At last I heard from that agent. She has declined to represent me. Said she admired my writing but couldn't connect with the characters.
I can dig it.
It's a strange little story that doesn't quite fit in any category. Agents and editors love genres. Neat tidy little pigeon holes from which to market.
I can dig that too.
I just need to figure out what my novel is. It isn't really "literary fiction" in that the writing ain't that pretty. And I don't think I used any metaphors either. It could be classified as "general fiction" but that isn't good enough these days. It is too "catchall" of a category, you must be specific. It isn't quite "chic lit" in that my main character is not a perky young college grad in a career looking for truelove-perfectjob-perfectshoes. It's certainly not "young adult" even though the character starts out at 18.
I'd like to use the term I coined for it: trailer chic lit.
Because that's what it is. A poor working class girl from a crappy poor family making crappy decisions about her life until one day she matures to the point where she is willing to fight her way clear to just a little bit of comfort and security.
I don't even know how to compare it to other books so I can do what all those conferences/magazines/books say about comparing your manuscript to another in a query letter. The only things that I have found that have a similar Southern poverty theme differ in that their characters are young children and the books are way way way literary.
I dunno. I'm going to wander around lost for a while. Work on my next novel.
Which is about a young, poor teenage girl with a problem.
I sense a theme here.