One of the first things you learn about query letters is that no agent or publisher is going to be impressed by your telling them that you’re sure they’ll want to take your manuscript on, since your mother and your husband absolutely love it. Not exactly unbiased readers!
The same could be said for grandsons. Still, I felt a little apprehensive about what response I’d get regarding my middle grade identity-swapping tale when I arrived in NYC yesterday to visit family. I’d passed the manuscript on to my eight-year-old grandson to read with his dad once they finished the final volume of Harry Potter.
Obviously, I’m no JK Rowling. What if my grandson hated my story? How was I going to handle it if he’d already put it down and was on to something he liked better? Of course, I’d do my best not to take his rejection of my story personally, but I was preparing myself.
Thankfully, however, I’d no sooner gotten in the door when my grandson launched himself into my arms for a hug and said, “I’m already on Chapter Fourteen, Mee-Ma! I love your story.”
Ah… music to a writer’s ears!
I admit it. I was thrilled. I have no idea whether my story, The Big Switch: Varney and Cedric, will ever find a publishing home. It’s very different from my young adult and adult novels. And no, I’ll never be able to use my grandson’s hearty endorsement in a query letter.
But you know what? Just knowing my grandson loves it makes me feel great.
One of the greatest gifts we writers ever receive is when readers tell us they love our work. I’m so thankful for the gift my grandson gave to me.