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A year too late

19. March 2007

I received an email rejection for Parrot today, and it’s been the hardest to take so far.

Dear Kiki:

Many thanks for sending me the full of Enter the Parrot.

I will be open in confessing that, of the 100 or so submissions I looked at this past weekend, this was the most fun and interesting and I read it with great enthusiasm. The hook, “white girl, Wong family” is brilliant, and I had to root for Jade after that hilarious opening scene.

Unfortunately, as I read further, I found that I lost some of my initial enthusiasm. In particular, Jade’s voice, so spunky and fun at first, began to sound wearisome and overbearing, to my ears.
Please know that, only a year ago, I would certainly have offered representation on the spot. But the YA market seems to me increasingly crowded, and to break in a new author I find that the execution has to be as good if not better than the concept. Regrettably, I just didn’t feel that was the case here.

So, I will step aside for a more enthusiastic agent. Please accept my best wishes though, and feel free to include me on future submissions should you remain un-agented.

Part of me wants to go on rewriting. After all, one agent believed in it. Part of me wants to let go and start something new. Return to Jade a bit later when I’m more able to deal with her and the book.
I believe in Jade. I believe in her story. I’m just not sure I believe in myself as the writer of her story right at this point. Maybe I’m just a wuss who’s scared to keep going in the face of adversity.
Close calls are much tougher than general ‘I don’t get it’ responses.

I’ve been fighting the mystery book for a week. Wrestling with the next round of edits, never getting started. I’m chicken, I’ll admit it. it’s not even that a new project is calling so loudly, I’m getting distracted. I’m just afraid. I don’t read mysteries. So how do I write one? And what if it works? Will it mean I need to read more mysteries to get the hang of them?

You know, of course, what the solution to the dilemma is.
Shut up and write.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Chick permalink
    19. March 2007 11:55 pm

    Oh, I feel for you. But what a great letter, so full of praise. Though I know what you mean about it being almost worse. On the other hand, if you’ve got this far with this agent, it’s just one small step for another to take you on…

    Sending commisserations from across the miles.

    Luisa from “Chicklish”

  2. GeminiWisdom permalink
    22. March 2007 4:22 am

    Wow. See, something like that would’ve set me back for about a week. As it is, I’m starting to wonder if I need to revise Book One of my series due to some of the–consistent–comments I’ve been getting from agents who’ve been rejecting me.

  3. Kiki permalink
    22. March 2007 10:12 pm

    Thanks ladies!
    It’s so much harder to say “Well, they just don’t get it” when they’re really cutting to the heart of the matter…
    gem-wis, at least you are getting consistent comments that gear you towards improvement. Seems all my comments are just “I don’t know what’s wrong with it, I just don’t like it *enough*”
    Oh well, onwards and upwards!

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