“Please accept my apology for this form response, but the volume of mail received in my office makes a personal reply impossible.
I have reviewed your material and it is not anything I wish to work with at this time. Thank you for the submission and I wish you the best of luck with other agents.”
I went over to peruse the ABNA boards today, because it’s March 22, and that means that the next round of finalists went up this morning. (They are getting much better at doing that early in the day, even for us East Coasters)!
Amazingly enough, it was kind of nice to not be all stressed out about what I’d find. I didn’t even feel compelled to check the lists – because, since I got cut in the first round, obviously my name wasn’t going to be on it. (Ok, I’ll admit, I did check the YA list… just on the off chance that there was some kind of mistake on the first one). But I wasn’t worried about it.
Would I have loved to get the feedback that comes from making it to the second round? Of course. Can I get that feedback anyway? Well, I do have a friend who made it to “Vine Reviewer” status on amazon… she didn’t get asked to be an ABNA judge… but she’s as qualified as they are. And she’ll give me a nice review, because she thinks my book is awesome.
Moving on… I’m sure I’ll enter next year, because it’s fun. But if I never make it past round two… it doesn’t really matter. It’s not a REAL fantastic method for measuring whether or not your book will succeed. I know enough people who have read and enjoyed my books, and there are people I DON’T know who have read and enjoyed my books, and most importantly I enjoy my books… so I’ll stick with them. However, I’m beginning to see the up-side to sticking with self-publishing… mostly because my family is setting up a marketing/media company, and I’m thinking that using that company to promote/sell my books while retaining all rights to them might be what I would most enjoy doing. Besides, form rejection letters are depressing. I’m thinking about submitting my ms to DAW though, they still accept unsolicited/unagented submissions… shot in the dark, but it might be fun… just to see.
The sound of the window opening behind him made the old man’s head jerk around. He stood up, a towering figure in the small room and glared at the young man who had just dropped lightly through the window, throwing up a cloud of dust as he landed on the unswept floor. The boy looked around, his brown eyes curious and his sandy brown hair a little unkempt from the long climb and the winds near the top of the tower.
“What are you doing in my tower?” The old man’s voice filled up the room and Grayden looked up, his eyes widening in shock.
“Do you… do you live up here?”
“You have not answered my question,” the old man raised up his cane and pointed it at the boy’s chest threateningly. “Now, tell me truly, how did you get in and why are you here?”
“I’m s-sorry, sir. I didn’t know anyone lived up here. How… how do you get food?”
“ANSWER MY QUESTION!”
“Oh, right. I… uh… well, I climbed up the tower.”
The old man strode over to the window and looked down, then he looked at the boy, disbelief in his sharp blue eyes. “You could see the tower?”
Grayden frowned in confusion, “Uh… yes. The tower has been standing on the border of our village for as long as anyone can remember.”
“That’s not possible,” the old man muttered. He looked out the window again. “Is that your friend down there?”
“And he can see the tower too?”
“Sir, everyone I know can see the tower. Why?”
The old man stared about frantically, at a loss for words. Grayden gave a small shake of his head and looked around the room. Something in front of him caught his eye and he moved towards it.
“What is that?” He asked quietly, stretching out his hand towards the glowing blue orb on the table.
“DO NOT TOUCH THAT.”
Grayden snatched his hand back and stared at the old man, wide-eyed. The old man strode to the table and stared into the orb. Then he straightened and his voice was suddenly quiet and terrible.
“What have you done?”
“I… I’m not sure I know what you mean, sir.” Grayden was beginning to wish he had never climbed the tower wall.
“Look at it!” The man pointed at the orb.
Grayden approached cautiously and bent towards the table, peering at the orb. It was mostly blue, but thin lines of red swirled within the glass like tiny, hairline fractures on its surface.
“Please, sir, I don’t understand.”
“Those red lines should not be there. What have you done?”
“I didn’t do anything! I didn’t even touch it, I just climbed your tower, I’m sorry for intruding, I’ll leave now.”
“Oh no you don’t,” the old man’s voice was stern, but gentler now. “It may not be your fault, but you’re caught up in it now. I must find out what is happening,” he paused and shuddered, “out there.”
Title for this book coming soon!