Widowhood Is Not Funny

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just An Update

Well, I promised I'd keep all you gals up-to-date about my book, Widowhood Is Not Funny. So, I sent it off, complete with cover letter and proposal, to an agent recommended by some Boomer friends. I was amazed at now nerve-wracking it was to just send it off. I agonized over every word, every sentence (I have never written a book proposal before). Finally, I just took a deep breath and hit the send button. Off it went and I experienced a moment of sheer panic. Over the years, I've sent many manuscripts (essays, articles, short stories, etc.) off to magazine editors, and it's always stressful. It's a little like sending your children out into the world. You pray they'll be treated kindly and with respect, but you fear for them.

The response from the agent came back very quickly, which is probably never a good thing. I fear my manuscript received very little consideration at all. In my cover letter, I had included some statistics, such as the number of women who are widowed each year in the USA. The literary agent replied to that one single statistic with, "And they all want to write a book."

Now, I've spoken with many widows in the last five years and not one of them has mentioned any such desire. They have, however, been very supportive and encouraging about my book. I was angry at first with the agent's reply; I felt devalued and belittled, like she was saying my writing the book was a foolish waste of time and effort. I wanted to tell her what I thought of her answer, but figured that would do very little good in the long run. So, I told her I was sorry to waste her time and that I would try elsewhere. That was my way of telling her that her comments had fallen on deaf ears and I would continue with my plans to publish my book--she simply would not be the one to represent me.

She replied with, "It's not a waste, I respect your grief." Uh huh, not very helpful. So, I've been working on a list of publishers who might be interested in giving my manuscript a read-through, and I will begin sending it out to each one. It may take a while, but I refuse to give up, and eventually I will find someone who recognizes the need for my little book. When that day comes, I will post the good news here and let all you great gals share in my excitement.


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