Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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A series of intense questions over at Janet Reid’s blog

Wow, this was quite a time to drop by Janet Reid’s blog and scroll through recent questions and answers. These are powerful questions, and who knows, some of you may find them helpful.

Hopefully not this first one, though:

1) Should I mention my impending demise in a query?

Recently someone asked me if I thought they should query their novel even though they know they’re dying. Honestly, I didn’t know how to answer them. I couldn’t. … their question has forced me to wonder whether an agent would take on someone they knew wasn’t long for this world? Is dying something that should to be brought up in a query letter?

2) Querying while suffering from depression

When I’m feeling normal, full/partial rejections just ruin my day. In a spiral, I’m praying a rouge meteor will fall from the sky and smite me.

So what should I do? I love writing. It’s the only thing keeping me somewhat sane in this miserable existence, and I would love to share my work with the world (and get paid for it, of course). And participating in query challenges or sprints with my writing group helps motivate me to keep going. But the nature of publishing is so difficult for me. I can send a full/partial when I’m feeling okay, like today, but a response can come months later, when I might be in a spiral. It’s like a book version of Russian roulette…

That is one tough situation.

3) PTSD has left me with a great need for privacy. Can a writer set some privacy boundaries and still get published?

These fears/questions [about privacy] have been holding me back from querying and moving toward having a writing career. Again, I would love to have a career in writing, but I would also be grateful for some hope that my books are, ultimately, what would be marketed, not me. My personal life and professional life must remain separate as much as possible.

You see what I mean. Intense. In every case, Janet’s response is thoughtful, compassionate, and well worth reading.

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