This is a picture of the town I lived and worked in for almost twenty years. Way down there on the left hand side sits the Christian bookstore I used to own. My good friend Patti still owns and operates it today.
It's also the town where I wrote my first book. Who wouldn't when you're surrounded by shelves and shelves of inspiration every day? Great motivation.
It was back in the time when we didn't have the Internet yet. I hadn't even seen the Internet yet. I just printed off my book, single spaced and all and mailed the whole thing off to Barbour hoping for the best.
And I got the best rejection letter I've ever gotten in my life. November 18, 1999.
In part, Tracie Peterson wrote: While your story idea sounds interesting, the word count is too short. Your chapters have an abbreviated, rushed feeling. Work on fleshing out your characters and your story line to give it a multi-dimensional feel. . .
Now how cool was that? Tracie took the time to actually write a regular letter to someone like me who hadn't even a clue what writer's guidelines were or let alone word count.
What that editor did for me is what we as writers or anyone in the publishing field should do--she encouraged me and didn't break my will to write. Although I didn't write any more until many years later, I still dreamt about it.
When I was ready to write again, I pulled out this letter and drew my encouragement to try again from it. I still keep some of my very first rejection letters. (Before the online kind.)
So what 's your story? What was your very first rejection letter like?