17 and counting

Progress Update: a couples chapters read on the contemporary but it’s slow going and I need to finish this week; 1097 on the scifi and most of those had to be cut. AND…I need reading glasses.

Progress Update: Four chapters of the contemporary read; 500 words of the sci-fi written and they were hard words, too.

I received my 17th rejection yesterday. It’s hard to be upset when you get a nice rejection with decent feedback, isn’t it? Plus I have huge respect for the agent. I’m not upset or mad or anything. I’m just…okay. It’s a rejection and Life Moves On.

I have a few more queries out there but I fully expect them to be rejections, too. No, I’m not being pessimistic. I’m being realistic. It’s the nature of the business. I’ll tell you why I think they’ll be rejections: because this book is what’s considered a hard sell. That’s the majority of the feedback I get. I think it’s a hard sell because of the elements within the book: a female gladiator, magic, a fantasy world based on Ancient Rome. I’ve toyed with the idea of plunging myself into research-mode and changing it into a historical romance but that doesn’t feel right for the story. It feels like a story fit for an alternate world. And so I’m going to keep it that way and maybe someone will love it like I do. We shall see.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I am. I see all these people selling around me and I sit back and look at my work. I wonder if it’s just too “out there” for today’s market. I wonder if not writing vampires or shapeshifters or werewolves is my downfall. Is it because I don’t write about demons and demon slayers? Vampire and vampire slayers? Is it because my fantasy is in an unusual/historical setting?

But I don’t want to be like everyone else, my inner voice whines. I want to write stories *I* love. I don’t want to write about vampires or shapeshifters or werewolves.

I’ve always been a big believer that writing to the market is a mistake. Even if I love something today, I know it’s been two years in the making. I’ve tried to do that before—dragons are really big; I’ll write that (never finished it). Faeries are really hot; I’ll try that (again, unfinished). I know me well enough to know that it just doesn’t work for me. Learning how and why you write is part of the process. Knowing what works and what doesn’t will make or break you. I’m still learning.

Now, all that said… I’m going to continue to write about my gladiators who earn their freedom the hard way—by killing. I’m going to continue to write about my female smuggler and the super agent who fight intergalactic crime. I’m going to continue to write about Faeries who live in the Otherworld whose war in that realm is so awful, it’s bleeding into the human realm. And, yes, I’m going to finish that dragon story if it kills me.

THOSE are the stories I want to read. THOSE are the stories I’m going to write. Deep down, I have to believe someone, somewhere will want to read them, too.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.