I received an email response from Literary Agent#1. I was expecting her to reply via snail mail. So when I saw her message, I went: OH MY GOD. My cousin, who was in the other room, thought I’d gone mad. Anyway, Agent#1 said that my story was the only one in a “very large stack” that had interested her …BUT (yes, there is always a “but”!!!) she wrote that she would be interested in my work if I made my heroine (Amanda) pure. This meant that Amanda couldn’t be a prostitute but perhaps a maid at the brothel.
Throughout the following hours I paced about pulling at my hair. To no longer make Amanda a prostitute, I feared, would undermine the very theme of my work: redemption. I went through a brutal love/hate relationship with this idea of rewriting my story. Loved it, because I knew it was possible, knew it wouldn’t be too hard to change, knew it was my only hope of winning over Agent#1.
Everything turned out so well. My gratitude goes out to Val-Rae and Bennetts (he has published a wonderful historical that must be read by anyone who loves Regency history – press release). Val helped me realize that the rewrite might actually strengthen my story, and she gave me all the reasons why, and now I am convinced that she is right. Bennetts helped me realize that my theme of redemption would not be undermined by the change. A lady who is forced to work in the brothel, to live day to day under the constant fear of being abused, would leave her as traumatized. With all the “head-images” of the deprived underworld she must witness daily, of the degradation she must suffer, Amanda would still be a woman in need of redemption.
Some of you who have been following my story for two years now might be furious to know that I’ll be changing Amanda into a maid. But I assure you, the story is still pretty much the same. Amanda will still be the same person.
Anyway, the rewrite is almost complete. The changes I needed to make, albeit difficult for the first two chapters, were surprisingly easy for the rest. I will likely be sending my work to Agent#1 sooner than the “few months” I requested her to give me. Val and I made a deadline for each other—that we would get our work finished by February 11th.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out my latest article posted on Let the Words Flow: How to Make a Book Trailer in 10 Easy Steps. And, speaking of which, don’t forget to participate in our Book Trailer contest! It ends on January 22nd!! The winner will receive an ARC of SING ME TO SLEEP by Angela Morrison, a bag of confectionary goodies (i.e. candy), and a query letter and/or first 3 chapters critique of your work by the LTWF contributors! If you don’t want the query letter critique—or if you’re not at that stage yet—you can opt to receive a signed copy of PRADA AND PREJUDICE from LTWF’s own Mandy Hubbard!