|Water Show in Atlantic City - May 2013|
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
~ Pamela Vaull Starr
~ Pamela Vaull Starr
If you're a writer, you know this is a business, and not one to undertake if you've got thin skin and no vision.
Chances are if you're a writer and have completed, edited and polished a manuscript within an inch of its life and have sent it out to agents and editors, you've probably heard the following phrase at least once:
"This isn't right for us."
If you read this blog you know I write time-travel romance. If you're new here...now you know what you'll find. Is it a popular genre with the agents and editors? Hell no.
Would it be easier to follow the stream and write what the agents and editors are buying these days? No, it wouldn't. At least for me.
Writing might be a business (and yes, it most definitely IS a business) but it's one of those careers that you're heart must be in, if you're not passionate about what's going on the page - the reader won't feel that fire either and you're writing will be flat.
Because my heart is in different places and times, that's what I write. I don't fit into a little box. That's not to say I haven't been discouraged along the way. Agents and editors can be blunt and focused on what sells and since it's a business, I can't fault them for not jumping at taking a chance on something that might not fit the style of their house.
I've been told by an agent, "Oh, time travel. Such a tough sell. So many rules of the genre. It's hard to pull off. We don't buy them often." This particular agent didn't even ask the plot or time period...didn't ask for even a query. Just heard time-travel and tuned out.
I've been told by an editor, "Don't bother even sending a query if it doesn't follow the current theory of quantum time travel."
Hmmm...I read to escape. Last time I checked time travel wasn't really happening - but you know there are so many vampires and zombies running amok in my town, it's getting harder and harder to escape reality. So what do I know? I guess the average romance reader is a physicist and needs to be grounded in reality. Who knew?
So, while bucking the trends isn't an easy task...with the rise of self-publishing at least authors in my shoes have options. We are no longer at the mercy of agents and editors or feel we must be stuffed into little boxes of what's considered acceptable.
All of this doesn't mean I don't continue to write what I love and send it out into the world. I do, because I believe in my work and I am an optimist. But, with all the new options available to me, I'm not quite as devastated when I hear it's not right for anyone. Variety is the spice of life and while time travel might not be for everyone...it does have a niche.
I'm going to continue my travels against the current.
Are you writing what you love?