Yesterday, I opened my inbox to find the response to my first full manuscript request. Excitement mixed with nerves as I devoured the email. The agent had requested some extensive editing, including a decision on whether the book would be a stand alone (in which case add to or rewrite the ending) or a duo-logy, which would require a big commitment from me.
That part I did not mind, but as I continued reading, my heart sank. The agent wanted a totally different genre of book, one that would conform to the publishing house’s mold. Was I ready to slice and dice my contemporary romance and rewrite it as a suspense/thriller?
I spent the afternoon and evening talking through my options with my editor and my husband, then delving into research. When should you change your book? To what extent? Where will you draw the line between your art and another person’s vision of it?
In the end, I decided this was my story. I am not opposed to making changes to it, but I am unwilling to remake it into something it is not and was never meant to be. The feedback did not resonate with me, it did not come across as heartfelt, and there was no guarantee to represent me in the end.
I still have a ton of submissions out there, so surely one of them will be the right one. Or maybe this book is not right for public consumption, and the second one is. Only I know these characters, especially my MC, and she is not morphing into a kick ass wonder ninja because one person wants to read that type of character on one particular day.
I created her, I know her, and I am her. I will not sell her out. Nor will I sell out myself.