The 'Nice' Rejection (Brian Katcher)

LISTER: Why didn't I ask her out? What's the worst she could've said?
RIMMER: She could've said, "No, you're a filthy, stinking, loathsome, disgusting object I wouldn't be seen dead with in a plague pit."

--Red Dwarf

When I was in 7th grade I asked a girl to a dance. She said no. I was so unimpressed with the situation that I didn't bother to ask out anyone else for two more years.

The thing about rejection is, you know it's going to happen. It's an inevitable part of life and dating. And when I could tell a woman was so utterly underwhelmed by me, when she was kind of insulted that I'd assumed I was in her league, well, didn't bother me much.

But it was the almosts that did me in. When I could tell she was considering, but ultimately realized she could do better. Or just wasn't dating at the time. Or had to go to California to film The Hunger Games. The idea that I'd been close was kind of harder to take than knowing I never stood a chance.

I've find that this applies to writing as well. Like all writers, I've had my fair share of rejections. Most were of the form letter variety, where it was passed over after some sub-editor glanced at two pages. Happens to everyone.

But then there are the close calls. Now that I have an agent, I'm having a lot more publishers read my manuscripts. And while I still get curt 'nos', I'm getting a lot more 'almost yeses.'

I really appreciated the chance to see this one. It’s the sort of story and premise that’s exactly what I’m looking for—funny, a diverse cast that felt authentic, and a fresh take on familiar story elements. Brian has a fearlessness to his writing too—a willingness to GO THERE and the sensitivity to pull it off—that I very much look for.

Brian’s writing is so engaging, and I found G to be such a charming and accessible character. 


Funny and poignant and honest, in all the best ways. You are totally right that this is the kind of quirky voice I’m drawn to in contemporary YA.  


I know I should be happy that these incredible editors are so being so flattering...but damn, it's hard to think how close I was.

Oh well. It'll happen. Or not. That's part of life as well. I've got a zillion other ideas, and I will not stop until I force each and every one of them down your collective throats.

And a big fat raspberries to Nancy from 7th grade.


  1. Wonder if it was the same Nancy I knew in Arizona who looked like she had a perpetual headache, but ended up in Vegas as a showgirl.


Post a Comment