LETTER TO THE AGENT from My Major Character

literary agent, novel, self-publishing, rejection, major characterTO: Ms. Rosie, Agent, Publishers Row, NY, NY

Dear Ms. Rosie

I understand from my author that you wouldn’t pick up her book because the synopsis didn’t sound “interesting” to you, and that if you’re not interested in it, it would be difficult for you to sell the book to a publishing company.

Well, I must admit, I find your admission cold and thought-provoking. Co-authors Pamela Wight and Ashley Brandt worked many long, arduous hours to bring my character to life. They were both raising families and working at challenging jobs, but telling my story became their passion. I can’t tell you how gratifying it was for me at 5 p.m. every afternoon, the witching hour for the Wight and Brandt family, to see them working hard on my plot and characterization while ignoring the whines of husbands and children droning on in the background: “When are you going to fix dinner? There’s nothing in the house!!”

But these authors were true to their calling. They worked at fleshing me out, telling my story of a motherless upbringing and a depressed father who drank to forget his loss. For you to carelessly send a one-paragraph page stating that you found my story “uninteresting” was about as cold and uncompassionate as anyone can be, whether she is a heartless murderer, a bratty 16-year-old bully, or a clueless agent.

I found your remarks thought-provoking because they made me wonder, what kind of agent are you anyway, and what kind of book are you looking for? In riveting detail, Wight and Brandt tell the tale of me surviving my difficult childhood, excelling in school, and scoring a high-prestige job in a San Francisco investment firm. Beautiful but unsure of myself, I tackle my job with everything I have, unaware of the thicket of trouble I get in when the boss’ twin tries to destroy his brother and pin the blame of the bomb on me. This is uninteresting?

book reviews, self-publishing

Then the handsome boss, Blake Sinclair, a man I despise because he seems arrogant and too wealthy to even notice a low-level employee like me, basically kidnaps me  and keeps me locked up in a gorgeous Stinson Beach cottage. Against all odds, we discover we like each other, and yes, soon in the dark of night, love each other, and our hearts bloom with happiness. This is uninteresting?

And finally, Blake’s cruel, twisted brother tries to murder me during a wintry California storm. Can Black arrive in time to rescue me? And this is all uninteresting to you?

agent, sel-publishing, reviews

Fortunately for my two authors, the people who have read our book have found it a fun, fascinating romantic suspense. In fact, many readers have claimedbook review, romantic suspense that they were unable to put it down, and stayed up late at night to find out how/if Blake and I survive a sibling gone wild. These people all found Twin Desires extraordinarily interesting. I’m sorry you never gave my story the chance it deserves. When it’s picked up by a major publishing house, I’ll be sure Wight and Brandt send you a signed copy.

Til then,

Sandra Eastman

Twin Desires, romantic suspense, self-publishing

Sandra Eastman invites you to read about her romantic suspense. Click on the cover to visit her Amazon page.

Sore Toes

Rejection is one of the hardest things for humans to contend with, I think. (I added I think because the rule is to never end a sentence with a preposition. Obviously I think whatever I’m writing here – it’s my blog!)

Oh, can you tell I’m a bit testy today? I’ve received a rejection from a potential agent. She seemed quite interested in my book: the plot, the characters, my writing style, the ‘suspense’ genre, and even in me, the author. I tried not to stand on tiptoes while I waited for her yay or nay, but my toes were quite sore by the time I received her rejection the end of week 2 (an impressive turnaround from delivery of my 300 page manuscript and response – usually writers must wait months to hear back. That’s a lot of sore toes…).

The agent wrote an encouraging letter, ‘don’t give up,’ and ‘try someone else, maybe I’m wrong.’ Well, I’m paraphrasing since I can’t find the letter she sent. Not that I’m a sore loser or anything; it must be stuffed in the pile by my writing notebooks.

But what hurt was her handwritten addition at the top. “Sorry, I just didn’t care enough to turn the pages.”

OUCH. Tell me I used horrible grammar. Chastise me for using 1.8 instead of double spaced lines. Question me on the choice of the Caribbean for one of the book’s settings. But please, please don’t tell me my book wasn’t compelling. Over the best year, 8 different reviewers have sung praises about my Meredith, and Gregory, and Parker, and all of them complained that they stayed up all night because they couldn’t put the book down.

So who’s right? Everyone. We read what we love, most of us, and we love different genres, points of views, and tones. One of my friends reads only edgy books, the kind where a character lets off a swear word every other line, and at the end of the book, no one comes out happier, or wiser, or better off. Another friend can only stomach romances (the sexier the better); a colleague only reads books of action, action, action. Please, no character development or metaphor or universal theme!

So I picked the wrong agent. I need one who likes the idea of action and theme, of characters who contemplate midst the kidnappings, killings, and chaos. Sweet kisses and lonely lust. And, a happy ending.

For me, a happy ending is a necessity. Otherwise, we’d all be standing on sore toes for a long, long time.