It's a gritty, rough, beautiful romance thriller set in South America.
The feedback on the book has been humbling and amazing, yet it is not, yet, getting picked up.
"Luz..." is a romance between two men. Presuming that I am, at least, marginally capable of painting a story, perhaps publishers and literary agents don't want the headache of positioning this type of LGBT/Gay-themed property? It represents rather a dangerous foray into turbulent, controversial waters. Even now. If we're talking about mainstream, blockbuster, best-sellers on a global scale.
Rejection "letters", these days "rejection emails", are a necessary and dominant part of this business. It is, after all, a business. Publishers must make money. It's their job. It's only that it reminds me of waiting on my college acceptance letters (got accepted to all of them), and auditions in my career (only got denied two). I know that it's part of the process, but, it's frustrating.
I've only just begun receiving rejection emails in my writing career. There will be dozens, or hundreds, or more, before selling the piece. The letters do make me start to second-guess my ability. For this, I am entirely prepared. I am equally ready to find out if I have what it takes... or not!
Most agencies and publishers don't offer personalized critiques of submissions. The sheer volume of "the next, great, American novel" pitches to them make them impossible to answer on such a personalized level.
It isn't just a matter of good writing. Though that is crucial. It's a matter, too, of being a sales-worthy property. How many people would care to read about, or pay ticket prices to meet the characters in any particular story? Not being cynical! It's the truth!
So with the same compassion I offered to writers for which I lobbied in pitch sessions with my boss, I prepare to send out the next wave of query letters to publishers and agents.
I know what to expect, and I remember how it feels to place a property.
My old Brasilian grandmother would say, "There is a lid for every pot! You just have to find the right one that fits!"
I know this to be true. So it's time to try some more lids! :-)