found her response in my inbox. I held my breath, and opened the door that held one of two options for my future. Either rush home and send a full...or take the rejection and learn a lesson.

This was the reply:

Dear Rene,

I'm sorry about the delay in answering your query letter. This wasn't an easy decision, but I don't think this is for me. Its too close [in tone] to a book I already represent.

Thanks so much for sharing with me.


Read again. And again. And once more to be sure I am NOT dreaming. This is amazing. Truly and sincerely. I could NOT have asked for a more inspiring first query rejection. I was rejected, yes. I did not expect anything less for a first time. And I do expect there will be more to follow. HOWEVER. It wasn't an EASY decision. And the rejection was based on similarities to something she already represents. That is a good thing! It means the work itself was not the basis for the no. That's all I can hope for as a query virgin. And I'd gladly say thank you a million times over if I ever have the opportunity to meet her in real life.


~Let the games continue~