ThrillerFest XIV • July 9 – 13, 2019 • Grand Hyatt • New York City

She said no

By Don Bentley

She said no.

I’d attended PitchFest for the first time, found the agent I wanted, and pitched my newly completed manuscript. We’d hit it off during our five minute face-to-face and she’d agreed to read the entire novel. I sent it and waited on pins and needles only to get the dreaded rejection letter. To be fair, it was the most constructive rejection letter I’d ever received, but it was still a no all the same.

That was five years ago. In the ensuing time, I went back to ThrillerFest each year, bettered my craft, and wrote another book. And I sulked. A lot. But I didn’t quit and I didn’t stop talking to my dream agent. Each ThrillerFest, we chatted, getting to know each other better. A year ago, we sat at the bar for several hours talking about life, writers we both admired, great novels, and my work in progress.

She told me to finish my book.

I did.

Two weeks ago, I sent her Fallen Comrade. This time, she said yes.

Thank you ThrillerFest and thank you Barbara Poelle.

Don Bentley