Phil: Out of the blue a few days ago, I get a letter. Oddly, it is addressed to both myself and Candice at my address. Then I notice the franking and realise it’s from a publisher.
Tearing open the envelope, I hope with all my heart that it says something along the lines “We love your book, here’s a huge cheque.” but I know it’s more likely to say “Please don’t bother us again or we’ll call the Police.”. I read the page contained within. Then I read it again.
It’s a rejection letter.
But it’s a special rejection letter. One with a little bit of positive feedback. The second paragraph reads:
Although your story had appealing elements and your writing style was suited for the chick-lit genre, our reader felt that the authors were too concerned with explaining the background rather than introducing the main character or getting into the action of the story.
They think our writing style is suited to the genre ! We can actually do this thing !
OK, so there is the bit about taking too long to get to the point but as regular readers will know, we are working on this. Sadly the query letter to response time straddles the point where we found this out and started trying to fix it. Had we realised this earlier then maybe the latter would have been more positive. Or maybe there would be something else wrong. For the minute we are both taking the little bit of positive out of this.
Anyway, at the very least, someone has at least read our three chapters. Someone in a publishing house. Better still, they didn’t just send a standard letter, but took the time to make a suggestion. Someone who gets loads of stuff from the slush pile to plough through took the time to help. How special does that make us ?