After a few days of martyrdom because I couldn't get any feedback on my manuscript, (the words, not the commas,) I was surprised to hear that one of my husband's loyal staff members had insisted on getting together a focus group of HMB readers to compare a printout of my story with a free publication of a HMB medical romance.
The results came back. The readers enjoyed the HMB medical and they agreed wholeheartedly that my book was nothing like any they had yet read. They'd noted that I'd even managed to remove most of the medical details. As I had achieved my aim, I proudly sent off my first medical romance to HMB.
A lot of writers have said to me that it takes a long long time to get rejections. I can't remember that one taking very long. The answer was a masterpiece of tact and I've found that with editors. They say the nicest things when they say 'no.' This one said she would have liked me to read the books they sent because that was the sort of thing they wanted to publish. But please, try again.
Who would have expected either of those comments?
So I wrote the next in two weeks - and that was the 'whoosh,' instant rejection. I didn't know why, really, because I think I had some medical detail in the story. That day I signed up for an evening class called something like 'Do You Want to Be A Writer?'
I still did. As you can see above, I can't even spell silent resignation. (Yes, I know that's a groaner but I wanted to test if anyone saw it coming.)