So you can read my books

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I recieved another rejection this morning. A "Dear Author" impersonal rejection. Ouch. Not surprising considering the odds against me, an unknown. The odds.

The odds are against all of us. Worse. Look at the headlines of suicide bombers, murdering parents, thugs in the shadows. We are against us.

There is no director to yell "Cut!" No stunt double to take our place. And no new movie to star in when death swallows our person.

We must be our own hero. Wear our own spandex. And, if Kate Beckinsale of UNDERWORLD is to be believed, spandex pinches. And so it should. Pinches remind us that pain befalls us all, to be kinder to someone whose pinched face shows us that the spandex of his/her life is less than comfortable.

The picture of this post comes from Cassandra. She is a hero, a woman who could have surrendered to bitterness and defeat. But instead she has decided to choose life, healing others, and going forward. Though she would deny the heroism of her new life, I consider her a hero. Her trauma is hers to tell. I am just tipping my hat to her heroism.

And in a fashion, all we authors struggling to be published have to be our own heroes. The odds are against us in this harsh market. It seems that the motto of agents we approach is : "If I don't want your autograph, I don't want your manuscript."

But giving up can become an addiction, a way of life. Never surrender. Never yield to despair. Stumble, yes. Fall, of course. But gather your strength, your wits and get up. You can do it. Others have before you. Fling the blood and sweat from your eyes and smile wide. You can use those acid feelings searing your will and heart in your writing, becoming a deeper, more perceptive writer.

And more importantly : if you refuse to give in to bitter hopelessness, you will become a deeper, more compassionate human being. When you succeed, and you will succeed, you'll be able to thrust out a helping hand and word to someone, down and hurting, who needs a boost back onto the path. You'll be able to give them a pat on the back to lend strength to their steps. The pats lower leave to the agents and publishers.

And my favorite scene of all the STAR WARS films highlights my thinking {sorry about the foreign subtitles} :


  1. ...I've gone back and read several of your prior posts, Roland, and experienced or not, your sense of vision far exceeds many published works I've read, including some well known authors. I have no doubt your day will come. ...and yes, I whole-heartedly believe in Kate:)

  2. Roland this is, by far, one of your "lightest" posts.

    I've been away for a while - busy with my own life, sorry - and read the last several posts to catch myself up.

    Would it be possible to send you a private comment?

    If so, send me an e-mail: donnahole at gmail dot com.


  3. *sigh*
    The dreaded Rejection Letter...

    I don't know if you're a fan, but I'm a great lover of anything Stephen King has done. I think it's a great shame that, because of the CONTENT of his work, his WRITING SKILL is poo-pooed by those who appreciate Literature with an uppercase "L".
    In any event... What I'm getting at is his bit about rejection letters in his book "On Writing". Have you read it? It's one of the most encouraging stories ever for every writer out there. He talks about how he had pretty much wallpapered his place in rejection letters, but never gave up.

    Don't give up!

    I haven't even reached the stage where I'm brave enough to put my heart and soul out there to be judged / evaluated according to how many copies it will sell... *ergh*

    It'll happen. When it happens.
    I admire your bravery!

  4. I second Carmen's comment about Stephen King's wall covered in rejection slips. His advantage was that he started in his teens and just kept going. He truly is one of my writing heroes. Even after his accident, as a bestseller many times over, and in constant pain, he put in his writing time. To write, guess what-- On Writing. To encourage the likes of us! Rock on Roland, and go tack that rejection letter up on the wall!!

  5. Well, Romanld, The Girl Who Throws the Moon in a Cup of Coffee might have caught some eyes, yet your blue-eyed, bronze-skinned desert woman falls nothing short! A Woman in the Sand...this is how I imagine Ishiguro's character, despite his description..

    All the best!

  6. Writers carrying on in the face of adversity is the theme of the morning. I just read another inspirational blog:

    There are so many reasons to give up. We have to find our inner reserves and keep going.

  7. Yes indeed, very good post.

    I think the longer we stay in the game, the greater our odds become. I don't know any published authors who don't have long tales of woe behind them.

  8. I got two rejections yesterday. So I sent out five more queries. It's become a sort of tag game for me, or catch. I volley my work out there, and no agent has caught it yet. They might never, or today could be the day I get a request. It makes each day a possible life changing one. Yes, I know... every day could be that, but I don't share your optimism. I wish I did.

  9. Roland, I echo one of the comments above that your writing is far better than some of the published books out there. I admire your optimism! Save the letter for when you're published!!

  10. Many published authors (most of them, lately?) say that they've received many rejections before they landed an agent and/or a book deal.

    Keep going Roland! That's the attitude. ;)

  11. Oh, how could I forget to mention? I love you playlist! :)

  12. I really like that quote. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  13. Sorry to hear about the rejection but you definitely have the right attitude. May all the rejections make the acceptance that much sweeter! Never give up :)

  14. Roland, I racked up 37 R's, on ONE project. Do NOT despair. What you're doing is winnowing out all the WRONG agents for you. There's one out there. Trust me!

  15. "Never tell me the odds." I like to sneak famous quotes into dialog. For example, I once used, "I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

    Anyone know who said that with out peeking at your internet search engine?

    I always attach manuscripts to my query letters because it pisses me off to to get a rejection letter before a publisher even reads my work.

  16. Giving up is the only way in wich we truly fail.
    My husband keeps prompting me about that spandex, but I've not fulfilled his wishes yet!

  17. This is why I love reading about authors who had tons of rejection letters on many books before signing with an agent, who sold the book that wasn't the author's first. Gives the rest of us hope. :D

  18. Roland, it can happen! Don't give up!

  19. Hey Roland,

    Long time I haven't come by, but I'm glad I came today.

    I could do with a stunt double right about now. But you know, I'm really impressed with your attitude. The thing is, for me finding the spirit to hope again, to believe, to push pass the walls of my mind, to trust that it will be different this time around and be secure. Hey, am I making sense, cause right now I'm at the point of saying probably this dream is not for me. Sorry I'm not more encouraging.

  20. I remember those copied and pasted e-rejections and photocopied snail mail rejections. Your day will come, though. In the face of rejection, be strong and patient.

  21. Thats just the right kind of attitude! We support each other, so keep on like that, your moment will come, and you WILL shine.