Last week, I attended a fabulous conference called The Muse and the Marketplace, sponsored by Boston's fantastic Grub Street, "where Boston gets writing."
It was a day of ricocheting from despair to, well, slightly less despair. The first of two purchased sessions with literary agents, to whom I'd submitted my query letter, plot synopsis and first twenty pages, was not a success. She focused mostly on my query letter, giving the book itself short shrift, because she didn't like it.
Then I attended upbeat session on self-publishing, which made it seem both doable and potentially hit-making. But I was brought low by a writer friend who assured me that "it's too much work, and no one makes any money." I rose from the depths listening to the incomparable Ann Hood explain how to edit one's own work. Inspirational and practical both.
The second agent seemed slightly more positive about my work, and also offered some useful advice.
Waiting for a session to begin, I overheard a newbie agent discussing her career change and thrust my query letter upon her...and a few days later she requested my manuscript! I'm sure she has few - or even no- other potential clients, but still....
The romance novel I'm working on with a friend is a hoot, and will compel readers to swoon, daydream, and escape from their quotidian tedium...in droves, we hope.