Well- can’t say I didn’t expect this

Posted at Aug 16, 2007 7:46 pm


Dear Leah:  Just spoke with my editor at [name of publisher] and this is what she said.  She thinks your writing is fantastic and she can see why the estate was so pleased to give you the go ahead.  Her main concern was – is this really a young adult book.  She was thinking of what it would be like to pitch to the sales reps and found that her concern about the appeal to the young adult audience would be ifey.  Here are a couple of her suggestions.  She thought you should read the work of Libba Bray – A STRONG AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY and others to get a feel for the kind of work that might be on the cusp of ya and adult, but definitely is ya.  Also she was thinking that perhaps adding the character of a friend that she corresponds with might again make it lean more towards ya.  The friend would be someone who wanted the conventional things of the time (marriage, children etc.) so that the conflict between traditional and non-traditional would be more evident.  I will let you think about these things (and what [editor #1] said).  In the meantime, I am going to take [editor #2’s] advice and see if the adult mystery market might be more appropriate.  Oh she did say that the mystery was a bit weak since we know who is the bad guy.  Her overall feeling was that this is terrifically written with some drawback that could be easily overcome.  As I mentioned, I will send it along to a few adult houses and two more ya editors. 

Obviously I took out the name of the publishing house and editor names- but there it is. So.
Back to square one.
 I wrote back that I had actually picked up the above book (Bray’s) while in the library several weeks ago and thought “This is what they want.”  The cover is fantastic – the back of a young woman pulling a corset tight round her waist.  
The writing is—- er, young adult. No questions about it. So I will read it to understand the market better and decide if it really works for my novel.  I think the “writing to her conventional friend” idea is good- actually used in many Victorian novels- so it works from that perspective.
Anyway- I just ate a lot of pizza and feel queasy for many reasons. 
Its been a tough day- took my daughters for a scoliosis check- groan—

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