wait for it.... wait for it....
A query letter for Grey Eyes has been sent to a book agent! *pause for gasps all around* Yep. You read that right, a plea to consider my book has been e-mailed this morning to an agent. *pause with hand over heart, trying to get a grip on my nerves*
So the quest for getting published has begun! It is exciting, terrifying, sickening, thrilling. This is a time for positive thinking and courage.
All credit goes entirely to Heather. I woke up this morning to find she'd written a query letter while I was sleeping in, and she was ready to send it. I've been saying I'll do it for months now but have yet to actually start.... So she took it upon herself to get the process going. It's so nice of her I could cry. But maybe that's just the nerves. Had I known today would be the day the first of the query letters would go out, I wouldn't have been able to sleep last night. I'm nervous about it even though I know that the worst that can happen is they'll say no, which won't be the end of the world becuase there are plenty of other angents...
The policy this agent has is that she doesn't send a reply if she isn't interested. So if I don't hear back in six to eight weeks, I can take it as a no. She used to reply to all queries, but can't anymore. I wish she still did, if only to have the rejection letter to show off. ;-)
When Heather read the letter to me in order to get my approval on actually sending it, it became obvious to me that writing and sending query letters isn't half as difficult as I was letting it be. It takes some thought and work to write a few concise paragraphs that really sell your book and I'm the worlds worst salesperson, so I was lettering that be bigger obstacle than it really is. A poor salesperson I may be, but I have faith in my book and writing is my thing SO WHY IN THE WORLD HAS IT TAKEN THIS LONG TO START?
Simple answer, fear. My biggest fear isn't public speaking or snakes or spiders, but the thought of people judging my creativity. So much thought and work and fun goes into a book that it becomes a kind of reflection of the writer, in the way that a child is the reflection of it's parents. So actually doing something positive and a little risky, like putting the book out there to be judged, is outside my comfort zone.
Everyone in Writer's Anonymous, my best friend Lindsay and Mom have been helping me in huge ways by reading my proof copies and giving helpful feedback mixed in with all kinds of praise, so, eventually, I would have started sending queries of my own based on that support alone, but by blind-siding me with an already written query letter ready to send, Heather took that first difficult step for me in a way similer to throwing someone into the deep end of the pool to teach them how to swim. It was like a slap in the face that she knew I could handle, a push to do what I'm capable of.
Thank God for sisters, and for support teams in general.
Now that the process has begun I feel like I can keep it going. Because I want this. I want more than anything for an agent to take on my book and get it published. I'm trying to stay positive without getting my hopes up too much. It's just the first letter, and few great sucess stories start with "Well, it was the first ever query letter that I sent and...."
If this agent isn't interested, I'll just move on to the next. "No" won't be the death of me, it'll just be incentive to try harder.