Because in my 20’s, I had a real problem with asking for what I wanted.
I remember the very first query letter I wrote to Harlequin Silhouette. I was almost apologizing for wasting their time in asking them to consider my book. Admittedly, it wasn’t a great book but you think after all the nights and lunch hours I spent on that thing that I would’ve been a better advocate than that.
As time wore on, I wanted to be published so badly that it became my life purpose to sell Hot Tamara. Maybe I was tired of rejection, or just getting ornery as I approached my thirties. Whatever the case, I began thinking about why I should be published as opposed to why I shouldn’t. When I wrote that fateful query letter to Harper Collins, I shook my moneymaker, baby. I was damn proud of that story. Having reread the letter recently, there’s a chutzpah to it even though the book had already been rejected by ten agents.
The thing is, when you finally climb up into the realm of publishing, you have to keep on asking for what you want. You have to risk that someone will tell you no, which then requires that you do some fancy footwork to change their mind, or maneuver around them. Even though I consider myself to be moderately ballsy, I still squirm just a little bit when I ask my agent to do something on my behalf, or my readers to buy my next book.
When I hesitate, I remember that no one else will do it for me … unless of course, I ask them to.
Mary Castillo is the author of In Between Men and Hot Tamara. Her website is www.marycastillo.com.
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