I stub my ego enough in my everyday life that hearing "no" from the publishing world has actually been a welcomed little twist. True, they're not interested. But they deliver that unfortunate news in such a delightful way!
My agent wrote me last night with the rejections from some of the editors that currently have my manuscript. The rejections she sent were in "digest form"--her words-- probably meaning, "I took all the marshmallow charms out of the box for you, leaving all of crappy oat-like bits behind. You're welcome."
So here are my first official editor rejections!
Jason Rekulak asked me to field OPEN-EYED SNEEZE—as it’s definitely more of a Margaret book than a Jason book—and it cracked me up! So many of Jessica’s stories hit close to home. (I seriously considered joining Jazzercize post-college. And, gosh, my mom would be thrilled if I worked for Riverdance instead of Quirk Books! Sigh…) Following the success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, we are considering more and more quirky fiction, but memoirs are still pretty far outside our comfort zone. Please send me anything else you think might be appropriate for our list, especially funny, oddball stuff like this project. Best of luck finding a good home for it!
From St. Martin’s:
Many thanks for sending OPEN-EYED SNEEZE by Jessica Martin, which I’ve now had a chance to read. There’s a lot to like in here. Martin offers plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and an endearing kind of self-deprecation. There are good episodes, among them the story surrounding her time in England when she suffered a bout of, let’s say, immobility. Like David Sedaris, the author is at her best when she’s digressing—something she does naturally and often. But I’m afraid I had a hard time seeing this as book. While I enjoyed that meandering quality, the stories eventually began to feel a bit toodirectionless. The chapters seemed self-contained, not contributing to a bigger narrative arc the way I’d hoped. That’s all to say that I just didn’t fall in love with this one. I’m afraid I’m going to have to bow out. But I was glad to have the chance to consider it!
Thanks so much for thinking of me for for Jessica Martin's hilarious memoir. I did read this last night, and while I thought her writing was incredibly frank and witty, and her insights so keenly observed, in the end I felt like her experiences weren't quite unique or singular enough to convince me we could get enough attention for this. On one hand, part of the appeal of her writing is that she is so relatable, as so many of us have had experienced this sort of frustration over what to do with our lives, but given how crowded the memoir is, ultimately I felt this just didn't have that hook to make it really stand out. She's a great writer, no question, but unfortunately the story itself just didn't grab me as much as I'd hoped.
thanks for sending me OPEN-EYED SNEEZE. I did get a chance to read the manuscript, and I found it funny and charming. However, I don't know if there's a market for this. Job-seekers and recent graduates totally need someone to relate to, but I think that they'd be drawn more to straight-out advice than a memoir.
I actually did dip into the manuscript last night. Jessica is a good writer and I laughed out loud in several parts, but ultimately her negative tone was off-putting to me. She seemed to be trying too hard to make her experience moving home appear horribly pathetic, when in fact, her family sounds quite nice and supportive if a little annoying sometimes-- but whose family isn't? As you know, memoirs can be tough and I'm afraid this one just didn't speak to me enough to take it on. But I'm sure you'll find a good home for it.
That last one is probably the worst, but when I called to tell my mother about it she goes, "Oh, they thought our family was nice! That's nice to hear!"