So all the while I was getting rejected like crazy, I was still writing. I came up with an idea for a book that ended up being STONEFLY. I stopped querying with NORMAL, and started getting rejected for STONEFLY instead 😉
But then I heard back from someone. An agent thought my book was pretty cool, and he wanted to see if I’d be interested in talking about it. Of course I was! The void actually responded! He said he was going to let a couple of the other agents read it and see what they thought, then he’d get back to me.
Now, those of you know me may know that I’m not a particularly patient man. Well, after all this time and all these rejections, I’ve learned to be patient… but it’s hard. Boy, is it hard.
Anyway, I waited a week.
Then two weeks.
I shot him a quick note, just to see how things are going.
And then waited a week.
And then two weeks.
And then heard back from him. It went about like this, “Hi Scott. I’ve been on vacation for a bit, so I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you, yet.”
And that was it.
Five weeks later.
An apology with no information, otherwise.
Something inside me was beginning to come apart. I had a panic attack at work. Thought I was having a heart attack. I had to grab a nearby post to keep from falling down. I didn’t know what was going on. No breath. I was freaking out. Took about five minutes and then I was okay again, but it was terrifying. If any of you have ever had a panic attack, you know.
Eventually, I heard back from these others that were reading the book. The message was, “We’ve looked it over, and basically it’s this: If you feel up for it, rewrite this a young adult novel and we’ll take another look. If you don’t feel like doing that… then thanks, but no thanks.”
Now, I want you to imagine after hundreds of rejections covering years of your life before finally getting a positive response, and then being forced to wait two more months before you get an email from the people who could hold your future in their hands. You open that email differently, yo. You open it with your eyes closed and a deep breath. You open your eyes and read, a smile half-cocked for the good news.
Rewrite the whole thing from scratch. Otherwise thanks, but no thanks.
I staggered out of my office, found my wife in the living room, hugged her and just fucking balled my eyes out. I felt I’d been hit by a car. I said, “I don’t know if I have what it takes to do this.”
I was finally getting pummeled.