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A Very Nice Rejection Letter by Chris Paling

2021, Constable

Below is a note I wrote on author Chris Paling's blog. He kindly sent a return note, but for now, here's just mine, with minor edits:

December 2021

Dear Mr Paling,

A friend gave me your book A Very Nice Rejection Letter along with a another one on how to write a novel, to encourage me on a recent writing project I've started. My reaction to this lovely gift was one of fear and self-doubt: Oh no, my friends think I'm going to write a novel! With that in mind I reached for your book first and shelved the other, feeling more at home with the word Rejection! Anyway, I really enjoyed reading it. I often was dying of laughter in the first part, then horrified in the second part in hospital: it was so graphic and real, and often brought a pained look to my face, as if I were reacting to someone talking to me. (I'm sorry you had to live through that by the way but thanks for sharing the experiences and the people you met along the way.) I wish the novel you'd been hoping to get published would be, I love the idea of the four perspectives, like Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. I'm interested in reading more of your work and will order soon. The authentic rejection letters were a nice addition, and the acceptance letter for After the Raid made me want to read it. I'm hoping this coming summer when I'm at the beach, which is my favorite place, I will not be overcome by the anguished screams of the millions of small pebbles dashed against each other under the swell. (p 215) What a 14-year-old you must have been to come up with such an image! All the best and thank you for putting yourself out there for others to read.

Look for future posts of other works by Chris Paling.

Thanks for the book, Sue!

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