Manic Mom's Mental Myriads

Stop by and have a laugh from Manic Mom's Mental Myriads on Motherhood, and some other stuff too, but mostly motherhood, wifehood, thoughts on writing, etc. No politics will be discussed here or geography, and I will not be solving any mathematical equations. Just some BS on whatever I feel like blogging on...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Best Rejection To Date Is Here:

You know what? I expect rejection letters. I know they are part of the process of getting an agent, of finding the right match for your work. You have to find someone as passionate about your book as you are and that's really, really hard to do. And I'm okay with that. It's like online dating, or regular dating, or making friends, or blog dating, or mating... whatever. You have to find the right match. It's got to be a "Ying and Yang thang." Or something like that.

But this here is the most absurd rejection in the entire world. I think so anyway. And this is my blog so I can think anything I want to.

So, I send Prominent New York Agent a query -- a short, simple one, with not a lot of info, and asked if she would be interested in reading more.

This is the blurb (in case there are any agents out there looking for my book... hee hee):

Ellen McMillan’s plan for the next forty weeks didn’t involve tip-toeing around her infertile sister, getting black-balled from Thursday night happy hour, and spending a week in Jamaica sober. But because of the Two Hearts pregnancy test, she’s becoming a different woman, complete with a new set of boobs and a blooming uterus. Ellen’s got more than her share of pregnancy woes–her OB makes her insides flutter (and it’s not because the baby’s kicking!), her pregnant boss thinks motherhood and career are not synonymous, and her husband is suddenly MIA, both emotionally and physically. She’s in a constant state of panic, thanks to a premonition from a stranger, a medical test gone awry, and the discovery of a family secret kept far too long. How in the world can Ellen make it through the next four days let alone the next forty weeks?

So, this is the response I get from Prominent New York Agent, which was very timely and honest, to give her credit:

I’m sorry; as a woman who plans to never have children, this just doesn’t resonate with me. But thanks very much for giving me a chance.


She is a literary agent. Does this mean because she never plans on murdering anyone, she is not interested in representing murder mysteries. Since she is not a man, is she not interested in anything a man would write? Does this mean that since she is heterosexual (I'm assuming), any book with gay characters would be disregarded immediately, and thrown into the Slush Pile? Since she is a literary agent, does this mean any book with a main character with a job unrelated to publishing or writing would not resonate with her?

I so just don't get it. And, if she is choosing not to have children, that's fine, that's her own business, but I have never met a parent who has said, "Oh, I wish I didn't have kids." I have met plenty of people who have said, "Oh, I wish I didn't have this job I have."

Prominent New York Agent seems pretty close-minded to me. But, who am I to say what resonates with her doesn't resonate with someone else. It's just a great, big, grandeous mystery to me. And wouldn't it be HILARIOUS if someday my book would become a BEST-SELLER, and I could do interviews and say, "Oh, Prominent New York Agent didn't even want to read my book because it's about a woman who has a baby." And she would be kicking herself because she would have gotten fifteen percent of a Best-Selling book about a mom, and we all know how boring books like that can be.

That would be soooo cool.


At 11:03 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Oh my god. That has got to be one of the worst excuses I have ever heard. Maybe she isn't really an agent? Maybe she's just a freakin' idiot!

Sorry about the rejection. I know that book will be published, and I expect an autographed copy! ;)

X-rays Get The Topless Hippies Plenty Elated.

(Why do I keep getting X's!!!)

At 11:57 PM, Blogger The Daring One said...

Your response to her rejection had me laughing out loud. Thanks for stopping by.

I recently read The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway who is indeed an author...of sorts...brilliant, but who cares? None of us are rushing out to buy more, I'll tell you that.

Since I'm not an old man, spending all of my time taking taxis from bar to bar in Europe and speaking in fragmented sentences, his work didn't really resonate with me.

At 1:07 AM, Blogger Caryn said...

Your blurb sounds fantastic. I hope we are all one day able to read your book.

At the risk of providing a dissenting voice, I sort of know where the agent's coming from. As someone who has not (yet) had kids, I don't generally read mommy lit. If I run across mommy lit, I may read it, but I don't usually seek it out. (How I ended up mostly reading--and enjoying--mommy blogs is totally beyond biological clock must be starting to tick.) And it is best to have an agent who is totally in love with your work. Maybe she is in a similar position. When I was an adolescent, I often wanted to read books set in high school. One day when I have kids, I imagine I won't be able to get enough of mommy lit. God knows when I was planning my wedding I read plenty of wedding lit books, though they don't much interest me now. (Really, my range is much wider than simply reading books about lives and characters similar to mine! I swear!) Hen lit (despicable name, but books written by/about "older" women) is becoming popular because such women like to read about their own lives. Reading about ourselves still generally resonates most deeply with people. And you want your work to resonate with your agent. At least you know it's not your writing style, but simply luck. For every agent out there who avoids mommy lit, there is probably at least one who adores it, and your blurb is fantastic enough to grab his/her attention.

That said, maybe it would have been better for the agent to not be totally blunt about the situation, or at least to have phrased it differently. Also, you have an excellent point when you say that just because you enjoy murder mysteries it doesn't mean you plan to murder anyone.

At 1:10 AM, Blogger Caryn said...

Oh, god. I noticed this gem just as I hit Login and Publish last time. Word verification was:


No kidding. I don't think it even needs words for each letter. Just pronounce it with a question mark at the end, and you have a very nosy question.

At 4:45 AM, Blogger BallerinaGurl said...

Perhaps you could slip her some ruffies in a Thank you box of tea you could send and plan a night our for her to get pregnant then see how she reacts!

OH came here by way of Ex Girlfriends! I had to see who you were. Brilliant Blog! What the hell kind of woman would you have been dealing with? Sheesh!

My daughter sometimes drives me insane, yes career mother here..well used to be. BUT I asked for it and about it now! hehe All in the pudding!

Nice to meet you!

At 7:18 AM, Blogger MoDigli said...

Me, me, me !!! ... I guess it's just "all about me" when it comes to that PNYA. (Hey, Manic, make up a good WV sentence with THAT acronym!)

I guess if the glorious, wonderful, amazing HER doesn't feel it, then none of us regular folks who buy and read books woud ever be interested in it.

Anyway - Isn't the premise of your book kind of saying she didn't expect to be pregnant and it's all a big surprise and she's just trying to deal with it all? I wouldn't be surprised if PNYA was an "oops' baby herself! (So many ppl walking around today are only here because "OOOOPS!" somebody got pregnant without planning it!)

now i'm gonna go look at your site meter... more later! For now I need coffee! :)

At 7:42 AM, Blogger cubmommy said...

That is so lame. Isn't an agent looking for the public would like to read. I have noticed the tread of a lot of mommy lit books coming out. I think your book would definitely sell.

Obviously she is behind the times. I think I saw a news story about women graduating college and then putting their careers on hold to become stay at home moms.

Good luck finding an agent!

Naked Females Take Xmas Easy

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Manic Mom said...

Anna, you are totally right on with everything you said about what people like to read. My whole thing, as Cubmommy so greatly mentioned, is "Isn't an agent looking for what the public likes to read."

But, what do I know?

The Daring One and Ballerina Gurl--Thanks so much for stopping by!

Anna--love the WV! "Did we just F$#%?"

Mo--PNYA--She's just a "Pathetic 'Noying Young Agent"... hahahah

Erin and Cubmommy--awesome WVs!

Quiet Little Kids Vent To Strangers.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger her master said...

Okay, you vented. Feel better now? :)

At 9:26 AM, Blogger NewYorkMoments said...

Hi--Are you also a victim of psycho blogstalkers? I'm adding you to my blogroll.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Bernita said...

It really sounds as if she was trying to explain why she wasn't interested without excoriating the writing or the plot.
Comes across as dumb though. DUMB.

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was a query right? Where you are asking her if she's interested in reading your story? If she's really a big time agent, she's busy, and probably only picks things that interest her. If she's not enthused about pregnancy as a subject, I don't blame her for not wanting to slug through a whole book on it. Try to see it from her point of view...and give her credit for honesty. There's loads of agents out there, plenty who would love the subject. Don't take it personally, keep going.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

Your query sounds great!

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Jennie Reb said...

Manic, here's what I think. At least you have the balls (technically, that would be boobs, eh) to send your book out there. I haven't made it that far in my life. I'm proud of you, dear. Good job.

Daring One: you had me laughing out loudd, too. As someone with a MA in English and who is currently a lit teacher, I'm supposed to love Hemingway. But, I just can't do it. Faulkner either for that matter. Please don't tell my students or my boss!
"Voracious kangaroos sometimes discuss my youth"

At 6:09 PM, Blogger J Holden said...

i know nothing about being a literary agent, or a writer, or anything to do with writing

but that's the dumbest response to ANYTHING that i have ever read

J Holden said so

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL I guess it is a good thing we can laugh about her response...considering you now know she is definatly not the agent for you.

Would she get upset if she called and you couldn't talk because you were busy with your kids?

It is sad to get rejected...I was rejected as well...only this company says "If we don't contact you regarding an email query within two weeks, it mean that we are not interested."

Yeah I haven't gotten an email and it is only 3 days until the two week mark.

Would have rather had the not gonna be a mom letter.

Zebras X-amine everyone's butts u know

At 11:40 PM, Blogger Distressed Jeans said...

I must have been rejected by the same exact agent because I got a similar letter myself.

This is getting tiring, I wonder WHEN is it going to happen. I got TWO rejections in the mail this week. Two agent who never responded after reading the manuscript. A few who didnt want to read any part of my book and some unaccounted for queries with partial ms.

Its enough to drive me to drink. Heavily!


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