It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I finished the novel around Thanksgiving, and although there are things I still want to change, transitions and scenes I want to tweak, sentences I want to polish a little more, I sent my book baby off into the world. Despite the urge to continue manipulating and recreating, I knew I had to let this one go. I asked for and received feedback from readers rather than writers, and I think that feedback has helped make a better story overall. I am hopeful that an agent will pick it up and I will have the opportunity to adjust the manuscript based on the agent’s and/or publisher’s feedback as well.
How did I go about figuring out where to send the book? I made a list of agencies of stature and relevance in the NYC literary world based on my own research (Publishers Marketplace, Writer’s Digest, etc.), winnowed it down to my personal top choices, then chose agents within six of those agencies. I sent everything off in mid-December, and so far two agents (from Inkwell Management and Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary) have requested full manuscripts. The quick initial responses raised my hopes since most agencies warned of an eight week or so response time, but now I am left wondering if the query letter oversold it and the agents were unimpressed by the full manuscript, or perhaps they were annoyed by the transitions and time jumps in the three separate sections, or maybe the book does not fit in any particular category (I billed it as upmarket and/or women’s and/or book club fiction), or it’s just not that well written and/or titillating enough to warrant representation. Or maybe it’s the holidays and I should stop obsessing until after the new year begins.
In the meantime, I have received another two rejections (from New England Review and Crazyhorse) of a short story that were versions of an excerpt from the book. I have also read “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian, learned of her six-figure book deal, and have eaten my heart out with jealousy.
In the weeks after I finished and sent the book off, I have wandered around the house like Betty Draper (a thicker, less polished Betty, to be sure) finishing Christmas shopping and sweeping and making peppermint bark and staring off into space.
I need another project, and soon.