Saturday, August 29, 2009

Waiting is SO hard!

Although intellectually I knew I would not have received a response as yet to my partial submission, I had fantasized of course that my envelope would be so compelling, my story and writing thereafter so gripping she would send a response requesting to read the full manuscript immediately. The waiting is so hard. I want the request to send the rest of the manuscript so bad! What if I get a letter and (for whatever reason) they don't want to see it? Should I then shelve that novel completely and start another one? I have been combing through the story polishing it as much as I can in anticipation of the request. I think I'll enter it in the Golden Heart this year regardless if I get a negative response before the entry deadline. Can't hurt, right? It may just give me the incentive I need to go on and craft another one.

With school back in full swing I had visions of all this amazing time to write, however, I found it difficult this week to get back into the routine of doing that; almost as if I was anticipating countless interruptions that never really materialized. I think I found my groove by Friday so hopefully this coming week will prove to be more productive!

Monday, August 24, 2009

What do you do?

It used to be an easy question for me when someone asked what I did for a living. I had the short answer, the elevator pitch or the really long involved answer that detailed the nuances of my prior career. It sounded impressive. It usually impressed. I stopped that career August of last year but still frequently get asked the question 'What do you do?' I literally choke. When I was at the RWA conference in DC I met many authors. Many of them were so sure, so confident. When I asked what they had published, a lot of them responded that they haven't been published yet. Some of these women had been writing for 10 years! I offered the standard words of encouragement but I was really thinking 'Gosh, I hope that's not me!'. Does that make me a bitch? What do I answer to the dreaded question? If I say I' m a writer anyone would invariably ask what I had published. I would then have to admit that I am not published and does that make me seem lame? They would ask what I write. I'm not sure I'm prepared to share with the general public that I write romance, erotic romance at that. I will often say I write women's fiction. That scares most guys off from further questions. Whatever I say ends up sounding flaky and not at all like a serious pursuit. Anyone have any words of wisdom, any cute comebacks or any specific suggestions?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I am so out there!!

Well, it's been 2 weeks and I'm already anxiously checking the mailbox each day. I got back from a hectic and exhausting 8 day trip to DisneyWorld which managed to take my mind off it. Probably very unrealistic to expect to see anything yet, but maybe the editor will read it, love it so much that she has to write immediately to request the full. Yeah, right. I also really stepped out and entered a couple of contests with the same manuscript I sent to Harlequin. I entered the SF Heart to Heart and The Golden Pen. Both seem like they would provide really great feedback as part of the judging process so I am really looking forward to that. Finalists are announced for both around the end of September so that will add to the anxiety if I haven't gotten a response back by then.

I keep thinking; Is no response better than a rejection? As long as I don't get a response, I can continue to exist in ignorance. Right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I sent it off...

Well, since I returned from the 2009 RWA conference I have been reviewing, revising and polishing my 3 chapters and writing the dreaded synopsis. I mailed it today. There's relief, trepidation and a lot of anxiety. It was requested material so I know it won't (or shouldn't) end up on the slush pile, but have no idea how long it will take to hear a response. I flip between thinking it's 'OK' to it's 'crap'. I know within about 2 weeks, I'm going to be wanting to check the mail box every hour and am going to drive myself insane. It's hard to push myself onto the next project while I wait, but that's just what I'll do (after a few days downtime)!!

Keep your fingers (and anything else you think might be helpful) crossed for me!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

OMG, Lori Foster sent me an email!!

You all know who Lori Foster is, right? I sent an email out of the blue based on something she had posted on her site. She wrote back in 40 minutes!! I mentioned of course I was an aspiring writer and tried to ensure I sounded like I was serious (because I am Goddamn it)! I have been reading Lori Foster for a couple of years now and love her books. I saw her at the 2009 RWA conference. Although being at the conference demystified these women somewhat for me, she seemed amazing, gracious, friendly and so inspiring. To think she would take the time to respond to my response, in a timely manner and offer wonderful words of encouragement was so heartwarming. I was doing a final read through of the first 3 chapters of a manuscript requested by an editor and having many second thoughts about what a piece of shit it was when her email came back. It brought my confidence crashing back. I finished my review, printed it out and will send it off tomorrow. I included a portion of the email below:

"Don’t ever get discouraged – just remember that most successful authors were in your shoes at one point – determined and very new. LOL


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Romance as 'Respectable' Fiction?

There has been something on my mind ever since the 2009 RWA conference. I heard many authors, agents and editors talk about the acceptance level of romance as respected fiction. All indicated they thought much progress had been made for this genre to be more accepted. Many also indicated that other popular fiction areas such as Mystery and Science Fiction really faced the same issues. I've turned this around and around in my mind and I find I just can't accept that. I come from still male dominated corporate industry. If any of my colleagues had found out I read romance, my IQ in their eyes would have immediately been reduced along with my credibility as an industry professional. That would not have been the case if I had been sprung reading another popular fiction novel. I have even heard discussion about the type of women that must read that crap and I can tell you I'm not overweight, ugly, unmarried and I'm getting laid on a regular basis. I understand why literary fiction might be seen as 'superior' to popular fiction although I might not agree. I think there is still a hell of a long way to go to have romance more widely accepted as a valid genre despite how well it sells. It's going to take alot to smash the perceptions (some grounded back many years ago) around who writes and reads this type of novel and why they do so. It's also not just the men. I once put myself out there and asked a female colleague whether she read romance novels and she replied 'Oh, I don't read that stuff.' We still have a long road ahead and I hope as a published novelist I can really help with this cause. Women have been hiding what they have been reading for long enough!!

Why do you read romance?