So much for the hope I wrote about in my last post. I have to dust that bad boy HOPE off because it's been in short supply of late.
The book I alluded to starting, I pitched the idea to my agent first. She asked for a synopsis which I submitted (seven pages). After I submitted the finished manuscript, she thought it had a strong hook and good bones. All positives, right?
There was a catch. She wanted me to make it darker. More of a revenge novel.
Let me say here, that's not exactly my wheelhouse but for whatever reason ... insecurity, being grateful I even HAD an agent ... I wanted to please, so I tried.
Let me digress a moment and say several of my writer friends (one of whom originally pegged my agent as her dream agent and now warns people away from her), had told me to sever ties with this agent. She couldn't sell my first book. Wouldn't sell my second and now this ... the feeling that she was trying to fit me in to a box of her design. She has two suspense writers as clients so I wasn't quite sure why she needed to point me in this direction. I now realize in hindsight, she wasn't very communicative enough and I was naive and didn't push and ask the right questions.
Sadly, after I made the darker revisions, I got an email. Not a phone call (after three years as a client). She thought the book needed too much work. Sadly, our time together had come to an end. Just like that. No warning, no discussion. A six-line email. AND I learned this was after she told another client who is a friend (same scenario too: couldn't sell first book and wouldn't sell second) that she couldn't sell her book because it was too dark. And yet, she pushed me to make my book darker.
I may be admittedly naive to the ways of this business (and it's not an easy business) but I realize it is just that ... a business. People need to make money. Hell ... I'm certainly not against making money. Maybe my agent wanted new clients, more of a sure bet, maybe I was dead wood. Whatever ... but the way she did it and the way she treated me really knocked me to my knees. My self esteem has been in the toilet. Some days it feels like this business is a club and no one told me the password or the secret handshake. But what can I do? I love to write. I've said it before, I wish I discovered that passion earlier in life, but as a believer in things happen for a reason, it is what it is. I have to believe that about this break with my agent as well, as painful as it is. Something better awaits. I was spoiled. I got this agent by unconventional means ... I won a contest and she offered me representation. Did she think I was low hanging fruit? I'll never know. My gut tells me she pitched that first book as domestic suspense when it was that barely if at all. But that's all in the past. What's in the future is the two books I'm noodling right now and they are not going to write themselves. So I'm dusting myself off, getting back in the querying trenches. I'll spend October researching and plotting and in November I'll do NaNoWriMo to jumpstart this new book. If you're out there reading this, I wouldn't mind a crossed finger or two.