I have good news and bad news – and no news. I always like to start with the bad news first, so here we go.
Over the past month and a half, I’ve queried seven agents and received three rejections. That’s still four people I haven’t heard from, including one agent I’d love to work with based on her interviews and client list. It’s the holiday season and you gotta have faith, right? No news is still good news – or I may never hear back from the other four agents. Some just never respond, which is maddening, but I know their slush pile is pretty big.
The good news is that I tried out a website, Absolutewrite.com, recommended to me by a published author and have found a critique partner – someone I’ve needed for a very long time, but unable to find locally. This is someone I’ve never met personally and know very little about, so far. She’s critiqued my first chapter and has given some wonderful unbiased advice and offered a fresh perspective – invaluable help, in my opinion. I’ve also read the first chapter of her work in progress and really enjoyed it. Any time I get to read, it’s a good day – plus, her book is definitely something I’d read anyway. One of the reasons I was unable to find a critique partner locally is that none of my friends read YA, let alone actually have the time to read my book and give me an honest opinion. On Absolutewrite.com, you can list the genre you’re writing and like-minded people (hopefully) respond. I wouldn’t presume to critique Women’s Literature and Fiction – I don’t read the genre and seriously doubt I could stay awake long enough to finish the story.
Some of you who haven’t tried YA may think it’s just for teenagers and, as an adult, why would you read books targeted at teenagers? This is exactly what I said when a friend recommended I read the Harry Potter series thirteen years ago – and they turned out to be some of the best books I’ve ever come across. I read an interview with the writer Victoria Scott on the blog chasingthecrazies yesterday and she make a wonderful statement about YA – “I love YA because of its simplicity. I believe stories can be a lot more exciting when there’s no mortgage, marriage issues, kids to raise, careers to worry about, etc. Being a teen is raw…and it’s pure.” You can just enjoy the story and not have to read about characters whining over marriage/career/children/financial problems and complaining about why they’re not happy or fulfilled in their lives. Personally, I’d rather read a good story than listen to that any day. If you don’t like your situation, do something to change it. Try YA – you may discover a whole new world.