From Google searches, Writer’s Digest, and other publications, I generated a list of fifteen agents to submit my book. After more than a year of writing, the story was ready for publication and a query letter was written to each agent.
The first rejection stated, You have an interesting story to tell … but I don’t feel your novella is quite right for my list.
I thought Black Friday was a novel and had to Google “novella” to find out what the hell I had written; “a short story” according to the Internet. Wikipedia told me is was “a text of written, fictional, narrative prose normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel.”
Geeze. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just say “short novel” rather than going an inventing a whole new word?
Anyway, I quickly became educated on common industry terms like ms for manuscript and ya for young adult. It took some time to grasp the main ones and I’m still learning many of them, but I had the basics. Another thing that came quickly were the rejection emails; lots of them.
Undaunted, I decided an agent wasn’t necessary. Of course, they make life more simple and certainly help straighten out the learning curve.
I was determined to get Black Friday published. I wasn’t giving up. Someone asked, “Why are you determined and what drives you to get this done?”
That was a tougher question to answer than I thought it would be. The first thing that came to mind was, “Because I want to.” But why do I want to write a book? It’s not on my bucket list, my bucket is pretty much empty because I’ve done most of the things I want to. It’s not for the money, at least not all for the money. I realized most authors don’t make tons of money on their books. It has a little to do with ego. Sure, I want to see a book on the shelf with my name in the cover.
Mostly, I just feel like there is a story inside me and it wants to get out. It seems to have a life of its own and wants to be free. It’s hard to even say I created it, the story really created itself, I just put it on paper.
I feel a need to write and that is the best way to describe why I wanted to give Black Friday a life.
That was the best answer I could provide the agent, who still turned down representing the book.
My point is that I never gave up.
Thanks for reading,
Greg J. Gardner
Author of Black Friday – An American Jihad
Banner Elk, NC