Tag Archives: mika

An Introduction

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 I’m not sure any of my WordPress followers know who I am, so I thought I should take a minute to introduce myself.

I’m Caron. I live in Ohio and work a horribly unremarkable job. I never went to college. I’ve never published a thing (unless you count an article for a church newspaper when I was sixteen). I am, to put it simply, nobody – but I’m trying very hard to be somebody.

Between November of last year and May of this year, I wrote my first book. It’s a contemporary young adult novel about three sisters who have reacted to their mother’s death, and the unseemly circumstances surrounding it, in very different ways – ways that leave them at odds with each other. It’s called Thursday’s Children and I would gladly talk anyone’s ear off about it. So, a lot of what you’ll see on here pertains to the struggle of trying to get that story out into the world.

While I am very obsessive about writing and everything related to it (I’m trying to take on as many beta reading projects as possible), there is, of course, more to me than that. I am obsessed with The Fault in Our Stars, the British TV series My Mad Fat Diary, and everything pertaining to MIKA. I used to consume entirely too much anime and manga, and am still fiercely loyal to several series (Ouran High School Host Club, FLCL, Kare Kano, Fruits Basket, etc). I collect thimbles and drink a lot of Mountain Dew.

So, if anyone wants to chat about anything like that… Here I am.

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“Think of Colonel Sanders” – Reflections on Rejection

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 In my dream, I’m in my grandparents’ driveway, checking my e-mail on my phone. A literary agent, one who has already rejected me in real life, is being incredibly confusing about what she wants from me. I go to format my manuscript properly, and find all kinds of nonsensical spelling errors.

I wake up and check my phone with the same motivations I had in the dream. As if reminding me that I’m really, truly awake, a rejection letter sits at the top of my inbox. The roach letter informs me that this particular agent “just wasn’t hooked enough,” but “wouldn’t be at all surprised if another agent feels differently.” She wishes me luck.

These letters always make me think of the suicide prevention signs they post on the Golden Gate bridge, or other such locations throughout the world. I’ve seen ones from Japan that say “Please reconsider!” Whatever else you can say about literary agents, they know that anyone’s first reaction upon opening these letters is “Goddamnit,” followed by whining.

I also think of the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech, brought to fame partially by real life and partially by Seinfeld. I think every single rejection I’ve gotten has reminded me that this is a “subjective” business and told me to keep trying. I’m not sure to what extent I should believe them. There is no way of discerning, from a roach letter, whether your work, through no fault of its own, just isn’t of interest to that particular agent, or if there is some crippling flaw to it that will make all agents run and hide.

“Think of Colonel Sanders,” my husband tells me. “He tried and tried to get investors into his business, but no one was interested in fried chicken. He was turned down, like… I don’t know, hundreds of times.”

Privately, I suspect he’s been taken in by an urban legend, but the moral of the story still stands. It doesn’t matter how many “No”s you get in these situations. You only need one “Yes” to get somewhere. If the Colonel Sanders story is fabricated, there are plenty of true examples to use instead – Life of Pi was rejected a number of times, and then it went on to be a bestseller and a movie. What if Yann Martel had given up? “Grace Kelly,” one of the first big hits by my beloved favorite singer MIKA, was written as a “f*ck you” to record labels that rejected him – “You only want what everybody else says you should want.” What if MIKA had given up? (I, for one, would be much less happy.)

But it’s hard to continue on, as if success will come as a result of sheer force of will, when your inbox is peppered with little “it’s not you, it’s me” speeches, because there’s a decent chance that it really is me. No one will tell me what’s wrong with my work, though, and I’ll get nowhere by second-guessing everything I do. Until some blessed soul says “Hey, this aspect of your book totally blows, you should fix that,” I have little choice but to stay the course, hoping to be the next Colonel Sanders.