Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chapter 9: In Which I am Rejected!

I like book signings. When I hear that one of my favorite authors is going to be in town, I'm one of the nerds who shows up when the store opens so I can get my ticket/bracelet/badge of fangirldom and be one of the first to get my book signed. I've been to more book signings than I have concerts. I'm sure that says something, but I'm happier not knowing what that is...

In attending these events, I've learned that many of the fans who show up are also unpublished authors, and these fans want to hear the story of how the author got published (usually in the hope that said knowledge will somehow help the fan become published as well)(which is a little annoying, because hey, we're there for that author, no one wants to hear about the ms you've been working on for 10 years about ninja cowboy space pirate monkeys trying to take over the world)(so don't be that guy). I've read books on writing where the author devotes some time to the stories of their rejections, I've read author interviews, blogs, watched YouTube interviews, and so on and so forth. Every published author has been rejected, and knowing that gives unpublished authors some sense of comfort. We know that we may hear "sorry, not interested" a handful, a dozen, or even a hundred times, but we can remind ourselves that hey, people told [Favorite Author] the same thing, and now they're a bestseller.

Now, as I have mentioned before, I am a geek. I love sci fi and fantasy, I play mmorpgs, I'm happier watching Food Network and the Discovery Channel than I am network TV, I own several sets of gaming dice. (Bonus points if you what a d20 is, extra points if you have several of them, raging kudos if you have one that's "lucky" and several that have been banished to your dice bag for being "cursed".) As such, rejection is something I'm rather familiar with. Hearing "sorry, not interested" about your book has the same sting as being last picked in gym class. You're not wanted. You'll never be popular. You suck.

But after the conference I was on cloud nine--I'd won the contest, and the agent I'd pitched to wanted to see more of my novel, so clearly I was on my way, right? She would love my story and get me a fabulous contract and I could quit my day job and write full time and live happily ever after.

Not so much.

It was a very nice rejection, and not a dreaded form letter. It was encouraging, and I do feel grateful for that. But it was still a rejection, and I was crushed. What was worse, it made me realize that I'd have to keep submitting, and in order to do that, I'd have to do something I'd been avoiding. A terrible, awful something that strikes fear in the hearts of writers everywhere.

I'd have to write a synopsis.

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