I’m Ashamed of How Good This Feels

I won something. By all the holy saints and blessed martyrs, I WON SOMETHING.

Nightmare on Query Street (#NoQS), a Twitter-generated pitch contest in which a few hundred desperate writers post their query letters and the first 250 words of their novels, issued their invitations today to 40 novelists to compete in an agent round (where the pitches are made to agents directly, without having to wade through slush).

They issued an invitation to me.

What that means is that I will have the chance to have Cheating Death reviewed, critiqued, and probably sneered at (it’s okay, it needs work) by the lovely and talented Rena Olsen (please join me in buying The Girl Before when it comes out next year), before having the novel put before the agents at the end of the month.

The overwhelming likelihood is that nothing will come of this but more work and ultimate rejection. However, there is the bare chance that an agent will like the pitch, and request to read the whole thing, and then decide that the novel is great and they want to sell it to a publisher. Even then, the overwhelming likelihood is that no publisher will bite, and the novel will go nowhere.

But today, even though I know I will not be prom queen, I have a date to the dance, and that’s enough. I’m embarrassed at how good this feels. All my defenses run one way, against rejection, an emotional Maginot Line defending my heart, turning every disappointment into another chance to work just a bit harder.

But this…what do I do when I win?

Yeah, Mom, I know. Work harder anyway.


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