So book 2 is in to my editor. Waiting to hear back from her. I hope she likes it as much as I do. As predicted it was a dark, gut wrenching book to write. That being said, I love it. I might even like it better than the first book and y’all know how much I loved that one.
I am officially preparing to go back on submission. This time with my fantasy romance Enemy Hearts. Everytime I come back to this book I love it more. That’s a good thing. Wish me luck.
We are creeping ever so slowly toward my release day. And in a little less than a month I’ll be going to the RT booklovers convention which is an awesome convention I’ve always wanted to go to. This time its in my own backyard so of course I have to go. I can’t wait. It will also be my first public appearance as a published author even though the book won’t be out until fall.
Guess that’s it. What’s up with you guys?
I have the worst time coming up with titles for my WIPs (that’s works in progress for you nonwriter types). My working titles are usually either the main character’s name or some generic word that identifies the story for me. When it actually comes time to put a real title on something it takes me forever. And usually two or three conversations with some of my closest writer type buddies. Working titles on my computer right now include things like Alphas, Sleeping zombie, and parking lot. I think I only have three things with actual titles out of my numerous files. That would be Possession, Purity and Enemy Hearts.
And then there are the people I envy that can whip a title out in like three seconds. These are the people you want to become friends with so you can email them and say “Hey, I have this book…”
Yesterday was my birthday. I’ll spare myself the mentioning of the year. For some reason this is the first year I mind saying my age. Grrr.. don’t like it.
Anyway, I went with my mom and my aunt and had a manicure and pedicure paid for by my mom, my aunt and my brother. It was nice to be pampered. And my mom made me chicken and dumplings. For dessert I got vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries on it. So good.
But the best part of my birthday was the card I got from two of my nearest and dearest. The handwritten sentiment inside said in part, (and I paraphrase cuz I’m too lazy to get my purse) “Enjoy your last birthday as an unpublished author. You’ll never have another one.”
No, you didn’t miss any announcements, there’s nothing to be revealed. They just have that much faith in me. Isn’t that awesome?
I sure as hell hope they’re right.
I thought this book was good before. But now….wow. Just…wow. No other way to say that. Thank you to all the agents that rejected me and especially to the ones that more or less said I could do better. You were right. I’m going to prove it.
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.
So there’s been a lot going on around the internets lately. It’s impossible to touch them all, but I am going to hit a few I think worth mentioning.
1) self-pubbing vs. traditional – It won’t surprise most of you that this topic has been up for discussion. Again. People on both sides of the topic are very verbal about why their way is right or someone else’s is wrong. But see, here’s the thing, every author has to decide for themselves what they want out of their career. What their goals are. The pathway they want to take to get there. What is right for one author isn’t going to be right for another. Just because the choice someone made isn’t the one you would make, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. As writers we need to support each other, buy the work of your friends whether it’s traditionally pubbed or self-pubbed. If a book is genuinely good, tell people. If it’s a horrible, unedited piece of crap I guess you can tell people that to, but I’d mostly suggest keeping my mouth shut on that one.
2) The usefulness of agents – While several people have been discussing this of late, a rather prominent author, whose name I shall not mention, kind of went off on a tirade about how writers are increasingly disgruntled with their agents, especially when it comes to self-pubbing. Again, the decision of whether or not to find an agent is a personal one, but I personally wouldn’t want to tread the publishing world without one. Despite all my reading, all my research I know NOTHING about this business compared to an agent. I need someone to have my back, to help me watch out for the potholes. That’s what an agent does, they look out for you, they market you, they talk you down from the ledges. And as us writers are an unstable lot, it’s good to have someone to do that for you on occasion.
3) Norway vs. Amy Winehouse – I am only going to say this. Both of these events are tragedies. While Norway’s loss is obviously a much larger one, it is okay for people to be sad about more than one thing at a time. It doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about the other.
I guess that about covers it for now. I’ll be posting later in the week about professionalism in the writing world. I know y’all just can’t wait. 🙂
I didn’t mean to disappear, but I’ve been incredibly busy. First on the submissions front, I got a request for more pages on one of my partials. Very happy about that. I also lied about not sending any more queries. I sent one more, but it was more of a resend. It’s to an agency that always responds if you query properly and I hadn’t heard anything after the suggested time frame.
Odds are, I forgot to paste my pages and synopsis under the query. Let this be a lesson to you people: Double check the directions before you hit send. I forgot to do that on another one and they were polite enough to nudge me and remind me (which they shouldn’t have had to do) and that led to a full request. Very important that you double and triple check all the directions people. Make agent and intern lives easier.
On the writing front, I’m still working on the sequel to Possession, but I have also started rewriting Enemy Hearts. Notice I said rewriting NOT revising. Big difference. I can’t even tell you how many times I have revised this book and it still felt off. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong with it, but there was something not right. Then a friend mentioned rewriting something (where you take the idea, plot etc you’ve already written and literally write new words for it) and a lightbulb went off. Have started doing that for Enemy Hearts and it is SO much better. I’m starting to think it was my voice that was missing from the previous version and that’s just said. That’s the most important part of a story.
Hmmm….what else? On the personal front, I bought a Keurig. Love that thing. So nice. Especially in a household where we only drink one or two cups of coffee at a time. Oh, and Red is an awesome movie. Go see it now if you haven’t already done so. Guess that’s it for now.
Happy Writing, People!
I had the opportunity through my Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal RWA group to pitch to an editor Megan Records with Kensington books today. She has requested my full manuscript! I am blown away and so thrilled. It will be a couple of months before I hear back but I wanted to share the good news!
Originally published 8/14/10:
So this was an interesting weekend. My writer’s group was given the opportunity to meet with Deidre Knight. For those of you who don’t know who that is, let’s just say she’s a big deal in writing circles. She’s not only a well-established agent, she’s also a multi-published author. Not only could we meet her, we were given the opportunity to pitch our book to her.
Ever since I found out that she was coming, I’ve been wondering what kind of person she would be. What the experience would be like, that kind of thing. I mean she seemed nice enough on twitter but how mean can you really be in 140 characters? (Don’t answer that question, I know people can be plenty mean on there)
For those of you who are not familiar with the writing industry, an agent is the key to a successful writing career. Finishing the book is only the first step in an incredibly long process. Without going into all the detail, let me just say that getting an agent to read any portion of your book is a huge step forward. It’s a step that will hopefully lead to them choosing to represent you. Now you know why I said scary agents in the title. It is scary to think someone is going to read and judge something you’ve poured hours of time and your heart and soul into.
Deidre was actually very nice and extraordinarily easy to talk to. I did pitch Possession to her. And while I think my pitching skills need a ton of work, she requested that I send three chapters and a synopsis to her.
Keep your fingers crossed for me that she likes it enough to read the rest of it.