Querying quandry. (I love Q words…and Q!)

(When you all get a copy of Darrows in your hands or on your screens, you’ll get that.)

I have never experienced such a rollercoaster before. One moment, I’m up. The next I’m down, but never out. The next, I’m so confused I don’t know what to think.

I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again. Darrows is a difficult sell for a lot of people. I knew that going into the querying process. Mostly because I can’t classify this story without thirty different labels. Well not thirty, but…


Or something like that. I don’t even know if that fully covers it all. It does fit, though.

So it’s a hard sell. It just means this story is different from what’s on the shelves, which “YAY! job well done,” I say. It’s what I like to do: find something no one seems to have done before and do it. And I know I’ve done just that.

So here we go. I find through Twitter and a few other outlets a list of agents who may have mentioned (at least once) that they were interested in LGBTQ stories. And I searched for agents who were interested in a retelling. I found agents who wanted tragedy as well as something different. And I made a VERY short list.

Sent out up to ten queries. A somewhat high/low number depending on who you ask. Why? Because it keeps the field small and easy for me to manage, otherwise I’m sifting through the thirty or forty agents I have at one time…and losing my mind trying to keep it all straight. BTDT and let’s never go through that again. (Last time I queried, it took up to seven months to hear from some agents. So, the shorter my list, the easier to keep straight who I’ve queried and who I haven’t.)

One maybe. YAY!

Then one No. Standard form letter, and that’s okay. Quent isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I love him no matter.

Send out another query to keep my number level. Which came back a few days later as a no in the form of a form letter. Again, it keeps Quent as my treasure.

Another out. No word yet.

And then, this week, the weirdest rejection letter (from the first group) I have ever read in my life or my very short authoring career so far. It was a not-form-letter. It was “praise” and “love” and “unique” and “different” and “intriguing” (not direct quotes, synonyms-ish). My story got quite the inflated ego, like a balloon being filled. But after it was full and pretty, the air came out with a pthutututututututut for at the very tail end of this beauty of a letter came an overall “This is not for me.” Huh.

I didn’t know if I should be proud…

…or if I should be upset…

…or both…

I still sit confused as I read it. I think…I really have no answers. I can only imagine the reasons why…but I don’t want to because it’s not for me to assume or blame or judge, but query…instead, I’ll just take all the positives from the not-form-letter, clutch them to my chest because someone almost “got it” and keep on going like there’s no tomorrow.

Send out another query.

gifs found on giphy.


Filed under learning lessons, love carter, love darrows, publish it, query, self-doubt

2 responses to “Querying quandry. (I love Q words…and Q!)

  1. As frustrating as form rejections can be, sometimes the personalized ones are a worse kind of agony. It’s all too easy to latch on to a phrase here and there and then ask yourself why, oh why, didn’t they like it more?

    In terms of genre, can you possibly call your book “YA LGBTQ contemporary fantasy?” Is that descriptive enough without being overwhelming? I had the same problem with my first two books–couldn’t nail down the genre for a while. So happy that my new book can just be called YA fantasy. Phew. *Wipes brow*

    Good luck querying!


    • Thank you! Good luck with your books! Nice to have a cute short genre. 😉 I’ve only mentioned YA and LGBTQ as far as genres go for this story and it works. I think it gets too complicated if I delve further into labels.


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