The other day I opened my mailbox, and saw staring back at me a self-addressed stamped envelope, written in my own handwriting. Strange. I hadn't gotten one of those since the days when I was querying agents, back in the summer of 2006. So I was shocked to open it up and find this: (my comments are in red)
Dear Ms. Cantor:
My apologies for the unforgivable delay (more than two and a half years) in responding to EVEN TO THE EDGE (The original title of The September Sisters). A number of submissions got squirreled away, and your partial was among them. I'm sorry.
I read over the manuscript and am sadly passing on it. Even though I admired much about it, I'm afraid I wasn't as completely as engaged by EVEN TO THE EDGE as I'd hoped to be.
Thanks for sending me the partial to consider, however, and I hope that in the meantime you've found thoroughly enthusiastic representation.
As I read this I couldn't help but laugh! I can't tell you how many nearly identical letters I received when I was trying to find an agent, and how soul crushing each one felt. But this just goes to show you, how little these rejections can mean. While this one agent "squirreled" my first three chapters away, another agent took me on and sold the book, at auction. So to all you aspiring writers, don't let the rejection letters get you down!
Oh, and just after I got this, I also got my very, very awesome Publisher's Weekly Review. They call The September Sisters a "memorable debut novel" and the story "startlingly real." You can click here to read the whole thing.