I am expecting the remaining query letters I sent out to be rejected and they should reject them. In fact, I received three yesterday. A new record for me. Here’s why.
I’m a voracious reader and a fast one. In three hours, I can devour a four hundred page book, even with interruptions. So, when I sat down to write my mystery novel, I knew all of the elements to include. After all, I had read hundreds of them.
After I finished writing and editing it, I started researching what it took to write a query letter and one of the repeating themes was know your genre. In my head, I put a three-foot check mark next to that easy step. So, imagine my surprise when I received my first agent feedback and the agent told me I had a high-octane thriller. Great, I thought and made a few changes to my characters before sending out another batch of letters but this time with a thriller label.
Rejection after rejection arrived and I wondered what I was doing wrong. Finally, I got feedback stating that the stakes weren’t clearly stated. I pondered on this and made more changes…and thought I FINALLY got it right. I sent out another ten queries.
But to my utter astonishment, the rejections from these agents started rolling in and some of them were quick responses. At this point I was flummoxed and worried that I’d never “get it”. I debated shelving my book. But as the days passed, I realized I wasn’t mentally at that point. Not yet. Unsure what to do I went back to the beginning. I researched what elements were needed in a thriller and “saw” for the first time that I was missing them. Why? Because I’d written it as a mystery and they have different rules. I’d been falsely advertising my book.
Where does that leave me? In the process of one more revision. I’m already a third of the way through it. And now that I understand why I am getting rejected it doesn’t sting as much. Unfortunately, I’ve wasted all of those opportunities, but I still have more agents remaining and hopefully, one of them will love my thriller.
Update: Today I received three rejections, but another agent provided me with suggestions on how to make it better and then said that if I made them, I could resend it to her. I jumped for joy and felt extremely blessed. She even touched upon something that was different than the other agents. Yes, she passed…for now.