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Interesting Week…

November 15, 2009

My in-laws have this “thing” they do in their family. If a dinner is off or a particular experience evokes an odd reaction their response is to politely call it Interesting. “That’s an interesting shade you’ve picked” or “This combination of ham and chocolate is quite interesting.”

When I was first exposed to this it took me a minute or two to figure out it was a polite slam to the unwary recipient, and then I was all for it. Hey, as long as it wasn’t directed at me I was okay with it.
That’s kind of how I feel about this week. I had a relaxing birthday. Pete’s birthday was the next day and his required a bit more on my part, whereas my day I got to do whatever I wanted and not care how the rest of the family felt about me getting a facial, manicure, pedicure and a massage before dinner out.
Then comes Friday the 13th. Lots of interesting developments that day. I joined a new publisher sponsored writing site on the 10th and by this day I figured out that it requires writers to basically whore themselves out to fellow writers in a popularity contest. Having no desire to revisit high school and all it’s pain, I’ve decided the site isn’t really my cup of tea and I do not have the time to schmooze and kiss ass all day long to get someone to “back” my story.
Next, I exchanged erotic chapters with a writer from that site privately, hoping that we could each improve each others work. I’m not sure I can even call her writing interesting so much as it was confusing. And the real kicker is she thinks its good and isn’t open to feedback no matter what her politely worded emails elude too.
Finally, I received two rejections from publishers. Ironically, one was a request for my work as long as it wasn’t submitted elsewhere as well. Hello? What the hell is that? I’m trying to sell my book and you honestly think I’m only going to send it to one publisher at a time? My husband told me to lie and send it. Well, I compromised. I sent it and I told the truth, that it was out elsewhere.
My honesty won me a rejection and an offer to send it back in if I didn’t go to contract with the other publisher. I told the truth because all they’d have to do is search on Google and they’d see the contest results from Dorchester at least. But send it back in? Are you effing kidding me? You have it and yet you won’t open it because I told the truth.
Asinine business practices like that make me glad they are a small publisher I’ve never heard of – nor read any of their books. Means there are other larger, smarter fish in the sea.
Ah… moving on… the next rejection I get is from Dorchester. This one caused much confusion. They rejected Vampire Vacation from a query and sample first chapter I sent back in August. This rejection was completely unrelated to the Dorchester America’s Best Celler contest I semi-finaled in earlier this month. But, I do feel it may be a foreshadowing. I quickly emailed the assistant editor back and asked if this was also an early notification that I did not make the top ten finalist spot for the contest and was out of the running for that as well. No word back yet.
Part of me accepts this as the end of the contest. Another very small part of me holds out hope that the two incidents – an assistant who rejected me and people reviewing the contest entries – are unrelated. It reminds me of how I came to work for one of the largest and most respected mortgage banks in the country.
I had moved from NJ to VA because I couldn’t take the incredibly competitive market and survive another year. A recruiter from a large mortgage bank – calling from their national headquarters – was calling small companies in my area and speaking to their sales reps – trying to poach salesman as it were. They happened to call and get me after the owner of the company I wascureently working for pushed me into sales from a processing spot when he finally read my resume and found out I had been a loan officer in NJ (I didn’t make much money at it and took the office spot to pay bills).
Most of his sales staff had left because he was such an asshole and he was desperate for a sales person to answer the phone when a potential client called. That’s how the recruiter got me. She liked me on the phone and asked for my resume. Considering who this company was (their name became mud a little bit ago, so it’s not as impressive as it was then – but at the time it was HUGE to be asked) I eagerly sent my resume in.
Within a short period of time I received a form rejection letter. Stating that my resume was reviewed and I was not a good match for the company. Two days later, I got a phone call from the local regional branch manager saying she wanted to interview me.
I was confused because of the rejection letter and she was annoyed because she was supposed to be the one who decides if an applicant is worthy, not the corporate office in California. I went in and the rest is history.
I had a big office with real furniture and I was floored. I became the youngest (at 25 and a chick, that was HUGE) Area Manager the company had ever had and for the short time I was there (less than a year because I went onto an even better spot after that) I hit tops in sales for quite a few months. It was a dream come true. For a very short period of time I even made more money than my boyfriend (now my husband) who was a vice-president at his company. I felt like I was on top of the world.
We joked about that rejection letter – my boss, me, my assistant and then the sales guy later hired to work under me. I even brought the letter in to my big office (the likes of which I’ve never had again) and threatened to hang it on the wall (which I never did).
Could this rejection from an assistant turn out to be the same thing? Will I make it to the top ten in the contest despite that email on Friday?
I’m not sure. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
A girl can hope, right?
C.J.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2009 5:54 pm

    Hey girl, hang in there. I sent out to forty (actually, I think it may have been 50 agents/publishers) and was rejected by all but one, who happened to love my book. It's all so subjective and personal. Plus, the market is really tight right now with the economy. This is actually a pretty good article on big vs. small press and the realities of publishing today: http://rhiannonfrater.blogspot.com/2009/11/monsterous-superhero-powers-of-small.htmlAnd I'm certainly with you on the hope part! I still have hope that the media will pick up my book and it'll be an overnight sensation!

  2. November 15, 2009 8:40 pm

    Thanks Nicole! I actually haven't counted how many rejections I've had so far. I can't see it making me feel any better and all I need is one yes, so I'm still hopeful.I'll check out that article, thanks.C.J.

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