Thursday, October 25, 2012

Killing My Potential

As a child, I had a love/hate relationship with the word “potential”.  I seem to remember hearing that word applied to me more than once and I often felt that it was just a synonym for “not quite good enough.”  And yet, ironically, it is the love of potential (or the fear of failure) that has me dragging my feet on submitting my queries.
In my research, I found 13 AAR literary agencies accepting electronic submissions for science fiction/fantasies.  That’s 13 chances to find out if I succeeded or failed in my 2+ year investment in Kingdom Of Stone.  Right now it is at least a potential runaway best seller--heck, it could even be a Pulitzer Prize winning novel--but very soon the query letters are going out and those potentialities will quickly evaporate into actualities.  Unlike quantum particles, it seems books can’t exist as nothing more than an expanding wave of probability.

I know that even if the book never sees a publisher’s catalog, it’s not a waste.  I learned much just writing it and self-publishing is increasingly becoming a viable option.  Even if it gets turned down by all 13 agencies, it might still see the light of day in some future incarnation.  In the meantime, I’m ignoring much professional advice and working on the sequel.  Since this series is generally intended to be a series of related yet stand-alone novels, it ultimately doesn’t matter which gets published if I can get even one past the gatekeepers.  I’m fully prepared to go it alone if I must after that.