I'm working on what my friend Annie and I call, 'A Big Girl Book'. This is a grown-up book. Not that Mills and Boon books aren't grown up books. Of course they are. It's just that M&B books are only 50k words and a Big Girl Book can be 80-100k or even more.
I sent of the first three chapters to four literary agents some months ago and yesterday, I got a response from one of them. Now, before you get too excited, let me tell you it was a rejection, but hey, it was a bloody great rejection! This was not a standard, 'thanks, but no thanks', this was a personal, motivating response that really cheered me, considering this was my first reply. It read, "Thank you for sending me 'Change of Life' and for giving me the opportunity to consider your work. This was a difficult decision for me, as I was really impressed with your submission. The writing is engaging, the idea is appealing and you write with real energy and imagination. However...."
Whoa! I've highlighted in bold the good bits. What a thrilling response! That a top literary agent in London had difficulty in deciding to turn me down. That my submission was impressive. That my writing was engaging, appealing, had energy and imagination.
That's great feedback and though it was a rejection, I was very happy with it, to be honest. It made me feel that I was on the right track and though it wasn't something that this agent felt he could take on, then maybe another might. That the submission itself isn't crapola. That there's merit there in that idea and it has value.
But I can't rest on my laurels here. I've had one rejection, so i need to send out another this weekend, so that I've always got at least four subs out there, hoping to tweak a big fish (read: impressive top literary agent)
So, I guess the moral of this post is, keep trying. Don't take rejections personally. Embrace any creative feedback that you are given and work on it.
Oh, and keep your fingers crossed!