Thursday, October 11, 2007

pity par-tay

I’ve been meaning to blog for a while now about how sending out my novel Calla Boulevard is slowly chipping away at my self-esteem. Except I don’t really have anything profound to say on the subject: I want someone to publish my novel. So far no one does. Not getting what I want makes me sad.

What a fascinating insight into the mind of a writer.

“It’s hard for me to get excited about stuff related to The Commuters lately because I’m starting to feel like a one-hit wonder,” I told AK recently. “Except the ‘hit’ was a song that was played on college radio a couple of times at 2 a.m.”

Back when I was sending out The Commuters, I got a few “encouraging rejections,” which only sounds like an oxymoron. It’s the publishing world equivalent of someone you went on a first date with calling you up and politely saying they think you’re awesome, but they just want to be friends—as opposed to just never calling you again.

Well, back in the day, a handful of agents and publishers at least wanted to be my friend, and now it’s like they’re blocking my number.

Hmm, this is starting to get really self-pitying.

Let’s leave it at: I would like to get excited about something. This something could be a variety of things, but I would especially like it to be the publication of Calla Boulevard by a small but respected press run by people as nice as the City Works crew. Just putting it out there. Universe and small-but-respected presses take note.

And, yeah, it’s pure artist ego. I want to see my name on a cover. I have had a thought or two about high school reunions. But I also think Calla happens to be a good book (and my cats happen to be the cutest cats in the world), and I would like people to read it.

So why no takers? It’s really gay, which weirdly seems to be more popular on network television than in literary fiction these days, and I suspect the first chapter might be a little off-putting. Really, I think it’s the latter that is kicking my ass the most in the query-letter-plus-two-chapters world. But I haven’t figured a way around that yet and I haven’t really tried to because I think it’s necessary to the integrity of my protagonist and because I’m a stubborn Aries bitch in certain respects. You’ve got to be in this totally unprofitable business.


jenny said...

well, if you're using the network television model, then you should make it gay, but not too gay. i mean, gay, but never any reference to dating or sex. so you know, funny gay. like jack from will & grace.

so i think you should keep chapter 1 exactly as is, but change chapter 2 to introduce some kooky roommates who always throw out bitchy one-liners. and super powers seem to be really popular right now, so maybe one of the characters has super strength or can speak to the dead. but only to gay dead people.

these are just some ideas. i've got a million of 'em, so let me know when you want to workshop.

(but really - don't get discouraged. the universe and small presses will take notice of your talent!)

Cheryl said...

Good ideas, all! Can I appoint you my editor? I'm also thinking of having all my characters periodically advise straight people on how to dress better.