Hello everyone and thank you for having me as a guest. A special thank you to Lateia for the warm welcome. Feel free to ask me questions, especially if I use an abbreviation that you may not know.
Although I’ve been writing a long time (with a few breaks), the journey to SOLD this year was rather fast. Or it seems fast. A couple of things changed in my writing life to help me.
FIRST: my kids have left home. I was a volunteer for 21 years all the way through graduation. I still help with the local girls fastpitch organization (believe it or not I’m an umpire). And I have the support of my husband to write as much as possible.
SECOND: See Jane Run won a contest in late 2008 and received an editor request for the full. At that time, the full manuscript had already been rejected by Harlequin. So why submit it again. Right?
THIRD: I attended a chapter retreat last November and RITA nominee author Candace Havens yelled at me. Okay, she didn’t raise her voice, but she picked on me all weekend. She finally got me alone and said, “I’ve read your work. Just write the damn book.”
FOURTH: I accepted the position of president of my writing chapter NTRWA (ntrwa.org). And with that responsibility I had to write a column for the newsletter. Ugh. I wanted to be original but not ramble. I came up with the idea to document my journey to publication: What had I done that month to keep my writing on track.
I have to admit that See Jane Run is one of my favorite stories. I hated to see it die a quick death in 2004. A week before I received notification that I was an RWA Golden Heart finalist, I had received the second (and final) rejection.
So in January I set my goal to concentrate on revising See Jane Run. (Remember that request?) I analyzed the story with friends and made some major changes. (That’s another blog.) But most importantly, I visualized the sale. (Hokey, right?) Well, not so much. You see, that’s the FIFTH thing I changed about me. I refused to stop until an editor told me “no.” Every time that little devil voice shouted in my ear that I was going to fail, I told it to scram. I began telling people that 2009 was my year. I would sell. (I knew that selling was out of my hands. It’s a business. But my mantra was: “I will sell.”)
And in order to sell, you have to submit to editors (and agents). I made a decision to enter contests targeting final round editors where See Jane Run might fit. One contest had both the agent AND editor who were at the top of my favorites list.
There was one tiny problem. The best contest for my story: The Daphne du Maurier (sponsored by the RWA Kiss of Death chapter) also happened to be the one contest that had eluded me for nine years. No matter what I entered, I couldn’t final. But remember, 2009 was my year.
I entered in March. Fretted--I mean chanted my mantra--in April. Finaled in May. Chanted more in June. Won in July. Revised in August. Submitted in September. Signed with an agent in October. Sold in November. Mailed the final version of the book in December. Whew...
And here we are.
Some upcoming topics of discussion:
---An On-Going Behind the Scene Look at Getting Ready for Publication
(revisions, promotion, copy-edits, AA’s, character sheets, log-lines, bios, etc.)
---Contests & Critiques: The Good & Bad comments
---How I Chose My “Dream” Agent & Editor
---Targeting Your Book & Choosing Your Market
Til next time,