As soon as my alarm went off this morning, the first words on the radio I heard were, "Embryonic stem cells have never been proven to work. Adult stem cells do."
Unfortunately, I hit the snooze so fast I missed the rest before the words could even register in my foggy brain (it's an automatic reaction).
I couldn't find the rest of that report (or editorial, most likely), but it has me thinking a lot about my finished book, and how relevant it is, and the whole query process. I thought agents would love the idea: a southern Baptist woman's daughter is faced with death unless she bucks the church's view of stem cell research and puts her daughter in a clinical trial.
It's got controversy, faith, medicine, love, protests, and a lot of misunderstanding of the difference between adult and embryonic stem cell use, without being preachy or lecturing (so I've been told. I hope that's true, because I tried very hard to not make it a referendum on stem cell therapy as much a just a good story with a controversy). The book is based on medical facts, true reports and AMA findings, and real-life successes.
I thought the topic would be hot. In-the-news-today kind of hot. Everyone's-got-an-opinion kind of hot. It was the writing I couldn't be sure was great.
Turns out, agents really like my writing - want me to submit anything else - they just aren't sure if the book should be marketed as Christian or mainstream. They suggest I find an agent willing to submit to both markets - agents with contacts in both markets. There is possibly too much faith to be desirable for some agents, and the words "stem cell" frighten others away before they can read it and judge for themselves.
The news today makes me more frustrated. While the book addresses all sorts of issues - faith, questioning, sacrifice, illness, a parent's love, how far friends can go before they go too far - it felt relevant to me on so many levels other than picking a side of a current contemporary political topic. But maybe I was wrong.
And I'm thinking relevance might be overrated.