Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Burying a Rejected Novel

Last week one of my Google Alerts led me to this amazing Web site, My Dream is Dead But I'm Not, where author Mary Patrick Kavanaugh described the funeral she was about to hold for her novel that, while agented, was rejected by sixteen major publishers. She even had blurbs from well-known authors (Lolly Winston, Adair Lara, Catherine Brady) and included praise from her rejectors, such as: "Ms. Kavanaugh is a talented writer with a fresh and unique voice…"—Crown Books, and "Ms. Kavanaugh is a laugh-out-loud hilarious writer, one who uses cutting humor to get at the heart of a situation. I understand why Lolly Winston is so excited by it…" —Riverhead Books. The Web site also invites people to celebrate and also bury their own dead dreams. Upon further investigation I found that Mary is an alum of the MFA program at University of San Francisco and graduated a few years before me. What a brilliant and creative publicity stunt, I thought. She also is selling the book on her site.

Mary did hold an actual funeral for her novel, Family Plots, at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, CA, this past Saturday. You can view a Web cam on the site.

Now we've found that the funeral for Mary's book has been mentioned in both The New Yorker and The Atlantic! Bravo to Mary for turning her tough rejections into such a creative idea. I know it's only a matter of time before she gets published.

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