Friday, January 15, 2010

Veritas Literary Agency, e-queries, cell phones and the Internet

Recently, I submitted an e-query to Katherine Boyle of Veritas Literary Agency regarding a novel I wrote about a middle-aged woman who woke up one night amidst the suffering of menopause only to discover that she had been granted fairy wings. It’s a fun story and I had a lot of fun writing it—I haven’t had a lot of fun trying to find someone to help me get it published.

Anyway, back to my e-query. Within three hours, Ms. Boyle sent me a reply. Her response, although short, was personal. I appreciated that. It didn’t take her any longer to type a personal response than it took the others who sent an impersonal form response and yet it was received with greater appreciation. (Because of this, however, I’ve decided that I should be included in the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest manuscript rejection.)

On a seemingly unrelated note, I called my son who lives in Illinois the other day. We visited while I drove to the grocery store and back. That alone was pretty great. He had me turn on my computer (once I got home) and through Google Maps, we were able to take a walk down his street together—the street where he takes my grandson for walks—and I got to see his neighbors’ houses while he told me a bit about each of them. It was an interesting and fun experience. Not quite as good as having him and his family here in person, but about as close as I could get.

I’m just old enough that I remember life without cell phones. Our phone growing up was a big, ugly black thing with a short cord. For long conversations, we had to bring a chair to sit on or sit on the floor. I also remember life without computers—but we won’t get into that.

We’re a spoiled generation, don’t you think? We can do anything and achieve almost any goal through the use of electronics and technology (with enough money). We can travel half way around the world in a matter of hours—we can communicate via the Internet with millions of people at a time. But, just like in the old days, it’s a personal touch that’s appreciated the most.

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