Finally! Continuing from Part Two.
The rules of #pitmad were simple. If a literary agent or editor liked your pitch, it meant they wanted to see more and it was an invitation to query. There were still no guarantees, but it certainly gave you a leg up in the slush pile.
I still remember how anxious I felt after pressing ‘Tweet’. It was as if I’d said an enthusiastic “Hi!” to a group of strangers, and was waiting to see if they’d smile and wave back or give the ‘who TF are you’ look.
Two minutes passed and nothing happened. Here’s a screenshot of my thoughts in those two minutes. NB Names have been redacted to protect the guilty.
Right…continuing from Part One.
I got my first rejection a few days after I sent that first query…and I was thrilled!!! Someone actually responded to me! This shit was real! Forgive me, but remember I had never gotten a response from the sole agent query I had sent months before. This agency promised to respond to queries within a week, so queried another agent at the same agency, and squealed when the rejection came back the next day. These were real people!
Don’t judge me…
Let’s backtrack a bit…
Before I got an agent I used to consume posts like these, so I think it’s only fair that I document my own experience for other persons, especially writers like myself who are based outside of the USA.
WARNING: This is going to be a long post. It’s been a while since I blogged and my rambling has gotten even worse since then. 🙂
Let’s go back to 2010 (what? told you it was going to be long lol). I was mainly a short story writer. My stories rarely went past 3,000 words. I never thought I would be able to write a whole novel. In fact, I didn’t want to! The idea of writing 60,000+ words seemed like a monumental, daunting task.
That same year I did a workshop with a well-known Caribbean author, who introduced me to the term “literary agent”. I was amazed at the idea of a whole person whose job was to sell our stories to publishers. The author taught us how to write a ‘query letter’ but to be honest I paid more attention to the short fiction exercise. Remember, back then, I had no interest in writing a full-length novel.