The Art of the Query

I’ve been querying literary agents since October of 2010.  The entire experience is an ode to rejection.  Rumor has it, J.K. Rowling received numerous rejections before finding an agent and publisher.  Sometimes I end up taking a break from querying, just to give myself a chance to take a hard look at my Manuscript.

Literary Agents are a subjective lot.  My hook may or may not catch their attention.  I’ve had one request for a full manuscript, I’m still waiting on that verdict. Sometimes the rejections come in a form letter or they might write something brief to take the sting out of the rejection.  I have found in the brief personal letters there have been a gem or two in feedback allowing me to take a look at my manuscript with new eyes.

I’m not starving in a garret, suffering for my art.  I’m working full time, seeking to make a change in my life doing the one thing that I love to do.  I have to pay my bills, put kibble in the dog’s bowl and food on my table.  All of this is important.

As I send my creative endeavor out into the world for evaluation, there is a part of me sitting in the corner of my brain, chewing my nails to the quick.  I feel like Oliver, Charles Dickens memorable character, asking for another bowl of gruel – “Please ma’am, will you like my manuscript?”

I look at the entire query process as a character building process. Apparently, I have a lot of character to build. 🙂



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