Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sad Tidings From The Dream Editor

There it was. The manuscript I'd sent to the dream editor. Sitting in my post office box. Battered and bruised, even. It had apparently had a rough trip back from NY, because it was filthy, torn and had been enroute for over a week. She didn't tell me my writing sucked or anything. Her letter was very kind. (As I'd expect from what I've read about her.) But she did tell me a troubling thing: they already bought a book very similar to mine. A psychologist working with vampires. That means someone wrote a book in the general vicinity of mine and sold it. Before me. And there I was, all puffed up thinking I'd written something original and fresh. That I'd be SURE to sell this unusual idea. Well, the rejection and information about the other book really took the wind out of my sails for a while. I'm struggling with gathering up enough motivation to write something else, but I'm not there yet. I guess I can say for sure that just because my first three chapters seemed to do well in contests, apparently the rest of my book doesn't cause agents/editors to pound down my door. I don't think I suck as a writer (even though I said that to my crit group), but I don't think I fit. I think that's what's on my cosmic t-shirt: I don't fit.


Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

...But she did tell me a troubling thing: they already bought a book very similar to mine. A psychologist working with vampires. That means someone wrote a book in the general vicinity of mine and sold it. Before me. And there I was, all puffed up thinking I'd written something original and fresh. ...

I've been writing books for more than ten years and I can count on both hands how many times this has happened. I would come up with a great idea and someone -- who writes faster, etc -- will have already written it. Doesn't make it any easier when it happens-- it's crushing each and every time.

I hope you don't give up. I've watched your progress on this blog and it's been like reliving the time I was submitting and entering contests like crazy. I too was winning contest after contest, then hearing kind words from editors but no sales. I did get discouraged and took a five year break. Now I'm about to jump back into the contest/submission fray with my own fun, paranormal, yet "deep" books.

I haven't read your writing before, but I've enjoyed your blog, so I'm pretty sure your books will be fantastic. That book will find a home. There's room for more than one vampire shrink. Look how much room there is for self-absorbed smart mouthed heroines. heh heh

Take care.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Dear Rinda: Thanks so much for the supportive words. No doubt I'll go back and "tone down" some of my blowing off of steam in the post. Isn't it funny that I said pissed off heroines were boring, and then I spent the post being pissed off? HA! What would Freud say? Yes, it was disappointing to find out "my story" had already been written/sold and was soon to be published. In fact, an agent I queried told me he'd just sold such a story, so I'm assuming (unless there's yet ANOTHER one) the agent in question sold to the editor in question. I don't have any interest in entering contests anymore (but it was nice to final/win earlier), and I'm sure I'll stick my toe back into the commercial paranormal fiction pool soon, but I'm still frozen. I guess I really do need to try my hand at some of the things that are popular now to see if I can do them. I've been so busy explaining to my paranormal-romance-writing friends that my story is more chick lit and explaining to my chick-lit-writing friends that maybe my story is more paranormal women's fiction, that I no longer know WHAT I write. Anyway, I am very glad that you are back in the game! I look forward to hearing about your success and eventually reading your fun, paranormal, yet deep books! Do you have a blog?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

I don't have a blog as of yet. I'm about to create a website and then do a blog. Some of the writers in my local RWA chapter want me to do a blog about family happenings since I have a very, quirky, zany family and a fun way of writing about them... so we'll see.

I am on the Wizards of Blog with a bunch of writers from the FF&P chapter, but I'm not sure what to blog there. Don't think anyone else knows either. It hardly ever gets updated so I may have to change that.

Rejections are hard and no matter what we tell ourselves, they still hurt. I got one on a short story last year where the editor used the word murky. Cracked me up since that little horror short had won a couple of big contests. It's subjective, eh?

I wandered over to your blog when you talked about not knowing exactly how to identify your work on the FF&P loop. I felt the same. Kind of chick lit, paranormal and kind of romance, suspense and horror. Paranormal fiction seems to just work for me.

I did have two really great ideas for stories that I thought no one had done and a friend of mine came up with one and a movie came out of the other. Maybe we're all tapping into the same creative dimension... who knows? Just wanted you to know that this happens to a lot of us. Doesn't make it easier, but it's nice to know you aren't alone.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Rinda: Absolutely. The entire process is subjective. I keep reminding myself that all it takes is one person: one agent or one editor. You're right about there being room for more than one vamp shrink. Of course, I'm now imagining that the OTHER book is so incredibly well-written and that it was unanimously loved by all who read it, and mine will be a flawed pretender. See? I'm not back in the Optimistic Writers Camp yet!! I remember reading about the group blog on FF&P, but I didn't remember what it was called. I went to blogspot and looked for Wizards of Blog, but the FF&P blog must be hosted elsewhere, because what came up was a Christian family blog. What's the FF&P blog address? Blogs are so easy to do -- even for computer slugs like me. It would only take you 5 minutes to get one up and running.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Rinda Elliott said...

Oh, you'll be back in the optimistic camp quickly. I can tell by previous blogs.

Wizards of Blog is at

They wanted a bunch of paranormal writers to contribute to a blog, much like Romancing the Blog. But, I believe most on that list are on other blogs or just don't know what to do with this one. I may start posting more often and get it going. It could be a fun place for paranormal authors to hang out. We have a great title after all. You'd be more than welcome to join.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs, Lynda. Keep going! Rejection is part of the business, and success is around the next corner.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Thanks, Suzanne! I appreciate the hug! I'm on the lookout for that corner!!

6:22 PM  

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