I’ve sent off a first chapter, synopsis, and a few paragraphs of some other book ideas I have.
The last few days have been a crazy blur…what seemed like something so simple, turned into a monumental undertaking. Wednesday after school, DS came home with a sore throat-so right away I knew Thursday would mean he’d be home from school-after having just been off from school for his 2 week spring break. Then DH had to go away for work. Then the washing machine that was supposedly fixed now needs an entire new control panel. So, long story short, the last 2 nights I’ve been up until 2am working away…
Last night (or early morning) I finally hit send, and emailed it off.
And now I live in fear of my inbox. I sent a copy to my agent as well, as she hasn’t seen it. So now I live in fear of two different emails.
This story is such a departure from what I’ve been writing lately. It has glamour and intrigue and it’s set in France. I do love the characters, Hayden and Madelyn, and the very different paths they’ve walked in life. I guess the question though is whether the editor will like them and the premise…
So the self-doubt continues…on two different projects.
And now I have to decide which manuscript to return to…and then I’m taking tonight off!
Today was a big day for me…because I was expecting a call from an editor at Harlequin Romance, a result of the SYTYCW contest.
So of course, the morning was one gigantic, nervous blur.
I woke up at 5:30am because, well, I’m a total nerd and wanted to go over my synopsis and notes a few more times before the phone chat. Then I got the kids ready, drove DS to school, raced home and basically paced the house. I contemplated adding a little something from the liquor cabinet into my coffee (but decided against it, since I didn’t think I needed anything to add to my incoherency) and then handed over DD to my husband at about 10:00am. She said she’d be calling around 10:30am.
Half an hour was too long for someone like myself to be left alone. I stared at the phone on my desk. Checked Twitter. Checked my inbox. Then I picked up the phone a few times to make sure there was a dial tone. Then I turned it over to make sure the jack was plugged in. Then I checked my inbox to make sure she hadn’t emailed to cancel. Then I double-checked the email I’d sent her, making sure I had given her the correct phone number. And then I waited. At 10:36am I decided she’d changed her mind and wasn’t going to call. Seriously. I think I may have even shrugged sadly and said “oh well” out loud.
But then at 10:37am the phone rang
She was so easy to speak with and put me at ease right away. We talked about my contest entry a bit, my voice and then my ideas. I explained the manuscript that I’d been working on and she said to go ahead and submit a partial to her along with the synopsis. So I will be editing tonight, and trying to convince myself that I CAN do this…
She truly was so nice and so helpful. The phone call was the highlight of my day. Actually, it was one of the best things ever.
A little over a week ago, while sitting in a coffee shop, and refreshing my inbox for what had to be the tenth time in a matter of thirty minutes, an email actually came in. And it wasn’t from a friend or spam..no, it was from Harlequin!
It was an email from the Senior Editor of Harlequin Romance, saying that I was one of the 5 finalists from the SYTYCW contest!
They loved my entry! It really took me a few minutes to process, as I thought that ship had sailed. SYTYCW wasn’t even on the radar for me anymore. In fact, I thought the email had something to do with a question I had posted on the Harlequin forums for the Romance fast-track they were working on. But as I re-read the email, the reality of it dawned on me: In black and white, on their letterhead, they said that I was one of the 5 finalists and that they liked my voice, they liked my story.
It wasn’t an offer to publish…but they would like to work with me! I now have an invitation to send them something new. I will be speaking with or emailing Bryony Green at Harlequin Romance. I have a few ideas of what I’d like to submit…and I also have a partial that’s almost ready to go that I think would work really well…and the partial that I’m really hoping they like, will take me back to France…
So now, I need to get some coherent thoughts down on paper in preparation for our conversation and polish/revise the partial that I’m hoping will interest them. Just thinking about a phone conversation already has my stomach in knots! How many ways can I possibly embarrass myself in a conversation?
Hmm…I guess I’d better get to work before the self-doubt takes over!
In an attempt to distract myself from the opening three chapters of this MS (and the fact that no one knows if the 5 finalists for SYTYCW have been contacted-or when they will be contacted) I’ve decided to work on the synopsis. Again.
As I’m reading I’m struck by the heavy back story and baggage I’ve saddled my hero and heroine with. I mean, I do love deep trauma and drama, and I love reading about characters that have had to overcome obstacles. I love seeing the character at the beginning of the book then changing after his/her journey and becoming a stronger person by the end of the book.
But I’m wondering if this is a little much. Then I started thinking that maybe if I could take away a little of the load-maybe some stuff that happened in the past that isn’t integral to the overall GMC…
I’m clearly having issues with this book.
Or maybe it’s the ongoing, never-ending SYTYCW…maybe it’s messing with my head…yes, that must be it.
So somewhere out there, in the world of aspiring Romance novelists, is a very, very, happy person. Congratulations to you, mystery winner!
Now, in case you are one of the entrants of SYTYCW who didn’t get THE call today and you’re feeling kind of down, I’m hoping this will help motivate and inspire you, as much as it does me.
“Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well.
Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else.”
~ Brian Tracy
I think sometimes we can be hard on ourselves when we don’t achieve our goals in X amount of time. Sometimes, we don’t give ourselves credit for all the effort, time, and sacrifice we put towards getting published. Many of us have jobs, kids, ‘lives’, and we use up almost all our free time pursuing publication. It’s so easy to get discouraged. It’s so easy to think ‘it’ will never happen. But as long as you keep writing, it will. How do you know that the next manuscript you send out there won’t be the one? If you quit, you’ll never know.
That’s about it for motivation, sorry, I gotta get writing!
1) Clean the bathrooms in your house. Seriously think of this-What’s worse than cleaning the toilet? Cleaning the toilet when you find out you didn’t win SYTYCW! And, if you DO win, at least you won’t have to ruin the fun by then cleaning the toilets!
2) Write, Write, Write. Write until the bitter end. And if the end isn’t bitter for you, well, then you’ve got some chapters towards that book you’re going to show your new editor! And if the end is bitter, well then you’re ahead of yourself when you *may* take off a few days to wallow in self-pity.
3) Go out with a friend(s). Seriously, not a writer friend, a *Normal* friend. I did this last week and it worked. A whole evening was spent discussing normal things…
4) Watch TV. Watch a Movie…do all those things you normally don’t have time to do because you’re busy writing at night. Because there is nothing worse than sitting at your computer accomplishing nothing because you can’t get this contest off your mind! So, you might as well give yourself a break and have a fun night.
5) Eat. It doesn’t have to be *bad* food, but it should be yummy, indulgent food. Last night I made homemade Guacamole. And even though, yes, technically Avocado’s are very good for you, when you consume half the bowl, the bazillion calories probably negate the good for you points.
So, that’s my little list of things…4 days left…Good luck everyone!
Oh, maybe I should have added laundry to the list…
And the winner of SYTYCW will be getting an email, or phone call, or something!
It’s crazy to wonder how many aspiring writers have entered this contest? Anyone want to bet? This year people had to send in a full manuscript, so that has a lot of people guessing that there were fewer entries. I think last year’s contest had around 800 entries. Yikes!
Funny about contests-obviously you enter with the hopes that you’re going to win. But then I go through a phase where I’m thinking how could I possibly think I even have a shot at being the winner? Out of all those people who entered, what are the odds that I’ll be chosen? Winning a lottery would be more likely! Why did I even enter?
All the angst, the nerves, the daydreaming, the phone stalking, the inbox refreshing on the announcement date…
Ah, yes, I guess it has something to do with the grand prize being PUBLICATION with Harlequin.
So good luck to all of us who entered, who tried, who put their hearts out there.