Schrödinger’s Novel: Both Best-Seller and Slush-pile Dweller

      By Snow Brooks

There’s something alluring about holding a stack of manuscripts in ambivalent purgatory, stashing them in a drawer, and strolling away with a devious grin. Locked and unseen, my novels hover between the possibilities of living literary masterpieces or lifeless sewage. That’s the charm of uncertainty. I’ve got a best-seller in my drawer! Well, sort of, according to Schrödinger and his furry friend.

Like Schrödinger’s cat, my darlings exist in a state of quantum superposition until I open the box and a literary agent observes one. Is it dead? Is it alive? Part of me doesn’t want to know. Only a nefarious, mustache-twirling literary agent and his rejection letter can quash the hope uncertainty allows.

It wasn’t until I completed my third manuscript that my box of Schrödinger novels became too tempting to leave unopened. I admit it – curiosity got the better of me (yes, I know what that did to the cat). But seriously, what’s in the box? And thus began the delightful process of hunting down the ideal mustache-twirler to query.

The first thing I noticed in my search for said rascal was that locating an agent who is actively seeking romantic-suspense fiction with emphasis on suspense is like searching for life on another planet. When I finally located one in the agency universe, it felt like I’d stumbled upon a news-worthy discovery. Hear me CNN?

Then began the charming task of writing a synopsis, which is rather like fitting a hundred clowns into a Prius. And don’t forget the query letter with biography! A true delight for an unpublished author – up there with plunging needles into my retina. But, I did it. Clown-stuffing, needles, and all!

So now, I wait. Likely, for my first form rejection letter from Mr. Mustache that I will proudly frame and display as initiation to the Thick-Skinned Writer’s Club. Will I give up? Even if my walls become filled with “Sorry but” and “I’m afraid” letters? Nope. I’m tenacious and I have mustache clippers!

5 thoughts on “Schrödinger’s Novel: Both Best-Seller and Slush-pile Dweller

  1. So, it seems you’re in a state of limbo at present. It’s both a scary and exciting place to be! I can almost hear you holding your breath. You attitude to possible rejection does you credit, and I’m sure, with your tenacity, you’ll be published very soon. I wish you every bit of luck in doing so. How wonderful it would be to have your first book traditionally published. I intend to approach agents when I’ve fifnished the third book of my trilogy, so I’m avidly following your progress here.(Or perhaps I’ll wait until I have 10,000 followers on Twitter!) 🙂

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    1. Rejection or failure has never been something I fear. Some of the most successful people I know have failed time and again before success. The key is in seeing failure as an experience from which to learn, rather than to become discouraged.


      1. Very true. It would help if agents and publishers gave feed back and advice about rejected manuscripts. I’ve read that most don’t. That seems such a pity, when they’re the very people whose advice would be the most helpful.


      2. I’ve heard they seldom give any feedback since most receive far too many queries to personally respond to them all. A form rejection letter is the norm, I hear. I plan to print off and frame my first rejection letter. Stephen King kept his rejection slips on a nail in his wall until the nail couldn’t support the weight of them all. He put a spike in it’s place and continued with his writing. 🙂


      3. Well, I’d better have a spike ready for when I start submitting to agents. 🙂 I hear so many stories about the dozens of agents that authors approach without success. It sounds so daunting … Perhaps I’ll just stick with Amazon. 😀

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