Monday, June 2, 2008

Patience, Premonitions, and Open Doors

I love my profession. I really do. But there's one thing I could do without: the waiting.

It's a simple fact that the higher up the "food chain" you move, the slower the process becomes. My first book, Svetkavista, was accepted for publication before it was even finished. I began writing it in February 2006, and it was first published in ebook late July of the same year. Leading Her to Heaven was published a few months later in September.

In 2007, I wrote "A Scandalous Arrangement," specifically for a submissions call at Freya's Bower, for a BDSM anthology. About a week after I submitted my story, I received an acceptance. That was one long week!

This past March, I attended the Southern Lights Conference here in Jacksonville, held by my RWA Chapter. I pitched my latest novel, Reckless Liaisons to a few editors and agents. One agent in particular seemed very excited about the idea, and requested a partial with a synopsis, which I rushed home and promptly sent out. The wait this time was over two months.

She got in touch with me last week and passed. It was disappointing, of course, but honestly I think it was the right thing. While she seemed to like my voice and style, she wasn't sold on some of the plot points, but she did ask me to send over anything else I might be currently working on to look at. Unfortunately, I don't have anything at the moment.

But here's why I'm not upset: every author gets rejections. It's a natural part of being a writer. When I was growing up, I rode horses. My trainer used to tell me, "you're not a horseback rider until you've been thrown off at least three times." You fall down, you get back up. I officially have my first rejection! Rather than being crushed I'm thinking, "phew, now that's over with." Will I get more? Probably. But at least that very first one is now out of the way.

Several months ago, good friend Stella Price was interviewed on a radio show, and for the life of me I can't remember the name of it. The host was a tarot reader, and Stella was talking about her own knowledge of tarot. I called in to say 'hi,' and they did a reading for me. The host (whose name I can't remember either) asked if I was working on a book currently. I was working on Reckless Liaisons and had been for some time. Her prediction, based on the cards, was that my current project would be a big stepping stone for my career, and would help take it to the next level.

Perhaps you don't believe in "that stuff." I do. I also feel in my gut that she is right. So rather than be discouraged by Ms. Agent's rejection, I set to work sending out queries to various publishers and agents that very afternoon.

Within two hours I had a response from a certain NY publishing house (which shall remain nameless for fear of jinxing myself), requesting the full, complete manuscript. I could hardly believe it. That old cliche whispered in my mind: When one door closes, another opens. In this case it was certainly true. I rushed into my office, laptop precariously balanced in hand, and printed out all 200 some pages (I'd just bought a new printer the weekend before. Coincidence?) signed my cover letter, scribbled "Requested Material" on the envelope and away it went.

I have hope. I have confidence. I could probably use a dose more patience. All I have left to do now is more of that blasted waiting.

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