Give Me a Break!
My entire life I’ve wanted to be a writer. Somewhere in my future scrap-booking projects box are copies of papers and poems I wrote clear back in grade school, as well as works from my high school and college years.
My computer hard drive is filled with more recent works—five completed middle grade novels, several film scripts, the new adult novel I’m working on, and countless non-fiction projects, both short and long. And, of course, the drafts of all those query letters and a chart filled with rejections from most of them.
All of this can sometimes get depressing, especially when I have a day like today. I was doing inventory in my classroom library and picked up a copy of Veggiemorphs: The Fungus Among Us, and I had to wonder, what on earth am I missing?
I slave for months—sometimes years—over a manuscript, doing rough drafts, research, and revising until I think I can’t look at the pages one more time. I follow the same process with the query, even running those past my well-published critique group. I study the guidelines for publishers and agents, then send my polished letters and manuscripts off into the world, hoping someone will love my babies enough to send me a contract.
But, when it comes to a novel or full-length non-fiction book, that hasn’t happened. And that’s why it was so depressing to see the Veggiemorphs book in my class library inventory. Not only did an editor offer a contract for this book, but someone—not me, I can assure you!—actually paid money to buy the book once it was published.
Granted, I hope what I write is much, much better than the quality of a Veggiemorph book (I’ll admit, I haven’t read one, but my students have totally panned the series). The book may not be a work of art, but at least that author got something published, got a foot in the door.
Why can’t an editor give me such a break?