Another Sunday, and another query attempt.
I mentioned in a prior Unblog post that I’m one of thousands of hopeful wanna-be’s, hurling email queries from my writing trebuchet in the hopes I’ll smash through the massive, mile-high walls behind which literary agents dwell.
But their defenses are formidable.
It takes perseverance and persistence, and a dab of gumption, to make it to the other side. Oh, and creativity, patience, networking, research, editing, re-editing and re-editing the re-edit of your query letter. Then there’s the seemingly endless hours of worrying and wondering, the self-doubt, the self-recrimination, the self-flagellation (and maybe some flatulence depending upon what you’ve eaten that day) and a heavy dose of wishful thinking that maybe, just maybe, someone in the world of publishing will finally realize the novel you wrote is worth a damn.
Still, the worst part isn’t any of that.
The worst part remains the silence.
Some agents provide response time estimates, but the dirty little secret is none of them are obligated to respond. It’s easier to allow their lack of voice to speak volumes about their interest in my work.
And I get it.
A statistic I read stated agents receive 100 queries per day, on the average.
Let that sink in a moment.
These “slush piles” may not be on a scale of waste management, but this truly is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Whether you’re an aspiring author like me, a fan of one, the significant other of one (such as my infinitely-patient wife), or just some schmo reading my blog because you’re bored, the fact is, there’s always a chance.
Optimism is the singular belief that goodness permeates and pervades reality.
Tom Holliday, the protagonist in my debut novel BLOODLINES, is a man haunted by his past who strives to do the right thing despite all that he’s experienced. He’s a GOOD guy, something that is integral to my own personal world view: that, in the end, good will triumph over evil.
Now, I’m not suggesting querying literary agents is the ultimate battle between good versus evil.
But I am also a romantic. So it’s easy for me to fantasize my quest to become traditionally published as the struggle which epitomizes my own world view.
Anyway, where am I going with this?
I have no idea.
Realistically, I have a one and one-zillionth chance of making it. I have a better chance of getting struck by lightning (and maybe transforming into a superhero…or villain, depending upon your flavor) than having a literary agent choose my work to represent.
Funny thing is, I’m an optimistic realist.
“So you’re telling me there’s a chance! YEAH!”
That’s right, Lloyd.
There’s always a chance.
Unless I give up.
Which I won’t.
And you shouldn’t, either.