When I was about half way through writing a novel a while ago, I wound up having a long conversation with an editor I'd known socially for many years.
I described my novel. He sounded interested.**
I said, "But your company mostly publishes X and Y. My novel is only a little X and is mostly Z."
"It's OK. Send it anyway when it's done."
As he's also been known to agent for people, I figured what the hell. Even if he couldn't buy it, perhaps he could point me towards an agent or editor who might be interested in it.
When I finished the novel the following March, I double-checked that he still wanted to read it, he said he did, so I sent it to him.
I know he had a very busy year. However, after eight months, I hadn't heard anything, so I dropped him a note and said I'd rewritten part of the novel - did he want to see the rewrites? He said sure so I sent it to him.
Nearly four more months have gone by.
I would really like an acceptance or rejection from him so I can move on and try to get an agent for this novel. Should I just say, "It's been a year and I need to know if you're planning to read it or not?"
Here is a slice of advice from a two layer clue cake for you:
1. NEVER ever ever stop querying until a project is accepted. You've wasted a year here. Start querying. Don't wait for him to respond because;
2. He was being nice. You don't have a sense of it cause you're on the other side of the equation and you think of editors and agents as being tough as nails. They aren't (Miss Snark of course, is) and many times people ask for things cause they don't have the intestinal fortitude to let the conversation lag when the natural next statement appears to to be "yes I'd like to read it".
Here is a bonus clue cause clues come in threes today: don't ever talk about your novel to anyone socially until it's published. Ever.
**he sounded alive