aSisters in Crime has a subgroup known as Guppies (Going to be Published) with a listserv called AgentQuest. Getting an agent to represent your work is as big a deal or maybe bigger than writing the darn thing. Well, I've been writing away, making a few desultory marketing attempts--got two requests for what are called partials (30 pages) but no more response. So when one agent was favorably discussed on Agent Quest, I decided to query her last night. Through a mail mix-up and the limited system I have at home, it was this morning before I sent the query. I had a gracious, lovely rejection within less than two hours, mostly based on the fact that a realtor was not a compelling enough figure to attract an editor. Gulp! I've written a book and a half about this realtor, and I like her.
So I told the story on the listserv and got comforting replies, most of which said don't jump ship. The Guppies standard reaction to rejection is "Eat chocolate" so I mentioned that I had eaten some chocolate (with jalopenos and ground peanuts) and a couple of them said if the novel was as interesting as the chocolate I should have no problem. I know it's early in the querying game--some of these ladies have 50 or more queries out but a lot of times you get no reply. Still I was really let down. Tonight I'm resisting having more of that chocolate--after all my stash has to last the week until I can get back to Central Market.
You can't be a writer if your skin is thin. Tonight I'm also going to work on a new blurb that begins, "Kelly Jones is no ordinary realtor." That seems a bit trite, but it's a starting point. As I've said over and over, writing mysteries has a real learning curve--maybe I should say "marketing mysteries."