I’ve been querying literary agents for BLOOD PROMISE, and while a lot of the response was promising, none of them quite hit the mark. I’m getting more personal responses (i.e. elaborate emails on why my work is rejected) rather than form rejections these days, but it’s hard not to get beaten down by rejection. If anything, the blow is harder because you realise you were THISCLOSE to getting a nod from an agent. You begin to wonder if your story is really not good enough to be published. And as my list of agents to query starts to run out, my hope of ever getting BLOOD PROMISE out in the world is fast diminishing.
Here are some personalised rejection slips from agents who have requested partials and fulls (as in, pages of the manuscript):
Dear Ms Chua,
Thank you for the opportunity to review BLOOD PROMISE and for your
patience in awaiting a reply.
I enjoyed reading your sample pages and can sense that there’s a lot that
works well here: solid world-building, an interesting premise, and a
memorable cast of characters, just to name a few elements I like. I
particularly appreciate how you effectually capture the sights and sounds
of April’s environment, drawing me into the rich setting and her plight as
supplies dwindle. I think she really leaps off the page as a fully-fleshed
character; her relationship with her brother is both complex and belivable
— something readers will be drawn to.
Unfortunately, though there is much to admire, I just don’t love it enough
to represent it in today’s competitive marketplace. This is just my
opinion, of course, and hopefully another agent will have another
perspective. I wish you the best of luck with BLOOD PROMISE and all your
future literary adventures.
Harold Ober Associates Incorporated
Dear Ms. Chua:
Thanks for the opportunity to read the sample pages of BLOOD PROMISE.
With regret, I’m afraid I will be passing on this one. While I remain
intrigued by the concept of your novel, and found your opening
chapter compelling, I felt the motivations of some of the characters
didn’t always come through clearly on the page (e.g. Sean’s decision
not to tell his father about finding the body or being questioned by
Sorry I couldn’t give you a more positive reply. Thanks for thinking
of me, and best of luck in your search for representation.
Donald Maass Literary Agency
Disappointing responses they may be, I’m still extremely thankful these agents took time to offer detailed feedback on my story. Now, on to reworking this damn book because heck I am going to make this work.