Let me introduce you to Jonathon J.J. Sebastian Cabot Kitty (aka The Fud, short for Fuzzy Wuzzy, which turned into Fudda Wudda). Two years ago it had been five years since Don and I lost our last orange cat, and I was thinking it was time for an orange kitten, much to Don’s dissent, as we already had three cats. But I kept seeing this orange kitten in my mind and looked on-line at all the little orange cuties, though I was having no luck in convincing Don. But then I went to my grandmother’s farm in Pennsylvania for a week that summer, and the first thing I saw when I walked in the door was this little orange fuzzball on her back deck. “One of the male strays found him in the woods and brought him up here for food,” my grandmother said. “I call him Pee Wee,” she said. “He needs a good home.” Done. It didn’t take long for Don to fall in love with him, or my other cats. He is the sweetest soul, with a trill for a purr (characteristic of a Maine Coon). And a peacemaker–he will go right in between my two males who have no love for each other and say in his gentle way, “Come on guys, fighting won’t solve anything.” In short, he was just what we all needed. And I have to believe that just the right literary agent will come along soon. Nothing, really, ever comes out of the blue. Prepare the soil, plant the seed, then water and fertilize what will be.
So I received my first rejection from one of the agents I pitched at the Writing Conference in NYC. She said she read the first 50 pages of my novel and came to this conclusion: young girls in their twenties wouldn’t be interested in it, because it was written in present tense and about a young girl in the late eighties, not gritty enough for current days. And women in their forties and fifties wouldn’t be interested in it–they would only be interested in it if it was written in past tense, with a narrator now in her mid-forties, looking back on her days in her mid-twenties. . . hmmm. . . . When I wrote this novel I thought nothing about audience in such a specific way, okay, I didn’t think about my audience at all. . . Someone very wise once told me to put all marketing aspects out of my mind when I write, and it’s the only way I was able to write a novel from the heart . . . Another wise person told me that you have to write for yourself–the publishing business is too competitive to count on. Writers are weeded out for a million different reasons: one common one being that the agent is already representing a novel too similar to the one in question. . . maybe one about a woman in her mid-forties who goes back to the Jersey Shore and reminisces about her time spent there in her mid-twenties. . . Another wise person said, and this one was an agent: “The chaos theory is at play here”. . . Who would’ve guessed that all ages, young and old, of both sexes, would be drawn to Harry Potter? Or that women of all ages are being seduced by Twilight. I honestly don’t think it’s about relating to a character–it’s more about being transported to another world.