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Hey Bobby - three things
1) ABNA is a total crapshoot in the earlier rounds - if the two readers who are assigned your pitch aren't into it, you're done. (I got through the first few rounds last year, but a friend didn't, and her pitch was much better than mine.)
2) Thriller is one of the toughest genres to break into - that can either be depressing or a challenge. (I'm parroting something my agent said before I signed with her, not suggesting other genres aren't tough as well). They have to be so tightly plotted and written that agents/pubs sorta expect that most of the subs they get fall apart at some point before THE END, so they look at query and synopsis weaknesses with a particularly jaundiced eye. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to give them a query/syn/sample pages that prevents them from doing so.
3) As Callalily suggested, stick around and get your 50 posts, then put up your query in SYW - I won't crit it here, but it's using some really non-specific language and that makes it hard to stand out. If your sense of humor here is any indication, I bet you can do a much better version
It was just a stupid thing to do; but it won't be the last time a sports fan goes over the edge. Killing trees is just mean to the core though.
I'm not a big fan of UK basketball, but I wouldn't kill a wildcat and send it to them.
I recently finished my first novel and started submitting it. So far I've got a few nibbles and several rejections. Quite honestly, after the first rejection I was shocked! I was deluded enough to think that my novel was so fresh and well written that nobody could resist it.
Since then I've had the book beta-read and come to realize it needs a fair bit of pruning and some serious fact-checking. This website has given me much-needed perspective on the whole fiction submission scene. As someone on this board said, "getting your fiction published isn't a sprint, it's a marathon."
The upshot is that I've developed two more novel ideas I'm really excited about. I'll also continue plugging away at the first one.
I'm sure you're a very good writer. You sound like one. It's just a damned competitive business and the stars don't always line up on the first (or 100th) try.
Good luck and stick around.
All those awards and all that experience mean nothing, because YOU CHANGED GENRES!!!
The skills that go into good reporting don't have a whole lot of connection to writing a strong plot. It's a new set of skills.
Now, without reading your novel, none of us can answer your real question: Is Prodigal good enough, and you just need to keep submitting it, or should you trunk it?
We need more information before we can give you advice.
Of those 100 rejections, how many have been auto-rejects based only on the query, and how many have been rejections of the actual book? If you can't get anyone to read the manuscript, then you need to take a serious look at your query. But if more than a few agents have read all or part of the book and then rejected, that means you'll want to take a serious look at the story itself before you decide what to do next.
Have you gotten any personalized feedback from agents or editors? Attending conferences and paying for critiques can give you a lot of insight into how your writing comes across to professionals.
Have you worked with a critique group or experienced beta readers? Even the best, most experienced writer can miss things. Thrillers need tight plots with no holes, and it usually takes a fresh pair of eyes to spot them.
As far as you can't believe there are 1000 unpublished novels out there better than yours...well. Wow. That, my friend, is a bit more than a healthy ego. That's someone in serious need of a reality check.
represented by Jenny Bent of the Bent Agency. Most happy.
I appreciate you taking the time to respond and suggest some things that will help, and I hope my ego won't get in the way of saying thank you. If it does, just elbow it out of the way, because the thanks are sincere. :-)