Zinnia Hope, author of multi-genres and erotic romances; also writing as J. Emberglass
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Saturday, September 30
The chickens are hiding out from me. I've been on a rampage of late. I'm bad. I admit it.
I have several agents who have requested partials. I keep getting comments about how powerful my writing is, how well I write, how vivid my characters are...and a "I have no idea how to market this" tacked on to the compliments. Yeah, I know, I've whined about this before. I received a really stupid rejection on one partial yesterday. When I stepped out the back door, the current rooster of the Cluck-Cluck Gang took one look at me, his beady eyes bulging, and squawked, "Look out! Z's got another dumb rejection letter! Run! Run! Last one to the coop is lying next to the buttered carrots tonight!"
I never got a chance to kick his feathery ass up in the maple tree, but I did throw a potted marigold at him.
After much discussion with my husband, I've decided that if no one signs me as a client based on this novel, I'm putting it away. I've been in publishing a long, long time. Seriously. I make good money selling my fiction to national men's magazines and I was previously repped by a huge NYC agency, but either the stars and planets aren't lined up properly, the chickens are practicing black magic on me in the secrecy of their coop, or--and I hate to say this--agents just don't know what they want anymore. I'm so sick of writing about sex and I'm even more tired of reading mediocre or fluffy material published by the big houses.
I'm not saying I'm the next #1 best-selling author. I'm not insinuating that at all. There is some amazing talent out there that IS published, but the blah material is growing more common. For some kinky reason, agents and editors keep signing ho-hum material. (And don't even get me started on the infernal assistants who hit the auto-reply form rejection email button!)
Am I the only author/reader who has noticed this trend?
During supper the other night, the husband listened to me vent. The boys looked at one another, finished their desserts and filed off to their rooms or to watch tv. My next-to-the-oldest reads my non-erotic material. He's an avid reader, and one of my biggest fans despite being my son. He wrapped his arms around my neck and whispers into my ear, "Mom, I've read your stuff and it's damn fantastic." Startled by his cuss word, I looked at him sharply. He straightened, looked at his dad, then back at me. "I'm serious," he said. "I couldn't put down your last manuscript. If one of those agent dudes doesn't sign you soon, then that just means they're stupid. You write better than a lot of those authors the teacher makes me read for literature class."
Okay, I admit it. My lower lip quivered, I sniffed, and promptly boo-hooed all over my roast chicken and baby carrots.
The husband said quietly, "He's right, Z. And although you may not want to do it, maybe you need to put this latest manuscript away and focus on one of your others."
I stared at him and reached for a napkin to blow my snotty nose.
The husband said, "I think maybe this novel is well before it's time and everyone's too dense to see it right now."
I hate wailing. I really do. When it comes to publishing, author/writers who rally the agents are like those people on such shows as So You Think You Can Dance or those struggling actors vying for a choice part. You know you can dance or act rings around the one who gets the gig, but what do you do? Well, me, I wail, lol.
So, when the latest rejection showed up in the mail, the chickens disappeared. They're not brave enough to wage war against me again...yet. I don't think they want to anyway. They know I'm too frustrated and fed up right now.
The roast chicken and carrots was really tasty, by the way.