Tag Archives: the process

It Finally Happened!!! (And I missed it)

That’s right, the call I waited my entire life for came and I missed it, I was at work. That call came from Angela James at Carina Press who left me a very nice voice mail to tell me she was very sorry she missed me but she’d send me a follow up email. Even without any of the details, I squeed. Yes, I said squee. I’m not ashamed to admit it.

When the email came, I might have actually screamed a little. You see, the email told me that not only did they love Possession and wish to extend an offer on it, they wished to offer on the second book in the series as well. I was completely blown away. Obviously I accepted and I’m thrilled to be added to Carina’s fabulous roster of authors.

When chosing where to submit to, Carina topped the list not only because of their reputation, but I really felt Possession would be a good fit there. I also knew that being a digital publisher the production schedule would be much faster and they would be much more likely to end up wanting the full series. And I guess that’s true since they picked up the first two.

So I’ll keep you guys updated as I have information to share. In the meantime, I need to finish that second book. 🙂

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On Music: the power of

I have to have music to write. And not just any music. Every book/series has its own play list. They’re songs that fit the mood or theme of what I’m writing. That can be anything from purely instrumental to heavy metal. I’m one of those eclectic people that has a music collection that boasts everything from Bach and Phantom of the Opera to Taylor Swift and Disturbed. The funny thing is that if I find myself listening to the music instead of focusing on my words, the song goes. Mercilessly deleted from the sacred playlist. The music has to fade into the background while I’m writing. And once I have a playlist set, I will use that list for everything relating to that book. Writing, editing, rewriting, plotting future books. Doesn’t matter.

I’ve got friends that need dead silence, white noise or chanting monks to write.I know people that write with movies they’ve seen a thousand times playing in the background or watching reruns on the TV. The point is, everyone has their own thing that works for them and they all have a reason why it does. For a long time I just knew music worked and I didn’t particularly focus on the why of it.

Recently I have discovered that music is a filter for me. A filter that goes beyond the obvious, if there’s music in my ears I can’t hear whatever’s going on in the world beyond. I have a brain that works overtime all the time. I am often doing one thing while thinking of three others. Music makes my brain focus. It engages all the extra synapses that want to be doing something, writing something, else. When the music is playing I focus only on what I am writing at that moment, on only that project. And what a relief that is to my overtaxed, melting brain.

That being said, I am always on the lookout for new music. What are some of your faves that I might have missed?

Just when you think you’re finished…

So you know my book, Possession? Yeah, the one I was “done” with? That’s been out on submission since roughly the time God created the earth?

Yeah. It’s not finished yet. I did another round of revisions based on agent feedback which I am 2 1/2 chapters away from completing. It has been a horribly slow painful process and I don’t understand why. I normally don’t have to drag stuff out of me like this.

In the midst of this I have gotten a revise and resubmit from an agent. Now, this agent hasn’t read this newest version and she’s not going to. Why? Because it’s not enough. I didn’t realize it until I got her email. I instantly thought upon reading it that I couldn’t send the new version because it wasn’t different enough. Oh, it’s better no doubt about that, but I now doubt that it is the best representation of me and the writer I have become in the last year.

I tend to undervalue my talent and my skill. I do so on a regular basis. Even when people I don’t know tell me I can write, I still doubt. And then a dear friend, whom I deeply respect, told me I am so much better than I was a year ago. And I was good a year ago. I know I was. Agents told me I was. They told me I was good. They told me I was talented. But I wasn’t good enough to get picked up by one of them. Because something was missing. I think I’ve found it. I’ve found it and I’m going to use it to rewrite this book in ways I never would have imagined when I started.

And when I’m done, I’m going to resubmit, requery, query and I am going to get signed and I am going to sell this book because anything else just isn’t acceptable.

A thought….or two

First of all, I got another full request today! Yay, me! 🙂 Very happy.

Secondly, I read a blog post by an agent today (which you can read here ) which basically says writers should not blog about the submissions process. Now, this agent was mostly discussing this as it relates to submissions after you have an agent and they are trying to sell to an editor. The comments are eye-opening as well.

And I have to say I agree with this post actually. “But, Kathy…” you say, “you blog all the time about your submissions” This is true. I do. but I don’t bad mouth anyone in these posts. I don’t say I’d do anything to have this agent. They’re better than that one. The reason I don’t do that is it’s not true.

Every single agent (or editor) that I have queried, I have researched. I would love to have any of them as an agent. If I didn’t want them as an agent, I wouldn’t have queried them. Seriously. What would be the point? I’m not a writer that thinks any representation is better than none.

I also have no complaints about the process. Why? I RESEARCHED. Should I repeat that? Why not? I RESEARCHED. I knew this was going to be a long process. It would be stupid to think it anything but. Agents get hundreds, even thousands of queries. Even if they request material from only a small percentage of those letters, that’s a lot of reading. Plus, their clients take priority. And there are contests, and conferences, and a little thing called a personal life.

I lurk on writing forums sometimes and I am totally floored by the people complaining because an agent has had their full manuscript for 6 weeks and they haven’t heard anything yet. Seriously? It takes time people. You might as well sit back and enjoy the ride. Now, if an agent has had your submission for longer than the time frame that’s posted on their site you can nudge. But only, and I repeat ONLY, to make sure they received your submission in the first place. Things happen, emails get lost.

That’s not to say if someone’s had your manuscript for 6 months you shouldn’t say “Hey, just wondering if you got to me yet” but be polite. And do not vent in a public forum for crying out loud. This whole thing is a job interview people.  One big, long job interview. Conduct yourself accordingly.

Sorry for the delay….

The fact is, I haven’t updated the blog lately because I was a little bummed about this whole process. I was getting rejection after rejection on my queries. And I got two more rejections on partials, not only were they rejections, they were form rejections. No real feedback at all. ugh. It really makes you second guess yourself.

But then I got some totally awesome news just when I needed it. You remember my very first blog post way back when about Deidre Knight? (if not you should totally go read it. I’ll wait here. Done? Okay, then…) Anyway, here’s the thing about Deidre, and I have to be honest here, I had already crossed her off the list of potential agents in my brain. Not because I didn’t want her as an agent, quite the opposite in fact, but because I considered her unattainable. There was no way she was going to want me.

Well, guess what? She liked what I sent her enough to ask for the full manuscript! This is huge! I’m thrilled and overwhelmed and all that stuff. This is the first time this has happened to me cuz I’m still pretty new at all this submission stuff, and it’s impossible to describe. The feeling you get when an agent reads part of your book and wants to read more is this heady combination of absolute terror and total elation. As usual, I’ll let y’all know how it goes.

Oh, and the contest? Still haven’t heard anything about the final placements. grrr. will let you know when I do though!

This writing thing

I write constantly. I mean you might think I’m looking up information in the computer at work or shopping for groceries, but really I’m writing. My brain is always processing information, storing it away to be used later. I don’t even get a break when I’m sleeping. I keep a database of book ideas to refer to later, I’d say roughly 75% of those came from dreams.

Yeah, I have odd dreams. I actually had a friend who told me once that it wasn’t what I wrote that bothered her, it was the fact it was in my head before I wrote it. What can I say. She had a point.
There are times actually when I have a new idea or a new character beating against my brain. I think about it constantly, all the time, no matter what. Even if I’m working on a different project at the time. I have found when this happens that I have to sit down and get the idea down.

That doesn’t mean I have to write the whole book, or even a whole story. I just have to get enough of it down that I don’t need to keep it in my brain any longer. Once I do that, the voices are subdued enough I can work on other things.

Before you comment on the voices thing, I should mention I’m not the only person I know that hears voices. Several of my writer friends do as well. Yes, there’s a whole group of us. Scary thought, huh?

The whole point of this post? I’m one of those people who can not not write. Yes that’s a double negative. Get over it. What I mean is that I am incapable of not writing. I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work. I’ve written in some form or another consistently since middle school. The only time I went for any prolonged period without writing was when I was pregnant and I think that’s because my brain was mush for about 7 months of that time. So this writing thing, isn’t a cute little hobby of mine. It isn’t something I picked up to fill my free time. I have no free time. It’s not even something I have a choice about doing. I have to write or I’ll go insane. Of that I have no doubt.

I did it.

So submission is off to the agent. To be honest I’m not expecting a lot. Would I like to hear that she loves it and wants to represent it? Heck ya! She’s an awesome agent.

But, I haven’t even sent one query on this one yet. Let me tell you, the odds are not with me.

That being said, I love this book. I love the characters and the world. Without sounding completely egotistical, I think it’s good. Hopefully she will too.