Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Best Rejection I've Ever Received

This is not a tongue-in-cheek post. My sincere thanks to Uwe Stender of TriadaUS, a literary agency located in Pittsburgh, PA, for giving me the best rejection I've ever received.

I sent an e-query to Dr. Stender regarding my suspense thriller, Face Blind, on April 22, 2009. That same day, Dr. Stender asked me to send a hard copy of the full manuscript. Very excited, I sent it via regular mail the next day, April 23, 2009.

I opened the mail yesterday, May 1st, and sadly found one of those self-addressed stamped envelopes we writers are all too familiar with. Dr. Stender had returned my cover letter, but had also actually taken the time to write a personal note explaining why he'd rejected the story.

That Dr. Stender was able to respond so quickly while taking the time to explain his rationale is mind-boggling. Most agencies or publishers take weeks, usually months, to respond, and even when they do, it's in the guise of a form letter with no feedback whatsoever.

So, my sincerest thanks to Dr. Stender, a true professional. I hope perhaps someday we can work together, assuming I don't land a different agent before then.
____

I'd also like to thank Debbie Carter of Muse Literary--she too rejected my last two manuscripts, but she did so very quickly and even gave me some feedback on why she was passing.

19 comments:

adrian mckinty said...

Brian

Sorry about the rejection but its nice to know that there are still some people in the world who remember their manners.

Rita Vetere said...

Hey, Brian

Although I'm sorry your manuscript was rejected, I agree that when an agent or publisher takes the time to set out his/her reasons, it's a lot easier to take. I had a similar experience with one publisher and that letter of rejection absolutely did not feel bad. Good to know there are still folks out there who care enough to do that.

Rita, who is waiting for the Star Trek Premiere pics. :-)

Brian O'Rourke said...

Adrian,

It was very cool of Uwe, whom I've heard nothing but good things about online, to send me some feedback. If I keep getting a bunch of no's, at least I'll have some idea what I can go back and work on.

BTW, I really enjoyed Star Trek yesterday. Still not sure where I'd rank it among the others though. I'd like to see it again before I do. Did you catch it on IMAX?

Brian O'Rourke said...

Rita,

You are not going to believe this, but not a single soul was costumed at the premiere.

They did give away some prizes before the movie, but alas, they didn't see me standing up, raising my hand and shouting in the back because the lights were dimmed, so I wasn't called on.

Question was: who was originally offered the role of Spock in TOS?

Rita Vetere said...

That would be Martin Landau, he of Mission Impossible. Personally, I'm glad they went with Leonard Nimoy for Spock.

So, I hope you showed some character and dressed up even if no one else did. Hmmm?

seanag said...

That's very nice to hear. Given the massive amount of mail all agents get, I wouldn't have thought that was even logistically possible anymore.

I was just about to ask what the answer to the Spock question was, when I noticed that Rita had already posted it. It is hard to imagine Spock as anyone but Nimoy at this point.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Rita,

Unfortunately, I did not get dressed up. We went back-and-forth on what to wear, couldn't decide, and settled on discretion being the better part of valor.

I'm impressed by your TOS knowledge. And speaking of Mission: Impossible, didn't Nimoy go on to replace Landau on that show?

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

Not sure if you're going to see Star Trek, but Zachary Quinto did an excellent job portraying Spock. In fact, that might be what I liked most about the movie: the casting was great, especially Karl Urban as Bones McCoy.

I wonder if Trek fans could be considered fissiparous at this point?

seanag said...

Oh, I'm sure they could.

I think I will see the movie, now that you all have been talking about it so much. I'm not really a Trekkie, but I did have a fondness for the original series, and some of the spinoffs were good, or at least some of the ideas, acting and characters were good. It will be fun to see some other actore in the parts, although I expect it will only work if they can hark back to the originals convincingly.

Rita Vetere said...

Brian--

Yep, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain were eventually replaced by Leonard Nimoy and Leslie Ann Warren in MI.

Glad you enjoyed the premiere!

Rita

Nathanael Green said...

Brian,

Glad to see FB is generating some interest, even if no one's picked it up just yet. It's definitely encouraging to get some personal feedback.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Nate,

Thanks, brother. It's encouraging for sure.

On an entirely unrelated topic, how cool would it be if a studio asked us to remake The Beastmaster?

Nathanael Green said...

That is a totally unrelated topic.

And it would be fantastic. I'm curious exactly what responsibilities we'd have. Because if we're to star in it, I'm calling dibs on being Kodo.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Nate,

If it happens, I'm going to very wisely remain behind the camera. I don't think the world is ready to see me in a loin cloth yet.

adrian mckinty said...

Brian

Tomorrow me and the Imax. Yes the young Spock was brilliant. And hey I was surprised to see (spoiler alert) the real Spock too.

Didnt you think it was pretty funny too? Not as funny as IV but it had me chuckling.

And no I wont be dressing up either. I'm saving that for Jury Duty a la 30 Rock.

seanag said...

You know, if you guys lived in Santa Cruz, you would dress up at the mere mention that the movie was coming to town.

Unfortunately, no one would even notice.

Brian, the publisher of Carpathian Shadows, Rob Preece, actually went to school in at UC Santa Cruz it turns out, though he now makes his home in Texas. He sent me a copy of his E-Book, A Pretty Bad Hair Day, in which a young woman lawyer finds her dread locks turning into snakes and herself turning into Medusa. It was set in Santa Cruz, and although it might strain belief elsewhere, seeing a woman walking down the street with a head full of snakes would probably cause only a mild doubletake on the part of the natives...

Brian O'Rourke said...

Adrian,

Have fun at the IMAX bud. Let me know what you think of it.

I agree it was real funny (not as humorous as IV like you say), and the easter eggs were done well, neither too cute nor distracting.

What I really enjoyed about it was the sense of optimism and almost playfulness running throughout the film. Sure some pretty horrific things happen during the story, but still I left the theater feeling excited rather than drained. Star Trek is basically the Anti-Dark Knight movie.

I don't know how Abrams did it, but he managed to create more chemistry with these actors in one movie than anybody ever did with Star Trek TNG, both the series and movies IMHO.

SPOILER ALERT

The plot was a little shaky at parts. I never quite bought Nero's motivation, and it was just a little too convenient when Kirk got marooned on the same planet as old Spock, which just so happened to be the same place Scotty was stationed, etc.

I didn't mind the time travel/alternative timeline, in fact, thought it was a cool way to build the concept of the reboot into the story.

Brian O'Rourke said...

Seana,

A Pretty Bad Hair sounds like a very interesting book. I wonder if Rob's using the term "pretty" to mean "very" or if, as it turns out, the the bad hair becomes pretty in ways unimaginable to the heroine at the beginning of the story.

How's the writing burnout? Are you still feeling the effects, or are you ready to dust off the old manuscript?

seanag said...

Thanks for keeping all that in mind, Brian. I sincerely appreciate that. As to the burnout, it's hard to say. I am going to be moving this month, which has its own dynamic, and I am really not sure what the other side will be, or what I will accomplish on the other end of this.