Monday, September 7, 2009

I love my novels. But, I worry that I’ve lost all objective and The Romanic Query Letter gives me a clear prospective

Delphin Enjolras' A Moment of Reflection

I sit with my manuscript re-reading it to the point of glut no longer able to see any of its shortcomings for love of my charming heroine and her perfect hero. Then the day’s post arrives and soon all I’m able to see is where it falls short. That’s largely due to the steady flow of rejection letters it has generated.

Usually a form letter, ripe with judgment but which offers no personal critique. I’m left feeling like a failure for not writing the letter that advertises their brilliant love story, and I never question the brilliance of their story. It’s a good story: romantic, touching and entertaining… everything it aught to be.

This I know for I was a fan long before I ever thought to put pen to paper, fan of the genre and now of the tale that I wove in homage to that love.

Even with my obvious bias, I’m not completely without credit for I’ve read, with all due diligence, the work of most all my peers from 1995 to present. All of it I tell you, from the brilliant to the abysmal but then it is all so very subjective. I can hardly speak for all. For example, I love, love, love Mary Balogh’s novels while my sister finds Mary to be verbose, without any plot worthy of merit. Her words, not mine.

Still, we are, all of us, quite certain of what it is we adore about our favorites, whether it be the author, hero or plotline and that, I believe, is due to the very nature of the subject matter.
For love is, after all, complex and demands a strong reaction.

Besides, if I did not love my story how, in good conscience, could I expect another to adore it enough to want to represent it?

Here is where The Romantic Query Letter becomes useful, for it gives me purpose in the face of opposition and fortifies my focus on the prime directive. It reminds me that I don’t need objectivity. That’s for the critics. I am my book’s advocate and my only purpose now is to present it in the best possible light so it may shine.

To this end I've decided to submit a few short stories to Harlequin Undone with the hope of getting my name and work out as a catalyst for my full-length novels. I have of this morning story boarded two workable ideas based on their requirements and will start writing tonight with the hope of having something ready by month's end.

So you see I've move on without reservation and now encourage you to do the same.

Take with you my care when you go,


  1. Simone
    I’m doing the same thing. I’ve writing an undone and I’m terrified. It was harder for me to write that my full-length novels. I don’t know what I’ll do if they don’t accept it. I’ve been at this for five years without being published. Maybe my mother is right, a dentist should not be more logical.

  2. Casslyn,
    First let me thank you for joining the Romantics and please know I, wish you nothing but the very best with your manuscript. You mother means well I’m sure, I know for my mother, she offers up advice like that all time the under the guise of good intentions but I’m always certain to remind her that the way to hell is paved with good intentions ;]