A Note for Writers: Angry Robot Books

In case you’ve somehow missed it, Angry Robot Books, publishers of Wesley Chu’s Lives of Tao trilogy and Ferret Steinmetz’ Flux series, among others, is holding an “Open Door” period from 1 December 2015 to 31 January 2016.

Here’s all the details. 

I plan to get my submission package ready to send off well before the period opens. Getting in early probably won’t mean a faster response, but it will mean I know I got it in there.

Still a fairly minor chance of getting picked up–this is not, non writer friends, a sure thing. But it’s a cool chance.

Checking in from Queryland

My novel has now gone out to a total of 9 agents.  That’s really not many at all, but I’m holding now until I hear back from a few more.  Otherwise I get overwhelmed.  Also, doing research on good prospects takes time.  Setting aside the obvious bad idea scam agents, there are some agents who are probably good, but not quite what I want at this point in my search.

Anyway, I’ve had two hard rejects (where I actually got a rejection note) and one “soft” reject (“If you haven’t heard from us in a month, we’re not interested”).

To give non-writers some perspective, I know bestselling authors who got upwards of 300 rejections before they ever got something accepted.  So I’m still in the beginning of the process.  But man, I’m hoping most of those were short story submissions, because I’m not sure I can handle 300 agents.

But, well, nothing says this book will be the one to sell.  Might be another one. And, well, that’s okay.  I mean, I’d prefer it be this one; it was fun to write, and the beta readers liked it well enough.

Of the agents currently holding my query, the shortest length of time is 1 day, the longest is 63 days.  From what I understand, the two agents at 63 days could take months before I hear anything.  That’s what this business is like.

One of the agents has had it longer than his average turnaround time for either rejections or representation offers.  It’s hard not to read anything into that, but I’m trying my hardest not to–for all I know he’s been busy and hasn’t even looked at the query yet.  Or maybe he didn’t like it but knew someone else in his agency might and is having them look.  Or maybe he’s thinking about it.  Or maybe it got lost in his spam filter.  See how damaging this can be if you think about it too much?

At any rate, I’m still working on a crit I am way behind on.  Once I get that done, I’ll be returning to work on The Ceremony of Innocence, book 2 of The Remembrance War (titles, of course, subject to change).

Onward and upward.

State of the Teacher/Writer/Father

Teacher

One of the frustrating things about teaching–and there are many frustrating things–is that I am often working with students who have a completely different set of values than my own.  I’m really really good at connecting to students who come from a similar class background to mine–middle class or higher.  But I’m somewhat less good at connecting with kids from “the hood.”

One of the things where we just don’t connect is that I cannot conceive of physically hurting someone unless it was to directly prevent harm to someone else.  But some of my students think even getting looked at in the “wrong” way is enough to launch into a full-on fight.  I can intellectually understand their thought-chain, but I will never truly “grok” it.

So, yeah.  Quite frustrated with that stuff today.

Further teacher weirdness:  Didn’t get an interview for a position I applied for at a school that I believe would be a better fit for me (same kinds and range of students, but staffed by people more like me).  Three out of our four admin team members left the school, leaving us with one experienced member and three newbies.  I can’t say more in a public place.

Writer

The search for agent representation continues.  So far I’ve had one actual rejection and one “silent rejection,” which means the agent basically says “If you don’t hear from us in X weeks, we’re passing on your submission.”  And it’s been twice that time.  Still out to several others who have response times of two to six (six! six! six!) months.

So, the search continues.  Every few days I decide on someone else to query and send it out there.

In the meantime, work on Remembrance War 2, currently titled The Ceremony of Innocence, proceeds.

Father

My poor daughter is having a rough time in school.  It’s getting better, but it’s frustrating to see her struggle with math, as I did.  I do my best to help, but it’s hard to maintain my perspective sometimes, and I finally get my dad in ways I never did when he was alive.  Wish I could talk to him about it.

Her eighth birthday is coming up this weekend.  Looking forward to that.