Fizzy-Hulk Smash – Why Being a Douchebag is Bad

Hello my darlings!

So, earlier this year, when I was querying my YA, I had an agent request a full, write me several times about how excited they were to read it, jazzed about the premise, all the lovely gushings.  She said I wouldn’t need to because she would get to it ASAP, but if I hadn’t heard from her in 60 days to nudge her.

Cue me hitting REFRESH, REFRESH, REFRESH on my email for two months.

On day 59, right  as I was plotting how my possible nudge would go, I received a rejection from her.  A form rejection.  I was gutted.  She’d sounded so excited!  She was enthusiastic!  And no details as to WHY I was being rejected!?  OH, COME ON!

Yep, I was hurt.  I was frustrated.  I cried a leetle.

Do you know what I *DIDN’T* do?

Threaten to kill her.

Know why?  BECAUSE THAT IS BAD, MMMMKAY??

Why did I take that leap there that most sane people wouldn’t have ever considered a possibility?  Because it keeps bloody well happening.  I have seen so many times agents posting about getting threatened by rejected writers.  Some are even all, “Meh.” about it now because it happens that often to them.

What the hell!?  How is this the natural leap for enough people that it becomes common????

I am bringing this up because a very nice agent that I see around Twitterville had a death threat this weekend.  I feel so ragey when this happens.  1. No one deserves to feel that way.  To be scared that someone might hurt them for just doing their friggin’ job.  2. It bothers me that people take this jump and it cocks up the system for the rest of us.

Look, I get it.  Getting rejected is balls.  You feel hurt and angry.  And writers know that there is genuinely no more vulnerable a feeling than turning over the innermost workings of your brain for others to read.  Seriously, I would rather dance around to Gangnam Style naked in front of my high school arch-nemesis than to let loose the weird things in my brain that I call stories.

But that’s the gig.  If you want to get an agent, be published, any of it, you have to be willing to put that shit out there.

And you have to be ready that someone is not going to like it.

Not too long ago, a favorite agent was attacked while while she was preparing to pick her kidlet up from school.  I’ll let you reread that to let it sink in.

Luckily, she had an amazing attack dog that bit the fucker and stopped him from hurting her further, but holy actual shit, you guys.

The cops traced it back to a threat from a writer.  And sure enough, the moron had given his address in the query and they caught him.

Aside from the jaw-dropping WTFuckery that someone was attacked over a query rejection, when it came about that she had a file kept of all her angry author emails that the police were able to search from just floored me.

So again, it is blaring in my brain, how the hell is this that common!?

Now, call me crazy, but I like agents.  They do a lot for a little and their job is hard.  It’s fun and exciting, sure, but it’s not like they do it for all the super monies and glory, okay?

And I feel oddly protective of them when people pull on their crazypants and go all Writer with a Vengeance.  They are just doing their job.

Honestly, what do these writers think is going to happen? Writer:  “You rejected me!  I shall KEELZ YOU!”  Agent: “Zomg, you have threatened my life and now I see your book in a totally new and brilliant light!  I SHALL SIGN YOU IMMEDIATELY!!!”

Um.  No.

This makes me feel all Fizzy-Hulk, honestly.

Fizzy-Hulk is like regular Hulk but covered in glitter.

Look, we all get rejected, we all get sad/pissed/hurt/emo whatever.  You piss and moan to your friends and anyone who will listen, you pull up your writer-panties, tap your helmet and move on.  OBVIOUSLY that agent wasn’t the right one for you.

And as I have mentioned before, agents chat with each other, kids.  If you go apeshit on one, that is going to get around.  And that isn’t a good thing.

Congratulations!  You’ve been blacklisted!

And this whole post goes for everyone.  Agents, editors, publishers, hell, even CP’s and Betas.  They aren’t ALL going to love your stuff.  It’s best to absorb it now.  What are you going to do?  Threaten everyone who ever writes a bad review of your book?  GoodReads would be a blood bath…

I don’t like violence.  I don’t like bullies.  I don’t like the idea of anyone being made to feel afraid.

So, unless you want to see the uncontrollable Captain Save-A-Ho that is Fizzy-Hulk, don’t let your hurt feelers get the better of you and do something rash.  You can’t take that shit back, yo.

Off my soapbox now.  Sorry.

I hope you all are having a fabulous week, and that Thanksgiving is setting up to be a day of love and deliciousness for you!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Fizzy-Hulk

14 Comments

  1. Going all ballistic over a rejection doesn’t make sense anyway. Just because that agent didn’t have all the feels for that particular ms doesn’t mean they might not like your next project. And if they don’t, they don’t. Maybe it’s just not meant to be. It’s a job application. We don’t get every job we apply for, do we? And we don’t go holy bat-crap over it if we don’t. It’s a part of wearing big-writer pants.

  2. A-fucking-men. People need to grow the hell up. You can’t threaten someone into loving your manuscript. You can’t bribe them, or charm them into it. Even if they love YOU, it isn’t about YOU! If your work isn’t for them, MOVE the fuck on, cupcake! Even a snarky email is crossing the line. WALK IT OFF!

    *hugs ALL the agents*

  3. I can’t believe anyone would respond to a rejection that way. I’ve had a similar experience to you, with an agent (several, actually) expressing joy and love over a query and several chapters, but a month or two later getting a rejection on a full. Yes, I cried. Then I moved on. A few times I wrote back to the agents in question thanking them for their time and interest, especially if they clearly went to the trouble of explaining why they were rejecting. That’s right, I THANKED them, POLITELY, for their time.

    I can’t even imagine what goes through the mind of the lunatics who respond with threats. Yes, you are sad. Yes, you feel bad. But…but… I just don’t get it. If you get to be the Hulk, I get to be Thor. Then after we smash the bad guys, you can punch me in the head. (Sorry, we watched The Avengers last night!)

  4. People are batshit. I can think of no other explanation for this kind of psycho behavior. It makes me sad and sick when I hear stories like this. Come on, people. It’s not that hard to follow the Don’t Be A Douchebag rule. You just…don’t be a douchebag.

    The “let me love you” gif nearly made me pee myself though, so there’s that. 😉

  5. The first instance I ever caught wind of this was this past summer, with the aforementioned agent who was saved by her wonderful dog. It blew me away that a writer, any writer, would go to that level over a rejection.

    Now, granted, I’ve never submitted anything, so I’ve never been rejected (by an agent, life in general is another story), but I imagine I’d be the type to be all, “Well ok then, onto the next one” in public. Then I’d go cry silently in a darkened corner for a day, or two, maybe a week, a month tops, and then get right back in there.

  6. “WTFuckery” — Classic, Fizzy. Your posts always leave me shaking my head (in a good way).

  7. The violators are not in it for the long haul. A short sided, narrow/small minded attempt to break into an industry that is to be credited as artistic yet professional. Most agents give authors a fair shake at appreciation for having submitted their work. They need us as we need them. I would’nt want an agent that had no vision for the product he or she wanted to market. In the end, we’re not doing community theatre anymore and not everyone gets a trophy. (Not that there is anything wrong with community theatre.)

  8. wow, I didn’t even realize things like this happened, perhaps I’m in the dark a little when it comes to the world of writing. I can understand being absolutely passionate about your work, we should be, but going that crazy over a rejection, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it. Thank goodness that agent had a dog that was ready to kick some ass. It’s sad to think that people can be so crazy 🙁

  9. Is it wrong of me to want to see Fizzy Hulk? I mean…glitter?? Come to my office and I will threaten Brooks just to see you go Hulkie on us. Then, we’ll all have cookies and look at kitten pictures. Really.

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