So REBEL WITHOUT A CLUE is out there in the inboxes of some of the most amazing editors in New York City, and I'm hoping the perfect editor falls in love with Hank and Peyton and all the other crazy characters. However, I'm here to tell you that when Tom Petty said "The waiting is the hardest part" he wasn't kidding. I'm not gonna lie: having a book on submission to editors and waiting to hear back is not for the faint of heart. It's a l-o-n-g process, filled with lots of nail biting, inbox refreshing, Nutella-straight-out-of-the-jar eating complemented by the occasional Happy Hour of Gilmore Girls on Netflix marathon for distraction. Because this part of the process can take aywhere from days to months, my friends, and there really isn't a whole lot you can do about it.
Oddly, I am much calmer about this part of the process than the agent search, despite the Nutella eating, because lets be real, I do that anyway. Somehow an agent search feels so much more personal. An agent is not only evaluating your work, but your future potential, your whole package, your body of work, both written and unwritten, and it's a very personal relationship, much like a marriage. At this stage of the game, things seem more black and white. An editor loves your story, or they don't. They feel it has issues that need fixing and they have a vision to get it there or they feel they are not the best fit for it. His/her publishing imprint is looking for books just like yours or they already have something similar. In short, things that you cannot control. At all. And there's something very freeing in finding that right representative to take the reins, trust in their expertise and knowledge of knowing where it might generate the most interest, and letting go. I believe I've found that kind of championing partner in my new agent, Leigh Feldman, and I have the absolute faith that if she can't find REBEL a home, no one can. Honestly, when she offered representation, I thought it had to be a mistake. :) I was so nervous, and in fact, I think my exact words to her were "I'm shaking," to which she replied, "Why, are you cold?" She's witty, and smart and all-around amazing, and I feel so lucky every day to be working with her.
In the end, it all comes down to faith and trust. Faith that you've written something good/funny/important/poignant, trust that you are partnered with someone who shares your excitement about your work and is as passionate about it finding its way into the world as you are, and the underlying belief that the delay is never the denial. That while there are plenty of "I sold my book in six days" stories, history has shown you that your story is different, and not to get rattled when results don't come immediately. Everything comes in its own time.
In the meantime, I'm busy at work researching everything from funeral homes and embalming procedures to Indian cooking and the Food Network and plotting my next novel. I'm sure if anyone saw my cache right now they would be hella confused, but I absolutely can't wait to write this next story :) It promises to be pretty hilarious. It's also a great distraction from agonizing over who may or may not have responded today and potentially put me one step closer to my life's dream coming true. And the reality is, once the book sells, while that's awesome and confetti-toss-worthy, I've got to be writing the next one and the next one after that, digging deep and finding all the crazy, funny stories rattling around inside my brain and helping them find their way onto paper. Or into a Word doc. Whatever.
In the meantime, writer friends, just FYI: Costco sells two-packs of giant sized Nutella bottles for about 8-1/2 dollars just rows from where they sell those super-comfy yoga pants. Coincidence? I think not.