Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just when you think the world is open to anything...

I by no means think my latest novel is when I started submitting it, it NEVER dawned on me that agents/publishers would have any problems with the content. The title is- Spellbound: A Tale of Wiccan/Catholic Love. Basically Wiccan girl meets Catholic boy, they fall in love, the learn about each others religions, accept them, at times, compromise. His mother is a major bee-otch, but she and my MC find common ground, start to become friends, until she finds out MC is Wiccan. The mother is a very ignorant person and is very unaccepting. She causes problems for the two, sabotages their wedding plans.

So anyway, I submitted my query to many agents and a few ebook publishers. After many form rejection emails, yesterday I heard back from Amira Press with a personal note:

Thank you for your submission. I have no problem with a
Wiccan. However, I prefer not to have books
that pit one
religion against another. It tends to cause
offense among some
readers and turn off others from giving
the work a chance. Works
that do not center around religion
are more apt to be accepted.

I really do not think my book "pits one religion against another". My Mc is not the one who has issues with religion, it's a secondary character. I could see her point if it was my MC that was being ignorant. I read a book once where the main character made a comment about pregnant women being fat and saying they shouldn't even go out in public, or something like that. I was offended by that and put the book down. BUT that was the MC that pissed me off. I'm supposed to like the main character!!! And isn't the antagonist supposed to anger the reader??? Isn't the reader supposed to want the mc to demolish the antagonist??

My story is about a couple with different backgrounds, which is what life is really like, and how they deal with the people in their lives who have issues with their relationship..if they chose to ignore it or let it destroy them.

I guess this editors comments took me by surprise... and it really made me wonder if other agents are thinking the same thing.


  1. The problem might not be in the book itself but in the way the conflict is presented in your query.
    Is the conflict of religion the major plot arc? If not, don't even mention it in your query and take it out of your title.

    If you want any help or a review of you query, feel free to email me!

  2. I agree, it might be worth looking at the query.

    I, too, have a religious element to my novel. I did not write/intend for it to be a Christian or religious themed book. I try for it to be a function of character and not of plot but I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea. Don't worry -- it's just a treasure hunt where we are looking for the perfect fit. This publisher wasn't it - so what, keep looking :)

  3. The religious differences are part of it, but the two were just raised differently in general..she comes from a modest financial background, his family is extremely wealthy. The story is about a couple overcoming their differences, but not specifically the religion thing. The religion thing is a huge deal for his mother, so that aspect does get pulled into the limelight by her toward the end of the story.

    I have had the toughest time with this query...since day one. Posters on a writing message board told me that since I was having such a hard time writing the query, that obviously I had major issues with the story. I don't agree with that.

    In my many rewrites of the query, the religious aspect was brought in and taken out and put back again. (along with the thought that I should change the name of the book. In the end I kept it, as her faith is a big part of my mc's life) The final version of the query has the religion part downplayed incredibly (or at least that's what I was going for). Megan, I think I will email extra set of eyes can't hurt!