rss
email
twitter
facebook

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Options & Feedback

I mentioned my book at a party a few months back and an English professor took interest and asked to see it. He teaches at a respected university, and so I was surprised to receive his offer. Not expecting to hear back from him, I sent it along and went about my merry way. Now I recently discover that not only did he enjoy my book but wants/has passed it to his agented friends. I didn't even know he had author friends! His enthusiasm and detailed suggestions have made me so incredibly hopeful! I only met him once--so he has no personal interest or obligations, and yet he is endorsing my book and using his connections to help me! He thinks middle-school kids should read it...

It's such a weird feeling. Nothing may come of it, of course, but my options have doubled and it makes me feel that much more determined to find publication. If I can make one person that excited about my book, surely I can find another, right? 

This professor brought up some good points. I have to think long and hard about the demographic I want to target. For example, Z for Zachariah is a YA book, but the themes in it are very sophisticated. Engaging YA has great cross-over appeal. Some of my betas have mentioned I should make my book more YA-friendly (less sex, gore, etc.) to broaden market appeal, and now with my most recent full rejection I'm starting to agree. 

Writing young adult fiction was NEVER something I intended to do when I first sat down to write Witching Tree. I was inspired by gorey YA books like Suzanne Collin's Hunger Games and I wanted to write something similarly dark...but I wasn't sold on YA. I'm still a little unsure. I wonder if I can still be a "cannibal" and write YA fiction? Maybe the more mature thing is to let that persona go? Damn. I'm 23 and epitomizing "delayed adolescence." Existential crisis overload! Over and out, minions. 

2 comments:

Xan said...

I have had a similar problem with content in my books being considered too 'adult' for YA readers. I'd recommend not changing anything until expressly asked to by an agent or editor. I left my one novel dark and edgy and it found a home with an indie press that loved the mature themes. My other novel has been tweaked according to agent recommendations for more general consumption. It's about compromise, I guess but stick to your guns.

Vegetarian Cannibal said...

Thanks for your advice, Xan. I think I will do as you suggest. Until an agent gives me specific instruction, I think I'll leave it as it is.

Yeah. Sticking to your guns. Damn. So hard to do as a writer. As those rejections stack up, it's easy to abandon your point of view or question yourself. All a writer really has is their voice. The day they give that up--hey, they've already lost.

Related Posts with Thumbnails