WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Comin’ down the mountain …

On this last day of the year, I’ll share the inspirational quote that has gotten me through the last few months. It’s from author Russell Banks, who is talking here about mountain climbing – an apt metaphor for the writing life if ever I saw one:

I had not failed; I was disappointed. I’d learned, certainly, that I was more capable of doing this extremely difficult thing, but I had not been able to do it. A strange mix of melancholy and elation, then, accompanied me as I made my slow way back down …

You all know I’ve been querying agents this year – ever since June – and I’ve hit over 115 of them, with negligible results. Only two have requested the full manuscript of Three for a Girl (one of them has it in hand right now), and one other has a 50-page sample. Given my experience so far, I can’t invest much optimism in the outcome, but you know how it is: you keep on keepin’ on.

Banks’s quote, in which he describes not getting to the top of an Andean mountain because of a broken collarbone he sustained on the climb, goes a long way for me. When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you start to realize that the journey to heaven is heaven and the “mix of melancholy and elation” is the essence of human experience. Quitters gonna quit, and I never have even though I’m yet to get a glimpse of the peak. Getting Parts Unknown published in 2003 was like making base camp and getting acclimated, but I stumbled, like Banks, somewhere on the trail above.

Early in 2018, I’ll either get good news about Three for a Girl or I’ll move on to querying for another book I have in the vault.

One last attempt to reach that summit.

Wish me luck. And good luck to all of you in your journeys to heaven.

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10 comments on “Comin’ down the mountain …

  1. Priscilla
    December 31, 2017

    Yes, good luck on Three for a Girl! You’re a good writer. I read Town Father and enjoyed it. I’m sure Three is just as good if not better.

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 31, 2017

      Thank you, Priscilla! Looks like 2018 will be a “chin up” year. 😉

  2. islandeditions
    December 31, 2017

    All the best to you and Susan in 2018, Kevin! And, for what it’s worth, I think you already have an extremely impressive number of publications, and you should be proud of all the mountains you’ve already successfully climbed. If I were a trad. publisher, I would have long ago requested permission to publish all your books, including optioning any new manuscripts you might have in the works. Ah, if I only had the money …

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 31, 2017

      Awww! My wish for the new year: may the money find its way to Susan Toy! 😉

  3. kingmidget
    December 31, 2017

    Good luck to you sir. There is so much to dislike about traditional publishing, yet it remains the holy grail for us writing types. I hope to hear good news for you soon.

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 31, 2017

      Thanks a lot, Mark. Much appreciated. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  4. Carrie Rubin
    December 31, 2017

    It’s an uphill battle for sure. At least in today’s publishing climate, there are other ways to get our work out. Of course, getting eyes on that work is the challenge. And I know I’m preaching to the choir here!

    • Kevin Brennan
      December 31, 2017

      Sometimes I think it’s harder getting eyes on the work than getting the agent/publisher in the first place!

      Happy New Year, Carrie!

  5. Phillip McCollum
    December 31, 2017

    I anticipate great things to occur for you at some point (don’t I just strike you as the absolute worst psychic hotline host?)… if only because your good work cries out for recognition. All of my fingers are painfully crossed hoping that 2018 will be that point.

    A Happy New Year to you, Kevin!

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This entry was posted on December 31, 2017 by in Writing and tagged , .
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