You all know by now how much I loved The Angels' Share by Rayme Waters. How do you know that? Because I've told you numerous times. I gave it a 4/4 when I reviewed it, and it sits on my recommending table on Sunday mornings at Recycle Bookstore. So, why am I telling you this? Well, a while ago I had a chance to sit down with Rayme and talk to her about how this book came to be. It's an interesting story (I'm sure you will agree).
To begin with, it took 8 years from the idea for the book until she signed with a publisher! She spent the 1st couple of years in communication with a literary agent. When Rayme finally sent the agent a 1st draft, the agent passed (#*!@%&$ agent). Rayme went back to the beginning and did a re-write. Of the 15 agents she sent a partial manuscript to, 2 or 3 said they wanted to see the whole thing. When they got it, they also passed (see editorial comment in parentheses directly above).
(Aside - we're still on the same story, but I'm starting a new paragraph so as to lighten up this very elongated and slightly depressing process).
Rayme took another 2 years to fix the problems that were pointed out to her. And she hit the agent trail again. This time, she got her agent. It was Thanksgiving of 2010. Problem solved, yes? Uh, not so fast. The agent spent 6 months getting turned down by publishers. Until, finally, an editor at a major publishing company said she loved it. She said she was going to try and sell it to her people. Phew, that took awhile. But...wait...The editor failed. That publishing company did not pick it up (what's wrong with all of these people?). End of the road? Not even close. Rayme's agent stuck with it and sold it to Winter Goose Publishing. And here we are.
It's mind-boggling to me that a book that was just so good got turned down by a bunch of so-called experts in the publishing industry. It makes me (almost) want to work for a publisher just to prevent this from happening to another deserving author. I will admit that everybody has a right to his/her opinion. But, c'mon. When it's this obvious, there should not be so much aggravation.
SIDE NOTE: Rayme told me something about her writing of this book that I found to be fascinating. Since this is a redemption story, there obviously has to be something that the central character redempts from. But Rayme said it was too depressing to write the book chronologically. So she wrote the ending 1st in order to convince herself that there was hope for the protagonist.
FOOTNOTE (Is that really any different from a side note?): The angels' share means the amount of alcohol that evaporates during the maturation phase. I did not know this until after I read the book.