Querying is kind of like riding a roller coaster: up and down, up and down. Anticipation, exhilaration but first, you have to wait.
And wait. And wait. And wait. Sometimes you have to really effin’ wait. Meanwhile, you try to keep your mind off the fact that it’s out of your hands. Somebody else has your query and first ten pages, or synopsis, or first fifty pages if you’re lucky. Somebody, a literary agent maybe, or a publisher, holds your future in their hands. Or they’ve tucked it in their slush pile.
And you aren’t the only one waiting to hear something. Not by a long shot. Not even close.
So you cross your fingers and wait.
Right now, I’m in line like a thousand other dedicated schmucks who wrote something they think is decent, or more than decent, and now they’re waiting for their shot. I imagine I’m in line at Cedar Point, waiting to ride the Gemini. Trying not to think about what’s coming, what it’s going to feel like but I can’t help but think about it because I look up and SEE those who’ve already made it. They did it or they’re doing it right now. I see them up there, flying high, living the dream and I think, kk, that’s you, girl, not today but someday it will be, maybe. . .
Yep, me and a thousand other schmucks dreaming the dream. But somebody else holds our tickets right now. Whether or not we go on that wild ride is out of our hands now. All we can do is hope and pray they’ll come through for us, deem our novels worthy. Take us under their wings. . .
I’m writing this because yesterday I heard from a certain literary agent I’d queried back in June. It started with a tweet. This agent had tweeted a wish list, the types of novels she was hoping to see and somebody from Absolute Write wrote to me: Hey, kk, sounds like she’s talking to you. So I sent my query and first ten pgs. of CHERRY per posted guidelines and by God, I heard back from her, like the very next day: Send me the synopsis and first fifty pages.
Talk about exhilaration. Anticipation. I was so happy and excited! Of course, it was a crap shoot, always is. CHERRY’s not for everybody, it’s something else, to put it mildly. And as the days and weeks and months went by, I kind of resigned myself to the probability that she most likely read it and took a pass. I did keep a tiny, shriveled nugget of hope in my pocket, because we writers tend to do that. When we’re not doubting ourselves and our writing, when we aren’t telling ourselves we suck, we’re feeling that little shriveled nugget of hope, caressing it with sticky fingers, sticky from all the damn chocolate we ate because, you know, we SUCK—
And then yesterday, by God, I get that email. Sorry it took so long, she wrote, it’s been so busy. She appreciated my patience (!!!!). She read the first fifty pages of CHERRY and wanted to read the full, so please–she wrote–if it hasn’t been picked up yet (!!!!), send me the full.
OMG. Maybe this is it. Maybe not, but hey, there’s a chance, right? There’s always a chance. Anticipation. Exhilaration. I don’t know what’s going to happen, maybe nothing. But maybe something great. It’s possible, right?
Lord help me, here we go again.