Last Friday was apparently "post a rejection letter" day, which started here with Shaun K.Green. Ok, so I'm rather late.
I opened up a file, and here is an extract from the first one I came across, sent to my agent back in 2000.
"I couldn't persuade our sales people that it was strong enough for us to make the right sort of commitment to it. Of course, they want the next top-of-the-bestsellers fantasy, and Noramly doesn't attempt the formulaic big-big fantasy that's seen as the answer. She's very interesting, thoughtful, provocative, politically aware; but the first person narrative of (The Heart of the Mirage) offers a different perspective on a fantasy world, and though very well wrought, the world is not made available to the reader in the same way as it is in an epic fantasy."
That's a lovely rejection letter.
Five years later I met the author of that letter, and she was just as nice as it suggests. And it's all moot now anyway as the book has been published (by another publisher in the same country)!
Persistence. So much of the road to success is persistence. Ok, sheer stubborn, pig-headed bloody-mindedness. My luck was in finding an agent who was just as obstinately dogged as I am.
[Ah but that whole first person thing - no matter how good the book, the first person narrative puts some people off, even though the story would in fact be less effective if the third person narrative was used.]
Now you see one of the reasons I have not written a first person book since The Mirage Makers.