I just got a ms. back from Candlewick. I was sure it wasn’t what hey were looking for when it was wrapped in barbed wire and had a skull-and-crossbones on the envelope.
I went through the usual Kubler-Ross stages: Denial — They must have confused my novel about a kangaroo who finds a portal in the outback and ends up as Shakespeare’s pet with another like it. But not nearly as riveting. Anger — My editor looks charming with a flaming sword buried in her sternum. Etcetera.
Basically what I really do when I get a ms. back or an editorial letter I’d rather not have is remind myself that all I want to do is tell a story. Something a reader would be glad to stick with for a couple of hours.
Thinking of the NOVEL never helps. Thinking of the story helps a lot. Terms like Novel and Novelist cast a very long shadow. Story teller not so much. We all tell stories all the time.
All I need to do is tell a long one.