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 A true delight for an unpublished author – up there with plunging needles into my retina.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.

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      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.

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      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. 🙂

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      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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