The ‘In Crowd’

It’s September.  That means it’s time for me to send out the serious queries to guys like Steve Laube and all of the agents at Books and Such and so on.  Of course, today there’s a post by Michael Hyatt on his blog [Top Ten Posts of August – hits wise] and there’s a link to a post he made with all of the agents he’s worked with who work with Christian authors.  There’s like 40 of them!  While that’s much better than my list of *six*, I wish I’d seen it earlier in the summer when I could have queried the non-first choices earlier.  Ah well.  Back then my query letter wasn’t as good ;).  Just ask Erin.

I’ve been looking around at blogs and Facebook pages and see a number of the authors I’m discovering are ‘friends’ or ‘fans’ of each other.  I long to become a part of that group – even if the relationships are superficial at best.  Just a sign of support for a fellow author with no real relationship [I don’t know that that is the case, of course, and it seems that more than one have genuine relationships but as a ‘worst case’ kind of thing].  I see not just the Deb Raneys or Karen Kingsburys who have dozens of books out but those like Megan DiMaria and Candace Calvert who have two or three and wonder if I really have what it takes.

I know I’m insecure about myself and my abilities.  Mostly.  Every once in a while, I have a shining moment of self-confidence where I know – no, I know that I know – that I can do this.  That I have talent as a writer.  That someone besides me will find humor in what I find humor in [and not just like Melissa who laughed as Mandie loves Andy’s Frozen Custard and St. Louis Cardinals games – like I do! Or Penny when Mandie and Liz’s mom eats dessert for her appetizer – just like her mom does!].  That someone else will cry as I have when writing my characters in difficult situations.  That someone else will be so entranced that they’ll grin from ear to ear like I do when romance finally finds the hero or heroine.  I can do this.

Will the road to author-dom take me to a major publishing house?  Will I find that an agent is a rare commodity indeed and that, even with persistence, I’m just not quite that good?  Will I end up, a few years and several more Nanos from now, self publishing and hoping to sell 25 copies to friends and family while keeping that slim hope that one copy will someday find it’s way into the hands of Chip MacGregor or someone at Alive Communications?

I don’t know.  But I know I’m going down this road.  This is something I’ve longed for on one level or another since Jr. High or earlier [and I have the /shudder/ stories Chrissy and I wrote to prove it!].  I’m going to pursue it.  If Unbreak Her Heart doesn’t end up being my big break, that’s okay.  I’ve got at least two plotlines I could work on for Nano this year and then query next year.  I’ve grown and learned this year.  I’ve handled my three rejections [and a number of other no responses] well.  The ones that will come this fall may be a bit harder to deal with, but I can.  I’ve been clinging to the verse

For I know the plans I have for you, saith the LORD.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans for hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

I looked up Jeremiah 29:12 tonight because there is no period at the end of verse 11.

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:12

He will listen.  Verse 12 is on my bathroom mirror.  I’m claiming it.  But verse 13… “I will listen to you“.  The Lord of all creation will listen to me!  ME!  How cool is that?  He knows the desires of my heart.  He hears me when I pray, when I ask for His will but knowing that I hope His will and my desires are lining up.  Isn’t that the best ‘in crowd’ to be in?!

He knows I’ve never truly been a part of any ‘in crowd’ – not as far as I was concerned anyway and it’s likely that even if I were to sell millions of books I would never feel like I’d ‘arrived’, but it’s nice to dream.  And all the ladies I’ve had contact of any kind with have been nothing but gracious.  I hope that, someday, if there’s some other hopeful author out there who contacts me, I can be just as kind.

Wouldn’t that just be cool?  To be seen as part of the ‘in crowd’?  Ah… a girl can dream!