Dear Lit Loves,
I just want to begin by saying that I get the heebie-jeebies each time I check my email these days. Seriously, I just wrote a manuscript about living with four rare, chronic illnesses that I feel is quite relevant for our times as currently there are 134 million people who have some form of chronic illness and by 2025, almost 170 million people will be welcomed to the world of chronic disorders. To me, those are staggering numbers. Heart disease is a chronic illness. PTSD is a chronic illness. Heck, to me, even cancer can be a chronic illness these days. In my experience, you never really recover from a chronic illness; it is more like "continuous endurance" and remaining in a hyperactive state of vigilant awareness that some part of your body may turn on you or force you to sit up and take notice that life is often a never-ending state of expecting the unexpected.
So I decided to write about my experiences with chronic illness. Now I am in the midst of grinding out the wait to hear if a literary agent is going to select to represent me and if there is an editor out there that can appreciate the relevance of my subject matter and the "plain spoken" manner in which I write. I'm not the writer who went to Stanford or received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence; I am the writer for those who like a feisty woman who doesn't mind telling it like it is and leaving everything about my personal experiences on the written page. I'm probably not the writer for you if you like lyrical prose that sings operatic notes. I write about the nitty-gritty of life with a ZZ Top beat and in your face lyrics. A lot of folks cannot handle that, but what the traditional publishing folks are missing currently is that many of my peers will not buy much less read books written in a high-falutin' manner and tone. Seriously. I had several people who read my first book, Brave Soul Rising, and then later said, "Thank God! A female writer who doesn't bore me to death with detailed descriptions or background information!" And from other readers I would also hear, "Finally! A writer whose life and manner of writing I can relate to without having to go consult a dictionary or Google."
So I continue to wait. Waiting to hear from literary agents. Waiting to hear from acquiring editors. Here's the deal though: I'm not willing to wait forever on traditional publishing. I will go it alone and publish the book on my own if I have to because I feel it's that relevant and incredibly important.
And I'm hearing a lot these days about literary agents and editors wanting to hear from diverse voices and women who have a #MeToo experience or two to relate. Is that really the case? I hope I get the answer I'm looking for soon because it would highly disappoint me if this is all talk and no action. I want to see traditional publishers - all parts of it- agents, editors, publicity, etc. put their money where there mouth is. Let's get this party started. There is no time to waste.
Till my next post,