Student reading in the Shaw Library in London. 1964.
And I try very very hard to cling to the very few threads of sanity that I have left.
I have had more than eighty rejections. From UK and US agents. These rejections span across almost a year of submitting, revising, submitting, editing; from my very first couple of atrocious query letters ("Hi, my name is Veronica and this is my book. Here's the first chapter. Hope you like. All best, Veronica.") to the more fine-tuned examples of query-letter etiquette I now send out today.
I've had various agents say:
- "Not for me, thanks."
- "Doesn't spark my interest. But good luck in finding a home for your book."
- "Please do send the full book to the address below."
- "I am so overwhelmed with submissions that this didn't pique my interest enough to add to the pile of manuscripts."
- "I found it too long, too talky, and slow, with no page turnability."
- "We have read this with great interest, are you still looking for representation?"
- "Dear Author. We only take on a very selective list of clients. Sorry."
- "The writing is intelligent and allusive.... please send the first half."
- "After careful consideration, we have decided your novel is not right for our list."
From such shaky beginnings do great writers grow.
Which brings me to David Moody.
As seen on Read Horror, along with an insightful interview...
My friend Stacy suggested this writer, author of the Autumn series. She knows I am a major fan of zombie books (probably from my younger years as a reader. My shelves were lined with authors like R. L. Stine) especially I Am Legend (1954) by Richard Matheson. (Though technically they're vampires in Matheson, but it's sort of the same concept.) And of course I love the much, much later film adaptation starring Will Smith. I love Will Smith.
And I love the zombies!
Back to David Moody.
Here it says in the Acknowledgements:
"The story behind this book has been pretty well documented: as a frustrated, unknown author I gave Autumn away for free via my website. Several years and several hundred thousand downloads later, it spawned a series of sequels, became a movie, and now, almost ten years since it first appeared online, the book has finally been 'officially' published."
(Cited from 2010 paperback edition published by Gollancz, London)
And so...I think a lightbulb might be flickering above my head.
Happy Saturday, everybody!