On Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 at 3:29 in the afternoon, my phone gave two short bursts against my leg notifying me that I had received an email. When I pulled it out of my pocket and looked, I saw a subject line containing the title of one of my manuscripts. In most circumstances, this would mean a form response from an agent (and in rare cases, the agent may have read enough of my manuscript to explain why it wasn’t a good fit). But unlike most emails with one of my titles in the subject, this one didn’t start with “Re: QUERY.”
In fact, this wasn’t a response at all. Someone manually typed the name of my story into the subject line of their outgoing email. This had never happened before. My head spun as I read words and phrases like “editor” and “imprint” and “really like the spirit.” I couldn’t believe this might actually be happening.
A dose of reality smacked the pit of my stomach when I got to the words “as it currently stands, I’m afraid it probably won’t work.” Nooooo!!!!! Could this be nothing more than the nicest rejection letter ever?
But wait! There was more. When my eyes arrived at “Would you open to writing a revision?” I realized this was not actually a rejection! And a few sentences later, the author of this email actually said “I look forward to hearing from you.” THEY were looking forward to hearing from ME?!?!? (how weird – that’s exactly what I say at the end of all my queries)
The next two weeks were a flurry of revisions and excited anxiety, and some day I’ll tell the whole story. It was another four months and more until I received offers of representation and publication.
But precisely one year ago, at this very moment, I received the first ever positive response to one of my manuscripts from an industry professional. *shivers just thinking about it*