TINKER BELL DELIVERS
I admire the writers, a little bit, who don’t long to see their book at Barnes and Nobel or Walmart, although I’m not sure I believe them. Maybe they say getting their book published isn’t important because it’s hard to put your novel out there, laid bare for everyone to see, to ask you about at family reunions and the grocery store. For me, the worst is the nice lady at the postal place who from time to time looks at me like I remember you, and says, “did you ever get that book that you kept sending off published?”
Two things about that: one, she has a very good memory because I haven’t submitted anything by snail mail in three years, and two any idiot, even a nice one, would know somebody like me would have extremely vivid memories of stuffing my hopes and dreams in a great big yellow envelope and launching from her counter. Now, there’s a chain of what I call “mail it” places called GOING POSTAL. I strongly suspect some struggling author started the chain after giving up their dream of seeing their book at retail, harboring violent images reserved for literary agents who have to say “no” way more than they say “yes” to maintain their sanity and stay in business.
Truth be told, I didn’t even bother with the post office when I sent off my first novel, HAMILTON PLACE . Back then it was called QUEEN ANNE’S LACE, and I was so sure Thresea Park publish my work, I sent it along with two dozen stems of queen anne’s lace I’d picked along the roadside and a clever note that basically said here I am! Publish me! The logic being, if she liked Nicholas Sparks enough to publish his sappy schock, she’d love my writing. After a night of incubating in a Fed Ex truck, I can only imagine when those wild flowers arrived what must have crawled out of the box. That thought provided some comfort when the rejection letter arrived. But that experience lifted the veil, and I realized how very difficult getting published was.
But last week, Tinker Bell delivered big time. (If you’re confused about the Tinkerbell reference, read my June 5th entry.) I came away with three editors who want to read THE WISDOM OF HAIR. The fourth editor gave me the name of an agent and told me to use his name. He was really nice but may have been a little put off by the title since he had the prettiest shiny bald head I’d ever seen. That he knew Jane Jordan Browne, my agent who passed away in 2003, that her beloved farm butted up to his sister’s farm in Wisconsin made me realize how very small this world really is.
So thank you Tinkerbell for getting me closer to the fruition of such a big wish. And thank you Jane, I wish you had been there. I suspect you were.