Well, as we ready this sucker for submission, I am left to go through this manuscript one final time. This time, my agent went so far as to actually print it out, circle the typos, and mail it to me for correction (the manuscript arrived in an envelope that’d been torn open sometime during the shipping process). So I’m left to go through the 250+ pages of this thing for one last time (well, actually, if it sells I’ll probably have to go through it another ten or fifteen times).
I really like this book. I was telling a friend of mine that I am literally 100% confident that it will sell. And she told me, “Well…it’s good that you like it, but that seems like a dangerous belief.”
And it is dangerous. I know it’s dangerous. There’ve been many times in my life when I’ve been 100% confident that something would sell, and in almost every one of those cases, the work has failed to sell. And I know, intellectually, that this book is not a slam dunk. I know that most of the editors that see it are going to reject it. And I know that if one editor can reject it, then it’s possible for every editor to reject it.
It seems like the prevailing style amongst modern writers (well, the good ones, at least) is to display meekness and diffidence. Every extremely successful writer that I know is always saying running themselves down and expressing surprise at their success and talking about how they don’t feel like they deserve any of their sales. I don’t understand that at all. I’ve never felt like an impostor.
That’s why I keep moving forward. I believe in the work. I believe it’s worthwhile, and I believe it ought to be out there.
You know, it’s true that I am writing these YA novels now. And it’s true that those have a different tone and feel than the novels that I (try to) write for the adult market. But I am not conscious of using any lesser degree of artistry in their composition. On the contrary, they contain more of me, and are more deeply personal, than the adult works. I definitely didn’t write this book for the money, or because I just wanted to be published. Well, I did write it for those reasons. But not just for those reasons. I think this book contains, in full measure, whatever artistry I have it within me to put into prose. And I really want it to sell.