My mystery, Dead Space, was rejected again by an agent, in a two-line email last night. "We've decided to pass." Truthfully I'm amazed at how much I've put that out of my mind. For months, writing and revising that novel occupied me almost every minute I wasn't working. It was sooo important to me. And yet today it was mid-afternoon before I remembered, "Oh, yeah, the mystery was rejected."
The first rejection was by an agent to whom I had a tiny bit of entree--clients of hers recommended I writeh her. Months after I'd written her off, she sent a brief, "No, thanks." The second one was an agent I know, who said, "I liked it, but I didn't love it," and said he'd agonized over telling me that. Fair enough. I thought, and he agreed, that he was looking for hard-edged, and I'd written a cozy. The third agent--the one who rejected it so briefly last night--is local, in Dallas, and someone whose credentials I questoned anyway. From an author who's working with him, I think he's pre-occupied with his own projects, and if you don't have entree, you're dismissed. I can see him sitting resolutely down on a Sunday night, determined to clear off his desk. And there go a bunch of two-line rejections. I'm don't know that's true, but I've done it myself, so I can easily imagine it. I had no entree to him, and he had no reason to take me--or my 30-page proposal--seriously.
All this is by way of saying I don't think the mystery has gotten a fair read. No one has looked at the entire manuscript, althugh maybe the first 30 pages either make or break a mystery. I don't know. But I always remember that Gone With the Wind was rejected 17 times. I think I shouldn't give up with this manuscript, but I'm not sure where to go. Maybe the truth is that it's weak--but if so I want someone I trust to tell me that.
Bottom line: I'm pleasantly surprised that I'm not tearing my hair out. Probably it's because I've gone on to several other projects, have one on my desk still, am planning the Scotland trip. My mind has moved on beyond the mystery. But then again, if I lose my passion about it, my belief in it, I'll never convince anyone else.
Ho, hum! I think I'll go to sleep on that note. Tonight we finally celebrated Christian's birthday--a month and three days after the event. I fixed steak (okay he grilled them), twice baked potatoes, wedge salads with roquefort dressing, and a chocolate cake that had 5 eggs and 2-1/2 sticks of butter. Wow! Jacob loved the filling in the twice-baked potatoes and ate a whole one. We didn't let him try the cake.