The Challenges Keep Coming
Writing the books has been the easy part. I can do the research. I have the ideas. When I get rolling, it can go very quickly and I can throw down a lot of really solid prose. I take my craft seriously and I like to think that I have something worthwhile to say and the skill to say it.
As with so many other artists, the most difficult thing for me has been bringing my creation to an audience. For fiction writers, once we've put our heart into a novel (or novels) we have to go through the terrific marathon of querying the work.
For those that are not familiar, querying is the process by which authors (particularly new ones) must send out "queries" to available literary agents. It requires doing research on potential agents and making an effort to personalize your contact for the agents you approach. And then the author must exhibit patience. If you had not figured it out from my first paragraph, I move quickly- patience does not come easily.
Once you've put those queries out there, you then must suffer the soul-suffocating torture that is rejection. This can be the hurdle that trips up the lesser person. This is the stage that separates the seeds from the chaff, the hobbyist from the professional. I consider myself a professional.
Then the miraculous happens and an agent asks for your complete manuscript. They see something that connects. They get it. And perhaps, after reading the complete manuscript, they offer to represent you. And the process begins again. But this time, with the assistance of someone connected. A cheerleader, an advisor and an advocate.
And maybe that agent isn't perfect, but that's okay, at least they're on your team. So you push them. You prod them. You check in periodically and wait to hear back. But you dread having to shop yourself around again, so you stick it out...
And then the agent has a stroke. Ugh. Back to square one.