So for those of you that do not know… I have some news.
Where do you even begin a blog like this? I guess like any story, at the beginning.
So six years ago ( yes. 6!) I wrote this dark paranormal romance. A handful of people read it, enjoyed it. I looked at it for a while knowing my dreams for this work, how I wanted it to be a trilogy, how I wanted people to love my characters. The usual writer vision. Then I put my hard copy on a shelf, and put the dream on hold.
Five years later, last summer to be exact, I opened the file that contained this story and blew the virtual dust off of it. I read the whole story carefully, wincing at my words. When I was done, I closed my laptop and went back to the hard copy on the shelf. Armed with red ink as my weapon, I marked up the manuscript. When I was done exposing all of it’s flaws it looked wounded, bleeding it’s imperfections across each page.
I rewrote the story, polishing it to the best of my ability and taking a plunge into waters I knew absolutely nothing about, I began the query process. From October to February I was hit hard and fast with rejections. By then it was my birthday. It was the first birthday that I had ever celebrated alone and needless to say, I was feeling depressed. I didn’t feel like going out, but I didn’t feel like wasting the day either, so with a cup of strong coffee, I began writing. I took the darkest character in my original story, and gave him the chance to tell his tale. Halfway through my journey, the doorbell rang and my husband had sent me red roses. Inspired, I turned that dark tragedy into a romance.
I continued to work on that story from time to time, and before I knew it, I had a complete novella. It was the first story that I wrote with no agenda. The first time I didn’t put any expectations on the manuscript. I felt free to write whatever I wanted, and basically gave my MC no filter. Now that it was close to being done, I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. I considered self pubbing it, but that was as far as I assumed that story would go. (Note to self: NEVER ASSUME)
Cue in Ifeoma Dennis and her brilliant twitter #WIPMarathon idea! Ifeoma rounded up a few writers to do one thing: Commit to writing for the month of August. Seems simple, right? Write every day, root for each other and once a week check in with the group. I was hesitant. Thank God for Ifeoma who persuaded me to join in on the fun. (Seriously: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!!! follow her guys… she’s amazin!!! @ifeomadennis ) I decided that I would tackle not one but two projects. The first would be that novella that needed some polishing. Now with a goal, and new friends from #WIPMarathon for support, I pulled it out on July 31, and gave it a long hard look. It actually wasn’t as bad as I had originally thought. In fact, most of the story was done!
Three days later Entranced Publishing was running a pitch contest for novellas. (Do you see where this is going?) I thought, why not? I was still querying at this point. I had two manuscripts hocking their wares to the literary community. I had gone up and down the full request roller coaster with both of them, so I had learned to lower my expectations.
So I pitched the novella, and a minute later got a request for a partial. I spent the entire day scrubbing that partial to a high shine, before I hit send that evening. Before I went to bed, I checked my email. The partial had been upgraded to a full. So now I’m super excited, and I don’t sleep at all. The next day was Saturday, and again, I scrubbed that novella as best as I could before sending it off to Entranced. The next four days seemed to last forever. Then on Tuesday night, Entranced emailed me. They said the novella felt unfinished, and was I planning on writing a sequel? Was I planning on writing a sequel??? Didn’t I already have it??? So I explained that I had a full manuscript complete, and I was even moving towards a third, for it really is a three part story. They asked to see a very detailed synopsis so they could get a sense of where my stories were going. I got right to it and clicked send.
The next morning I was greeted with another email. Entranced had offered me an R&R. They pointed out where the problems were in my MS and would I be willing to work on it? Would I?? I started that night, and continued to write into the next day. ( I mean, who needs sleep, right?) When I was done I had written about 6K in 24 hours. (Go #WIPMarathon!!!!) I had a few beta readers review it and then sent it back off to Entranced on Friday. On Saturday morning, I got a rejection from Entranced. BUT, it wasn’t for my R&R, it was for another full they had. Let me tell you, the editor that rejected that MS wrote me the BEST rejection I have ever received. It was filled with so many compliments that I actually wrote her back and thanked her for her words. I even printed the letter out to keep for future reverence when I inevitably would receive future (cold) rejections. That’s when I knew just how bad I wanted them to take on my novella. They were a company that CARED, and beyond the red tape of publishing, the dreams of being an author and the fantasy of seeing your book on a shelf, isn’t that what you want? SOMEONE TO CARE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR WORK?
Then, at 4:30 on Saturday, it happened. I got an email from the executive of Entranced Publishing stating that they realy like my stories, they were happy with the revisions I did AND (Drumroll please….) they would like to offer me a contract for ALL THREE BOOKS IN MY TRILOGY! ***CUE SHOCK***
Five days later, I signed and am now part of Entranced. It still feels like a dream.
Sometimes you expect things to go a certain way, and when they don’t you fall apart. Now that I look back on all the twists and turns that brought me to this point I know that EVERYTHING happens for a reason! So when you feel like the darkness of rejection is overwhelming, just know that you are being steered towards your destiny and your dreams will come true.
Love & Light,