Monday, June 11, 2012

Agent Query Update - Write Angry?

So here's what happened - LUCKY TOWN was one of five novels in final consideration at Blank Slate Press for upcoming release.  And I made the rookie mistake of getting my hopes up - like really up - so that when the rejection came last Monday, I got really frustrated and down.   (Fortunately, my students were taking exams, so they didn't catch my wrath).  Part of the problem, I realized, was that responses from agents had slowed to one a week - all rejections - and I'm a definitely a "need something to look forward to" guy.  So then I made what easily should have been rookie mistake number two - I got angry and wrote a new query letter, one I've taken to calling "the pissy version".

Now, it's not like the letter was full of profanity and threats (although I did consider it).  It's  just a lot looser, a lot more in my voice, and with a little bit more "f' it" attitude.  My thought was, If my other query letter is getting nothing but form rejections, why not get them from a letter that contains a little more of me?

From that letter I've gotten four full manuscript requests.

Is the lesson here to write angry?  I'm not sure.  Maybe.  Or maybe it's to put a little more of me in my work.  I'm definitely proud of Lucky Town, but I would never say there's much of me in there.  (I take a jab at home schooling, but beyond that, the novel is pretty serious and dark, as the subject matter calls for). But I've taken the idea of putting more of me in my work - sarcastic, a bit cynical, a smart ass - in my approach to my next novel.  If anything, I think it'll make the process somewhat more enjoyable for me.  And maybe this is the real beginning of finding my writer's voice, something I've never thought I had before.