I am working on a happy little book project. (Not my finalfinalREALLYfinal draft of my MG [or possibly YA] fantasy novel. Which is also a happy little book project. Even when I’m really cranky about it.)
It was not my idea. It was my co-conspirator’s idea. She is a watercolorist who was struck by a subject, and while painting a series of them, stumbled onto the cool stories behind them. I am the lucky writer friend she asked to co-conspire with her on the project.
We’ve been working on it for slightly more than 1.72 eons. By which I definitely do not mean that it’s not fun. It would just be nice to have a contract, is all.
So in the interest of landing a contract, I began pitching the project last year. This resulted in several interesting interactions with editors/ publishers, including one way-too-exciting Phone Tag Event in which it turned out that the publisher had gone to the high school around the corner from me (which was a rival to my high school, but she didn’t seem to hold that against me. At least, she didn’t seem to at the time), and she was SUPER enthusiastic about the project, and then she lost the proposal, and then the publishing house moved, and then I sent her another proposal, and then she (apparently) got fired. Which left me precisely nowhere.
As any writer knows, sometimes it is exciting not to hear back from an editor/ publisher/ agent… because that could mean they’re really, really considering the project. My recent pitches have been bouncing back to me so fast, it’s like the mailman just lobs the envelope in my face instead of tucking it in his bag and carrying it to its destination.
At least the rejecters are as kind as they can be. To wit:
“While this is an interesting project (my compliments to the artist as well), I don’t think [my house] is the best fit for this project.”
Kinda the literary equivalent of, “Let’s just be friends.” (C’mon—seriously! Can’t we just go out for drinks? You never know what “interesting” could evolve into!)
Today I got back a fat packet from the house where the possibly-fired publisher possibly got fired.
“Thank you for the opportunity to consider your proposal including the lovely watercolors. All members of [editorial board] had a chance to go through your material and we had a lengthy discussion about the possibility of our participation.” And so on, and so forth, and no.
But get this:
“Recently we received the enclosed letter from [some guy] regarding the [thing pertinent to your project]. I’m enclosing a copy on the chance that it may be of interest to you.”
Kinda the literary equivalent of, “Let’s just be friends. And maybe you should check out these lovely brochures on area convents.”