Phyllis Schieber Author

Women's Fiction by Phyllis Schieber

Still Writing Through Rejection… Again

So this is an excerpt from the latest rejection on my new novel, The Manicurist. I worked on this novel intermittently over the last 10 years or so. After I completed The Sinner’s Guide to Confession I returned to The Manicurist with my agent’s blessing. After more than two years, the manuscript was ready. My agent was enthusiastic and confirmed my strong feelings for the story. I thought (and still think) it is the best work I’ve done to date.

I’ve eliminated names to protect the innocent (actually, to protect myself), but I have to ask: What the hell does it take to publish a worthy piece of fiction? Am I supposed to succumb to pressure and write to meet market demands? Should  really be listening to everyone who says, “Why don’t you write a book about…” I never say what I really want to say (“Why don’t you write a book about…”). Instead, I smile. I’m not smiling now. I want to write the unnamed editor and ask, “Why don’t you market the book for people who like to read?”

And, by the way, it is a book about the daughter and her mother. And, furthermore, the writing is lovely.

Ah, well. Sigh. Onward. Don’t give up the struggle.

Thank you for letting me read THE MANICURIST.  I can see why you like Phyllis Schieber’s work so much, and I liked many things here too: I thought the writing was lovely, and the characters and the relationships—and even the magic—felt real.  I’m afraid, though, that the premise of the novel seemed tough for me not because Tessa was a manicurist (those scenes were terrific), but because it focused so intensely on her painful past with her mother.  Despite some charming moments and touches of humor, the story seemed largely quiet and melancholy, and I didn’t honestly feel we would know how to find the right market for it.

Thanks again for the look, and I do hope you have better luck with it elsewhere.


February 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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