My April Fools gift to myself was to send out my first query. April 1st is special to me in that I began my novel 2 years ago on that day, and then finished the first draft on that same day one year later. So it seemed fitting to do something significant on the day of my 2nd year anniversary. What better way to celebrate than to actually offer it for publication.
I worked on this query for months, so much so, I forgot what the book was about. I read every piece of query advice out there on the agent blogs. I read bravely posted queries on critique sites, which are quite helpful if you are writing a plot-driven novel as most of them were. But I have yet to see a sample query of a character-driven novel, so I had to go at it blindly.
Then came the agent research. I didn’t want to go crazy on this special day; one agent was all I needed to fulfil my ceremonial neurotic desire to feed my symbolic nature. The other queries can follow at different times. So after careful selection, I pre-prepared my query and saved it on my draft. I was having house guests and knew I wouldn’t have time on that day.
D-day: Houseguest arrived. My daughter declares she must move out of her apartment that day. My husband in Minnesota visiting his ailing father, calls to tell me his father passed away unexpectedly. Despite the events and drama, I remembered to hit the send button, but decided to read the first chapter as it looked on the email only to discover it went font crazy. I couldn’t fix it and had to rush and find an agent who didn’t want any pages of the book–query only. After pouring over my list of prospectives, I selected two query-only agents and shot it off to both, felt the world lift off my shoulders, and went to bed with grief about my father-in-law, but a semi clear head.
Lo and behold, I awoke with an email message from Jessica Faust at Bookends that she was not interested (no word on the other agent yet). And weirdly enough, it didn’t bother me. BTW-besides research conclusions, I chose Ms. Faust because she has a sweet and honest face.
Well, Jessica, all I can say is that you ruined my chances of holding seminars on “How to pick an agent based on their face.” Ruined it, I say.
Oh, and one more thing. Jessica at Bookends launched Agentfail on her Bookends site on the very same day. She rejected me at 2:52 am the next day. This is after reading 250 mean remarks about agents from writers. Could it be she was tired and angry? Yes! That’s what it is. If I queried her on any other day she would have called me personally to say how excited she was to represent me and where have I been all her life. Maybe I’ll give her another chance … and another … and another. Ha Ha. Just kidding. Not really.