I’ve had a number of requests from people to expand on my news and share a few more details. So, here it is. Sorry, but this is going to be long.
|Anybody notice the pictures of my grandkids in my signing picture?|
As anyone who’s followed this blog over the summer knows, I received a request for a full from Rhemalda Publishing (one of many I'd considered submitting to and had researched) for my adventure romance last spring. I was so excited and encouraged. It ended up being a rejection, but the best kind of rejection: revise and resubmit (aka R&R).
Now I admit the idea was both heady and intimidating.
I remember reading an article by Ben Bova who gave Orson Scott Card an R&R for Ender’s Game (yeah, the Hugo winner). Bova made a very interesting observation. He said he was always nervous when he did that because he never knew how an author would react. Some are so arrogant that they will never entertain changes. Others actually make the book worse. He was thrilled when Card not only was willing to make changes but crafted a much better book in the process.
So there I was, faced with this R&R. I’ve always tried to stay teachable, and I'm willing to consider anything that will make my book the best little story it can be (with my skills at this time—because we’re always looking to improve, right?).
Would the recommendations for change to my book be things I could live with?
What if I couldn’t live with them?
I’ve been running around the blogosphere and am a member of a number of writing organizations where authors talk about their publishing experiences. Some have shared experiences where the R&R they received would change the very nature of their story, the essence of their characters.
I lucked out. None of the recommendations did that. Instead of arguing in my mind about making the changes, I was excited to find ways to make the suggestions happen and took nearly three months working on them. So, after a few of my awesome online critique partners and writer friends gave me some feedback, I resubmitted.
And the wait began again.
Now, let me explain a little bit about where I was in my real life a few weeks ago. I normally love my day job, but we’ve got stuff going on that’s really killing the moral of my organization. I'd even been the focal point of a couple of local newspaper articles because of a decision I had to make. My sleep had been restless for days, my stomach a roiling mess.
I returned to my office and checked my cell phone in case I’d missed anything. My email accounts come to my phone, and my heart stopped when I recognized the email address. With shaking fingers, I accessed the email and read it.
The words that stood out were “your changes did not disappoint.”
With my fingers clutching the phone, I lifted my hands in a silent squeee. One of the attorneys peeked her head around the corner of my door, saw me, and asked if I was all right.
I cannot begin to express the surreal feeling of that moment. On one hand I was in the pits of despair and the next moment it was like my feet wouldn't stay on the ground (imagine Harry’s aunt floating away in Prisoner of Azkaban). My hands shook the rest of the day.
To make this long story short, we scheduled a time to talk. I was offered a contract, which I then had reviewed by a couple of attorneys. The publisher has been wonderful to work with and very up front about everything. I know a few of the authors who publish with them, and they talk about how the folks at Rhemalda are wonderful to work with.
And that’s important to me. It’s all about the experience, about being a partner in this publication process, about the fruits of my creative labor being treated as more than a bin of apples or a pound of beef for sale at the market.
It’s an understatement to say I’m excited.
Seriously. We need more words in the English language!