Congrats on the book! Great title by the way. I relate to much of this. I lived in NYC during Covid and you’re dead right: it was brutal. I lived in a rough part of upper East Harlem which I wrote a fictional memoir about; I’ve been posting that on my Substack, Sincere American Writing. I’ve written 12 books, all still unpublished. One got dozens of agent reads but identity politics came into play...this was 2017. It’s always a challenge. I worked for a literary agent for a while and I’m a book editor and have a lot of short fiction and nonfiction published. But the gatekeepers for books are tough. It’s much less about talent, I think, and more about matching ideologies and perspectives. That said there are so many gorgeous books traditionally published. And self-published too!

Anyway. Your journey is not uncommon! A good friend of mine just published her first book; it took her 17 years and three agents. Yeah. I could go on 🙄

Michael Mohr

‘Sincere American Writing’


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Writing can be such a frustration, but I look forward to the future as the hoary infrastructure on agents and big publishers -- who make you wait for years while they just follow the markets -- crumbles. Indie publishing is a heyday for new writers. _This_ is how new voices get out there, not by a select few people in a publishing boardroom making the decision.

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As someone who is trying to self-publish her first book in her 40s, I find this honesty refreshing and inspiring.

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Oct 26, 2022Liked by Diane Hatz

Thank you for taking us in and showing us around. Your honesty is refreshing

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