Monday, February 10, 2014

Advice on rejection from debut author Katie Hamstead

Writing is a tough job. Being rejected afterwards is tougher. Katie Hamstead, author of the new novel Branded, has agreed to write a guest blog on rejection. 

The Art of Rejection

As a writer, being rejected is part of the package. Ask any author and they will tell you they received dozens, some even more than a hundred rejections. I myself have no idea how many rejections I’ve been dished out while querying, and I have six books lined up for publication.

When I started, like probably everyone who queries, I really had no idea what lay ahead of me. I looked up agents and tried to work out this concept of a “query letter.” In my mind I was like, “My story is awesome, if they just look at it they will know.” I had no idea how much of a naive newbie I was.

My first rejections stung. I will admit I cried. I knew I had to try something different. So I sought out other writers who guided me to advice blogs and websites, and into competitions. My first competition was brilliant. They had feedback posting before the first round to get help on queries. I learned so much and came into contact with people who eventually became my good friends and CP’s.

After that, I started getting partial requests and soon my first full. Often, when these come back as rejections they give you constructive criticism. Use this! Yes, being rejected again still sucks, but rejection is an opportunity to improve, to push yourself to the next level and make the people you are querying sit up and pay attention. No, they aren’t always right, but they are industry professionals, so more often than not what they tell you will reflect what’s expected in the marketplace.

When I received my contract offer, I contacted agents and editors with fulls/partials to let them know I’d received an offer. But to be honest, the passion of the person offering me a contract was what made me eventually sign. I knew if they loved it so much, they’d advocate for it.

Since then, that book and its subsequent series have done well. But I still continued querying. Now I am in search for an agent and the rejections don’t hurt at all. I’ve learned that if they didn’t like it, then someone else will and that person will fight for my work. That’s what you want. The people who send you your rejections are not right for you anyway.

About the Katie:
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dog.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. She is currently at school studying English and Creative Writing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as a Clerk with a lien company in Arizona to help support her family and her schooling. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

About Branded

Terrorists have invaded Sydney, and Allison King barely escapes her brother’s wedding reception alive. She and her siblings flee, but their parents are killed by firing squad.

Now Ali’s on the run and terrified. While searching for other survivors, she is captured by the General who leads the invasion. He’s smitten by Ali, and when she refuses to submit to his whims, he brands her for death. In a wild act of defiance, she snatches the branding rod and sears the mark onto his face. Marking not only him but also sealing her fate. Ali manages to escape and flees into the bush once more where she finds a group in hiding. 

Even with the scars left by the General, Ali learns to love and falls in love with the young man who found her—Damien Rogers. 

But the General is hunting her. When he discovers their location, and finds her with another man—Damien—his wrath is kindled and his obsession is inflamed. Ali must put herself on the line or the General could kill her family, those who help her, and most significantly, the man she loves.


  1. Sounds like a good read. I'm currently writing two novels, and am looking for an agent!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.