Evolution of a Story (Part 3)

stampAlthough, my book wasn’t anywhere near done, I started sending out letters to agents. (Everything I had read about getting a book published said I would need an agent before a publisher would even look at my manuscript; therefore, I figured why not get a head start on that.)

One of the agents on my list of possibles was named Tricia A. Sullivan. I saw her name and thought it had to be fate. I mean how could someone with my name not like my story?

I wrote her a letter and included a description of the series I planned to write along with a synopsis of the first book. Surprisingly, she wrote back and said she liked the story idea. She suggested we meet in a few weeks to discuss things.

I was over the moon. Things were happening that I had only dreamed of, but never expected to actually occur. In a frenzy, I tightened up my synopsis, reworked and formatted my character summaries, and wrote up a rough marketing plan (another thing I had heard was necessary in order to sell your book idea).

Two days before the arranged meeting, though, she called and left me a message. Seems she had decided to become a science fiction author rather than continue her career as an agent. Unfortunately, no one else in her office was willing to meet with me at the time.

I was crushed. How could the fates have been so cruel?

Determined to show the fates how wrong they were, I spent the next two years sending book proposal packages to agents and to those publishers with open acceptance editors (aka: slush pile editors). The printer churned out copy after copy, and every weekend I trekked to the post office to drop off my piles of proposals. I contacted firms and individuals from New York to Oregon; from the UK to Lithuania. I printed, I bundled, and I shipped out my story. The folks at the post office got to know me by name, and we joked and quipped about my bundles of proposals.

Eventually, though, I ran out of people and places to send my samples and proposals to. After all, there are only a finite number of publishing companies and agents, and they tend to get rather testy when you keep sending them the same item they rejected just six or nine months earlier.

So, I gathered my rejections, my story notes, and all my electronic and hardcopy bits and bytes, and I shut them up in a drawer. Summer had come and gone twice, and it was time to face life again.

Frosty leaf

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