Submitting Myself Yet Again

... to the grind of sending out the manuscript, fine-tuning the tortuous query letter and synposes, and sifting through rejection letter after rejection letter.

Lightning Tree will be coming out soon. I feel so good about that. As a part of my contract, CFI has first refusal rights on my next manuscript. Well, because my next (finished, rewritten) manuscript was The PIllars of Helantopolis, I had to send them that one, but I'll admit I was pretty sure from the get-go that they'd reject it.

And I got lots of feedback from them: They love the story, the characters... my editor sent me a suggestion for a plot fix which I incorporated. But ultimately, yes, they rejected it due to content--violence and some mild sexuality, including the portrayal of same-sex relationships (not in gratuitous detail.)

I'm not resentful or even uspet in any way. CFI is, after all, a publisher that caters to religious conservative types. And the acquisitions editor was so wonderful about it. She told me that my story has tremendous potential--I believe those were her exact words :D

I wrote to some people I know in the LDS arts world about where to send the story next, and discovered that there really isn't a place for this story in the LDS world at all; if CFI rejected it, well, then everybody else is going to reject it as well (for the same reasons.)

So here I am, wading into deep waters. I spent all day yesterday on Writers' Market website reading through descriptions of literary agencies and categorizing them into tiers based on who I'd most want to accept my manuscript. And I spent all day today sending various queries, summaries and manuscript portions to those in my "first tier," ie, those I'd most love to take on my story.

I'm exhausted.

And weepy, and defensive (I guess it never changes, does it.)

Oh, how I want this story to be read by millions of people.

I have been writing this story since I was fifteen years old. This might be the fifth complete rewrite (as in, starting from square one and a blinking cursor in a blank word processor document). This story is why I became a serious writer. I've taken it to critique groups, sent it to several readers and incorporated their suggestions... I've rewritten, and rewritten and rewritten... I've done the best I can... now it's just tenacity. And endurance. And hopefully, divine intervention :)


Possible Publishing

I don't know if you're still looking for a publisher, but you might want to check out TM Publishing LLC, based in Provo. Here's a link to their site. (Hopefully this isn't too weird/creepy that I'm commenting since I randomly found your blog...)

Have you tried Zarahemla

Have you tried Zarahemla Books? They specialize in "edgy" LDS fiction. Or Signature Books?

Have you already tried

Have you already tried Zarahemla? And Parables? They are smaller, to be sure, but they're still LDS-related publishers. --Emily M.


I should try. Really... maybe I will. But I read you need a recommend from a publisher or someone in the industry first.

I create the fruit of the lips: peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is nigh, saith Jehovah.

Screw publishers.


They're passe. Sell it yourself. Prove them wrong.

(happily, part of my captcha is 'peculiar'---perhaps that will meke me less anonymous; why does your site have no way to identify myself?)

I'm in business (letting the comments post!)

Man, I'm technically impaired. Finally know how to release comments!

Thanks for the encouragement. Sell myself, huh? I'm not sure I'd be all that good at it...and you're right that publishers are starting to become a little passe, but man, that book on a shelf. A hard thing to just throw away, in my mind....

I create the fruit of the lips: peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is nigh, saith Jehovah.

I love Pillars of Helantopolis!

Sarah, you gave me a manuscript of Pillars of Helantopolis a couple of years ago (I think it was summer 2010). I can't remember if I ever told you that I loved it!! I loved the genre, the characters, the story, everything. I seriously hope it gets published, I can't wait to read the final product. Sorry I never gave you any feedback, I figured you had smarter people who knew stuff about fiction and writing to give you feedback. I could tell you what I thought about it in more detail but I'm sure you've already rewritten enough that my comments wouldn't matter but let me know. Seriously though, I can't wait to read it!
Michele Hustedt


I'm glad you loved it. I rewrote it! It's so different now! Want to read it again? :D

I create the fruit of the lips: peace, peace to him that is afar off, and to him that is nigh, saith Jehovah.