Wednesday, May 18, 2011
All authors have highs and lows. We do the happy dance when we get contract offers. Our hearts sink when we get a rejection. It comes with the territory. However, there is something all aspiring authors (and authors who are published) have to keep in mind -- good things can and do happen.
Last year, I was emailed by an agent who had read Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between and was interested in my work. To say I was excited would be an understatement. She asked if she could call me, I told her yes, and we had a wonderful conversation. She asked me to email her my works in progress, so I did. She was interested in a couple, but the primary story she wanted me to finish was a paranormal romance. After she raved about the characters and the heat, I told her I'd wrap it up in eight weeks or less. I busted my rear to get the story done, and just before I left for Lori Foster's Annual Get Together (I told you it was a year ago) I was finished. I emailed the story to her, went to the convention, and all was right with the world.
After a few weeks, I became concerned. I emailed the agent again, waited, and received word a couple of weeks later that she was no longer with the agency and the story had been given to another agent. As you probably guessed, the agent passed on the manuscript and I was back to square one. What in the world did I do? I had this story, I thought it was decent, but where did I take it?
I won't lie, I'm very anxious about submitting to agents. Not that I don't want one, but the entire process can be draining. Each agent is so different, and their tastes vary. I decided to submit to three agents on my list and waited. They, too, passed on the story. So I decided to shelve the book, work on other things, and return to it later. Months down the road, I wrapped up Make Me Shiver, which got me thinking about the story agents didn't want. I subbed it to a couple of places the book just wasn't right for. It was too hot, honestly. Too sexual. Yes, there is a story, but there is also a lot of Hanky Panky. What in the world was I going to do? It was a completed manuscript that was just sitting around collecting dust.
Then I remembered why I started writing the book in the first place; my original goal for creating a novel as hot and sizzling as possible.
I wanted to submit to Ellora's Cave.
After I'd revised my query, did another edit, and had everything ready, I submitted the book and held my breath. I got an email a couple of weeks later telling me it had made it past test readers. If an editor was interested, I'd hear something soon. Another two weeks passed and I heard from an editor asking for a full. I thanked her for the interest in the story, submitted the full, and tried not to think about it.
A little over a week ago, I received an email from the editor offering me a contract for the story -- Omega Mine.
I suppose my point is that not everyone will love what you write. Editors see hundreds of stories each year (possibly more) and they take a risk on a new author. I have to thank my new editor, Ann Leveille, for giving me a shot. Yes, the difficult times before my acceptance at EC sucked. There was even a time when I considered keeping the book for me and never sharing it with anyone. Fortunately, I continued having faith that there was someone out there who would connect with what I'd created.
So when you're struggling, when you've written something and it seems like you'll never get there, don't give up. If you need to revise your manuscript, do so. If you're rejected at one house, consider another. If you've given the agent route a shot, consider the very viable option of e-publishing. There are ways to share your work with the world. You just have to keep pushing on, have faith, and never give up.
There's my inspiration for the week. If my luck holds, I'll return to The Ripple Effect this weekend.