I’ve been rejected.
Well, not me, per se, but two of my manuscripts.
I’d sent the first few chapters, and a synopsis, to open calls for submissions to UK-based publishing houses. For my historical fiction with elements of fantasy, I received a polite note from Gollancz to the effect that it’s a ‘neat’ idea, but they don’t want it. For my YA urban fantasy, Hodder & Stoughton sent an email saying it had gone through to the stage where more than one person had read it, and liked it, but they don’t want it.
I’m still waiting to hear back on another submission for one of the manuscripts, and, you know, hope springs eternal, etc, etc, but, honestly, I love those stories and it makes me sad to see them rejected.
On the plus side, though, what’s a writer without a few good rejection stories, hey?
I know (tick all that apply) – happy, – smug, – published, – validated, – celebrating.
So, one year and one month later and I’m not yet eating my masterclass chocolate frog that I promised myself would be my reward for becoming a published author. Damn it all – I should have promised myself that treat just for finishing writing a book, but thus speaks the wisdom of hindsight.
Anyway, no wallowing in self-doubt, self-recriminations or sulfuric acid. If you look carefully at the image above you’ll see my green Fiona McIntosh Masterclass pen has acquired a bend. But it’s not a broken pen – it’s the world smacking me on the side of the head with a metaphor.
The pen was on loan to my adorable spawnlet, and he somehow managed to crush it in the folding seat mechanism of the back of the car. But – here’s the sunny side thing – it still writes. Really well. And it still clicks in and out. And now it kind of hugs my hand a little bit, as I use it. Nice.
I could say it was a happy accident. I could say that, like Fiona, her pen exhibits grace under pressure, resilience and persistence. But, instead, I tell you – I AM THE PEN. A little bit crushed and bent (by rejection) but still writing. Really well.