Monthly Archives: August 2008

Torn Between Two Covers, Feeling Like a Fraud

How’s that for a terrible  title? But for some dumb reason I’ve had that song in my head since the other night. Right after took my first tentative steps into self-promotion.

I’ve updated the website, taking off all the info on other books I haven’t sold yet. Then I started my own yahoo group.

Yup. I did it. I have no cover, no book out to discuss. But I started my own group so people can sit around and.. and what? Anticipate? The whole experience left me feeling like a fraud. Like I’m misrepresenting myself. Who the hell am I, anyway?

Oh yeah. A published writer. I almost forgot.

I think I’ve just spent so long trying to be a writer that now that it’s offical, I’m having a little trouble adjusting. I still sit here working at my computer every night feeling a little selfish to be taking time away for my “hobby.” But it’s not a hobby anymore. Geez – the husband seems to get that, even. How come I can’t?

Oh, and that yahoogroup, by the way? I’ll share that a little later. Like when I have a cover, at least. March will be here sooner than I can imagine, anyway. Maybe then I’ll feel like a “real” writer.

Probably not.

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Spewing Crazy

So here I sit at my computer working on the first official edit of my writing career. Not that I’ve never edited a book before, but this is the first time it’s been marked up by an actual editor. All in all, it’s not too bad. I use too many speech tags, which are easy enough to remove.  A few minor comments and a messy timeline that needs straightening out. I can do that. But then there’s chapter one.

Remember this summer when I had to re-write chapter one? Yeah, it’s still not working right. I’ve edited and edited and edited. And it seems to be getting worse. I spent days on trying to make it work. I took scene one and scene two and flipped them, flipped them again, reversed them, yada yada. It sold the book (yay!) but it hasn’t made that first chapter make you want to read the rest. It’s weak, I don’t start where the trouble starts, all the nasty things that doom a chapter.

So here I go again. I spent a good deal of my day flipping out to my writer buddies- thank God for them, because they understand an occasional flip out. The husband tries, but in his mind it’s sold, so the job is done, right? I wish! My friends who’ve been buried in the manuscript from hell? They totally get it. So I turned into a large heap of psycho for awhile, went out for a drive, and let it go. I don’t need to flip again. I need to kill scene one. Dead. Gone. Buried.

Ouch.

This hurts, but it’s better for the book. Right? Hard to tell right now since I’ve been through this thing eight million times thinking I was making it better when  was really… not. I’ll get there, though. Maybe even before the deadline.

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Let’s Dish – some details

Don’t have much info for you, but do know some dates. I am disappointed to learn that the print version will not be out in time for RWA Nationals in July. So DC is probably out for me, but look out Nashville, because the trade paperback version of Let’s Dish will be on the shelves in January 2010.

Can’t wait that long? Me either. The eBook will be released in March 2009, which suddenly sounds really close to me. Especially considering I have at least three rounds of edits to do before then. Yikes!

Speaking of edits, I have the first round now, so the whole “Holy Crap I Sold A Book!!” euphoria is over, now replaced by the whole “Holy Crap I Sold A Book And Now I Have To Make It All Pretty And Nice!!”

My first deadline is September 20th. Pray, people, pray.

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Linky Linky

Okay, I’d heard of these folks before, but then I went over and read a bit deeper. When I found references to Doctor Who and Top Gear, I knew I was hooked. Anyone that familiar with the BBC has got to go on my blogroll. So go to Smart Bitches if you dare. And you really should dare. They’re hilarious!

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So a Blonde Walks Into a Bar…

Thanks for all the well wishes this week. Yes, VERY eventful week for me, all right. Contract is signed and ready to go in the mail tomorrow morning.

But along with the e-mails from excited friends, I’ve gotten a few from friends and strangers alike (from various groups to which I belong) searching for the secret. What did I do? How did I do it? What’s the magic bullet that led to my sale?

Good damned question. I really have no idea. Well, I should say I thought I had no idea, but then I thought about it a second longer and realize it’s something I’ve known all along. Yes, I am about the share the secret to selling. How to get your book published. I should reserve the secret and charge people for it, right? Thing is, it’s not an answer you don’t already know, and it’s so simple it comes down to one word. Ready for it?

Persistence.

Yup. That’s it.

It makes me think back to about a year ago. I’d just spent the better part of two years beating my head against the wall trying to make a mystery work with three kids and a full-time job, which for me, ain’t happening. We were getting ready for the school year to start when my boss asked me one day how the writing was coming.  To answer her, I told her a joke I’d heard recently. I heard it as a blonde joke, but you can fill in anything you want.

A woman is left by her husband, penniless, with five children. She has no money, no job, and very limited resources. She figures the only way she’ll survive and keep her kids fed is if she wins the lottery. She prays and prays to God that she win the lottery, but week after week she is left disapointed.

Finally down to her last dime, she lifts her face to the sky and says, “God, I have prayed for you to let me win the lottery so I can feed my children. They are starving, have no good clothes, and we’re just about to lose our home. Why won’t you answer my prayers, Lord, and let me win the lottery?”

Down from the heavens booms God’s voice, saying, “You have to buy a ticket!”

When I told my boss this joke, I also told her that at that point, I didn’t have anything out there for anyone to publish. I hadn’t bought a ticket.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that in the end of May I took a gamble and bought a ticket, sending Let’s Dish to Samhain Publishing. They didn’t buy that first try, but wanted some revisions. So I made those revisions and sent it back. Another ticket. That one was a winner, and three days after I’d sent the editor my revisions, Let’s Dish was offered a contract. After five years of playing the lottery, I finally bought the right ticket.

Now it occurs to me that this little metaphore of mine can be taken wrong. I don’t actually mean play the lottery, but I really think you just have to keep playing the publishing game. Not that I know anything about it, because I am as clueless as the next person. But I kept writing and I kept submitting, and eventually it seemed to pay off.

Just keep swimming, as Dory would say. Keep buying those tickets. Sooner or later, it pays off.

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SOLD!!!!

Just got the email at lunchtime today. My lovely editor (yes, she’s mine now!) at Samhain Publishing offered me a contract on the revision of LET’S DISH.

I am still working on controling the goosebumps.

No details yet, but I do know it will come our as an e-book shortly after editing is finished, and will follow in either mass market or trade paperback approximately ten months later.

More later– right now I’m honestly just too stunned.

Thanks to all of you, though, who have stuck with me through the years. Damn, we did it.

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Finger Crossing Time

By some miracle, Let’s Dish is done. Well, far from perfect, but I am now at that point where I think it sucks so badly there’s no hope, so it’s time to let it go and go onto the next project. That’s right – I’m emailing it to the editor tomorrow morning.

The good news is I won’t be at loose ends. The bad news is I still won’t get to work on Happy Medium for awhile. You see, before I started working on the Dish, I did a down and dirty nitpick on another book, Another Time Around, and sent it off for this editor to chew on while I worked on LD. She seemed to like it and, again, I got a revision letter. So still no contracts in the works, but some definite possibilities. And even if they both get rejected after I’ve done the work on them, at least I have tighter books to send elsewhere. And I’m no worse off that I was before. Right?

So start crossing fingers, folks. I need all the luck and mojo you can send my way.

On a dimmer note, I start back to work tomorrow. Where did the summer go? Projects I had planned: paint the kitchen, get new hardware and paint the cabinets, paint the bathroom, paint the south side of the house, paint house trim, and paint the garage. Projects actually accomplished: notadamnedthing. I was either at the pool with the kids or here at my keyboard trying to get published. The good news is that painting is better in the fall, anyway. Or so they say.

One last note: Congratulations to all RITA and Golden Heart winners this year, especially to lovely friend-of-a-friend Anne Stuart. No, I don’t actually know her, but her reputation precedes her and she seems like a lovely woman. I have to offer my condolences to Jade Lee, however, who did not win in her category. Lovely lady and great company. Just don’t give her coffee unless you’re up for a wild ride.

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