Another year went by.
Another effing year.
I went from talking with an editor at a big publishing house, and from him comparing my work to that of Thomas Harris, to a year’s worth of silence (oh and rejections, never forget the rejections).
To her credit, my agent was toiling away trying to sell my book, but to no avail. I wrote and wrote and wrote, but found that my work suffered because I was trying to write books that appeased all of the comments on the nice rejections I got. I forgot that the work needs to come from the heart, so I ended up with two full-length novels that pretty much sucked. I mean, hey, they’re a hell of a lot better than FULL-TIME WOLF, and they still have potential to become something, someday, but at this point they read like a frustrated writer, and that’s never a good thing.
I was lost. Disillusioned. Depressed. I had to make a change, so I opted to part ways with my agent. I felt like, hey, if I believe my work is good enough to be published, it has to be good enough to get me another agent, right? Sure, but let’s not forget the 400 rejections and the years it took just to get an agent in the first place, so it was a pretty huge risk.
Still, I felt too stagnant, too lost. She wasn’t to blame in any way, but I let my agent know I was moving on, and she was very gracious. She offered to vouch for me in any instances where another agent showed interest, etc. I appreciated that.
I started rewriting PUNISHMENT… again. My goal was to have it rewritten from top to bottom in a month, and then start querying for a new agent. I think I’d rewritten the book three times up until that point, so fourth time’s a charm and all that.
The plan went well. I started querying and got some good responses. I felt like I was pretty close to getting an offer for representation when, out of the blue, my old agent contacted me, letting me know that a publishing house had interest. She’d sent the book to them several months before, and this was them just now getting back to her about it. She wanted to know if I wanted her to pursue it (and re-hire her) or pull the book.
Are you kidding? Pursue it! You’re re-hired!
Come to find out, the publishing house showing interest was not just big, but huge. Amazon. More specifically, Thomas & Mercer, Amazon’s mystery and thriller imprint.
I drank that night.
But was I through being pummeled?