Just about all writers have received rejections, and I am no exception. Since I have started writing erotic romances, I have submitted to about half a dozen online publishers. So far only one has accepted my writing, Cobblestone Press. Of those other rejections only one got under my skin, due to the nature of the rejection. Due to their reason, I felt I needed to share the experience.
Is Loose Id a sheep in wolf’s clothing? The following is stated on the submission page of their site:
Loose ‘lus, adjective – 1. not rigidly fastened or securely attached; having relative freedom of movement. 2. free from a state of confinement, restraint, or obligation. 3. lacking in restraint or power of restraint; lacking in moral restraint. Synonyms: unleashed, unfettered, unbound, unfree.
Id ‘id, noun – the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that is completely unconscious and is the source of psychic energy derived from instinctual needs and drives – compare ego, superego. Synonyms: subconscious mind, lizard brain.
First, I will detail the chapter I sent that troubled the editor. Drew, from the last installment of the trilogy, is just about to turn twenty-one. He’s been searching for Sara, his soul mate. When he finally meets her, sparks fly. They are both drawn to each other, even though Sara does not understand why. After all, she does not know they are soul mates. He invites her to a party and wants to drive her there on his motorcycle. Even though she is afraid to drive off with a stranger, the connection she shares with him overrides the fear. The party turns out to be her surprise birthday party with all her friends. She finds out a bit more about Drew and wants to learn more. After spending some time at the party, she wants to be alone with him, so she asks him to drive her home. She needs to put away her groceries and get cleaned up. They unexpectedly share a passionate encounter in her shower, though they do not have sex (they do eventually, since this IS an erotic romance).
Following is the editor’s reason for rejecting the story:
Loose Id readers love heroines they can relate to. They also enjoy sexy heroes who ride motorcycles. We thought the fact that Sara accepted a motorcycle ride from a total stranger and then invited him back to her home to be a bit unwise. Rather than buying into the fantasy, we found her actions a bit difficult to relate to. As a result, we never connect with Sara as a heroine.
This coming from a publisher who feels they represent the Id, which is instinctual needs and drives? Do they really feel their readers, who enjoy anything from gay trysts to orgies, have never taken a motorcycle ride from a stranger or, even worse, had a one-night stand with one? I personally find that a bit hypocritical, which is why I’m writing this article. A lot of publishers won’t detail why a story isn’t right for them, and that is the wisest course of action. Letters detailing bogus or idiotic reasons why one person didn’t like a story only ends up angering or hurting the author.
It could just be this one editor is a bit prudish, but that would be the fault of the publisher for hiring such a person. So if anyone else out there has received such a ridiculous rejection letter from this publisher, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. I guess they want their heroines to practice moral restraint. Hmmm…maybe they should change the name of their company then.