Saturday, October 1, 2011
Grouchy Tea and Disgruntled Crumpets
I certainly swallowed a nice dose of uncertainty. Since the last rejection email I got, I'm not sure what steps I should take next. Edit the manuscript again? Work on my query letter? Look up a crit group? I'm not used to feeling insecure about my writing. And yet, here I am, thinking something is wrong, and getting angry about it.
I get mad at the publishing industry, mad at other writers. I get tired of their blogs, tired of their announcements, tired of their world. Angry and alone, my inner child shakes her fists and screams "Not fair!" She wants to scribble all over their walls, show them she is better than all of that. She can draw, and write, and build worlds inside of worlds. She can transform genres, cross boundaries, if they'd only let her. She hates having to wear one label or another. Why can't she do it all?
I get sick of the term 'YA'. I take breaks from it to read other novels. I take breaks from it to breathe. I go away for a day (like I did this weekend) and just reconnect with what makes me who I am. And who I am is what I put into my writing.
A very nice lady in a chatroom told me that perhaps my work isn't the problem. Perhaps it's just the agent's preference. The next agent could be the one to truly appreciate my manuscript. My trouble is... I feel like I might be in the wrong country. The words I use, the style I admire, the footsteps I'm following - Lewis Carroll, J.K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Mary Shelley - aren't American. They're British.
Even the novel I'm reading by John Connolly The Book of Lost Things is British (although Connolly himself is Irish). So, where in the world of American YA literature do I fit? And most of all, where is the agent who would like to represent a charming, shadowy, Victorian story with a touch of British influence?