I've been writing since I was about twelve with varying degrees of intensity. In 2001, I made the commitment to finish the historical I'd started eons ago. I did finish it, joined RWA and started submitting it. I sent out 5 queries until my common sense kicked in and I realized it wasn't a very good book, in fact, it was awful. Luckily, the agents I queried saw "American historical" and didn't look any further. Wise of them. Anyway, that was my first experience with querying and agents. The next was a crappy little book I wrote for a new line at Harlequin called "Blaze," maybe you've heard of it? It went nowhere after it was rejected. For three years, I'd only been rejected in my writing. It wasn't enough to make me quit because I knew those two novels weren't worthy and were more learning tools than anything. My third one, however, bloomed and was good. When it was done and polished, I started querying.
What a long roller coaster, enough I got a little sick from the ride.
I started researching the agents, finding the ones who I felt would be interested in my book. I sent out those queries and actually had a bunch of requests for partials. As rejections came in, I expanded my search. I got more requests for partials and some of those went on to fulls. I actively sought representation on that book for 18 mos. and probably queried 30 agents. Nothing happened. I have a big stack of rejections (in fact, I just got one the other day, over a year after I submitted the full). It is grinding and I have to admit, I really felt gun shy about querying again.
So I finished my latest ms and decided to throw it out there. It was my first in first person POV and I never had a CP for it. I've only queried a handful of agents, receiving a couple of requests. I sent the full of my ms to Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger, Inc. last Sunday. On Friday, she called and offered me representation. She loved the book, thought it was wonderful. I was truly floored and after a weekend of drinking champagne, it still hasn't sunk in.
My chances of publication have probably increased exponentially, but that isn't what means more to me right now. I feel validated. It is kind of sad, really, it takes a third party to make me feel worthwhile as a good writer, but I think that is something I am not alone in suffering.
The point I want to make, however, is that this is a business full of surprises. I honestly figured 2007 would be the year I spent looking for an agent for this book. I did not think this would happen so fast and I'm aware this isn't the norm. So if you are writing and are getting rejected, don't give up, it may not be the time and the place for that particular story, the next one may be the one. You never know. I honestly had no idea this book would resonate with anyone. But it did. Trust your instinct. If it feels good to you, go for it.