No, not rest and relaxation, but Revise and Resubmit. For those following my publishing journey, this summer I had submitted Ocean Effect to a publisher who accepts manuscripts directly from authors without requiring an agent. I recently heard back from them with a polite but encouraging rejection letter. It read, in part:
“There is much to like about this story--in particular the setting, and the challenges posed by it. The mystery itself is well-plotted and interesting, and I did not guess whodunit until the very end. However, I feel as though you need to provide your main character with a more compelling reason for needing to disappear, and many of her actions (or inactions) were not plausible. She needs to be more interesting. Also, the story overall lacked the sense of immediate danger and urgency that being trapped on a ship with a murderer would engender. We normally don't reconsider manuscripts once we've reviewed them, but we are willing to take a look should you decide to revise. Forward with a brief note saying that you were advised to resubmit once you had revised the manuscript.”
So, not great news, but it feels like the fog is lifting on a new day. I’m honored they would consider a resubmission. Next: the hard part. Figuring out which of my main character’s actions seemed implausible, and add more danger.
But first, I’m working on Key Chaos at my writer’s retreat, and then I’ll be pitching No Safe Harbor at the New England Crime Bake conference in November. Onward and upward!