Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My Take on Rejection--Harsh but Fair

Recently, I read about a writer who had queried a publisher by email about her book and received a form rejection within a day. She was angry about this because she thought it showed the publisher hadn't given her work fair consideration. Perhaps the publisher even had an automatic reply rejecting every query that came in!

First of all, publishers who don't accept unsolicited queries have no hesitation saying so. I can't believe any publisher would ask for submissions, only to reject them all out of hand.

And while I sympathise with how disappointed writers get when they receive rejections from agents and editors (I've had them too!), I find it difficult to understand this 'you owe me' attitude. Just because we would like things to be a certain way (prompt responses, detailed feedback, etc) doesn't mean that's what agents and editors should do. Frankly, these professionals are running a business, not a charity. They don't owe writers anything, not even their time, unless they have signed the writer or given personal assurances or encouragement to submit. Courtesy is always nice, and prompt responses, whether rejections or otherwise, are great, too. As long as they're not too prompt...

Of course, if the agent/editor doesn't behave with courtesy or respond in a timely manner, the writer is free to submit to someone who will. That's how the market works.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I'm not a very superstitious person. I don't believe in astrology or tarot cards, viewing that kind of thing as interesting and a bit of fun, nothing more. But something that no one knows about me (until now) is that I have to say 'rabbits, rabbits, rabbits' on the first day of each month before I say anything else. It's my only good luck charm, a hangover from childhood, when saying 'white rabbit' saved you from a pinch and a punch for the first day of the month.

This month, I forgot to say it. The days tend to slide into one another when you have a newborn, so I didn't quite register that it was the 1st of November when I was crooning nonsense to my screaming 3 week old at 2.30 in the morning.

So...will the events of November prove my superstition worthless nonsense? I suppose I'll know soon enough.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Glomming Anne Stuart

Why did no one tell me about Anne Stuart until now? I've only just discovered her historicals and want to ask where this wonderful writer has been all my (romance reading) life. Brilliant characterisation, heroes to die for and a wonderful sense of humour. I hear her contemporaries are equally fabulous but that treat is still in store for me. I love finding writers with large backlists I can devour--the backlist, not the writers, I mean!