Hurry up and wait

on March 30, 2016

hurry up

Hurry up and wait – Wikipedia defines it as “a humorous phrase used to refer to the situation in which one is forced to hurry in order to complete a certain task, or arrive at a certain destination, by a specific time; only for nothing to happen at that time, often because other required tasks are still awaiting completion.”

The above phrase is something I am experiencing the hard way. Contracts signed, release dates set, revision schedules planned, books delivered by dates specified in contract and then everything changed. For me as a Type A personality, I like to stick to specified schedules and expect things to proceed as set. Anxiety and uncertainty are my first reactions when things don’t go according to plan. However, in the business of publishing, everything is constantly moving.  My first book was originally scheduled for release in May 2016 was moved to June, then to July and now, to November. Book two originally scheduled for September moved to January 2017 and book three moved to May 2017.

Am I disappointed? Of course. Type A personality!

Am I mad? No, not really.  Kick-butt author, friend, and mentor of mine, Debra Mullins said it best “welcome to the publishing business.”

waiting game

The process to gain representation and then a publishing deal taught me that persistence and never giving up are the keys to success. I have perused my dream for three years, so why get upset now? I still have a book deal and I will have my books published. For now, I can work at a slower pace. Well, I say this but in all actuality, I am working on a bunch of other ideas.

Even with my Type A minded set, I am a glass is half-full kind of gal. I’m blessed with the ability to write the stories the many characters in my head want to tell.

My added time to publication gives me ample time to complete book three. In addition, this will give me the opportunity to polish my fantasy novel as well as, work on a new book series I have floating around my head.

Now let’s hope my husband doesn’t sign my kids up for any more activities that will fill up any of my spare time.

waiting

I have a book deal!

on January 23, 2016

I am excited to announce I received a book deal! I accepted a three-book deal with Hachette/Grand Central Publishing’s Romance imprint Forever Yours line. The expected release schedule for the first book is in the Summer/Fall of 2016!

Here is the Publishers Marketplace announcement.image1

After three years of pursuing writing, I can say I have a contract! I owe a great thanks to my awesome agent Marisa Corvisiero at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

This past July, when I went to Romance Writers of America’s (RWA) national conference in New York, I was a nervous wreck. This wasn’t my first conference, but my second so I knew what to expect as a participant.  My anxiety came from having a completed and polished manuscript to pitch. The goal of the previous year’s conference was to get my feet wet, learn about the industry, and meet other authors.

This year, I had two appointments scheduled and I hoped to snag a few more the day of the pitches. As a pro member of RWA, I was able to schedule interviews with one agent and one editor.  I picked Marisa Corvisiero as my agent and a mid-sized publisher for my editor/publisher.

As I walked into the pitch waiting room for my two o’clock appointment with Marisa, nervous energy buzzed all around. I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one on pins and needles. I saw a few familiar faces, who cheered me on and many other authors who I’d never met. There was no feeling of competition; it was more a sisterhood/brotherhood of anxiety. To steady my disquiet, a few seasoned authors coached me, by making jokes and helping me practice my pitch. Fifteen minutes in their presence had my confidence up and ready to pitch.

However, the calm was short lived. As soon as the coordinators called our time, my trepidation peaked. I stood in line, said a quick prayer, and went for my interview.  I walked up to Marisa and introduced myself. I couldn’t help the surprise I felt when I discovered how nice and normal she was. In my mind, I had created this image of an agent as someone intimidating and scary. A bit like a kid seeing the principle with a ruler for the first time.

We spent most of our time in an informal manner, chatting and discussing my book and future projects. When the attendant announced the end of our time, I knew if Marisa agreed to represent me, I had the perfect agent.

I left the meeting excited and as crazy as I am, picked up two more pitch appointments from the available appointments. I have to say I rocked all of them. J It took that first interview to give me the mojo for the rest.

A few drinks after the stress of pitch appointments.

A few drinks after the stress of pitch appointments. With fellow authors Mia Hopkins and Ruth Vincent.

Once the conference was over, I went back to my life as mom, wife, and PTO goddess.  I continued to write and hope someone from the conference wanted to represent me or publish my book. Well a month later I received my first offer and a month after that I received my second. Both deals were great but my gut said to wait. I decided to follow up with Marisa and in a week and a half, I became one of her new clients! Then a few weeks later, she brought me a deal with Forever Yours and the rest was history.

Now in the middle of January, I am putting the finishing touches (i.e., edits) on book two of the series and have a release schedule for the book series. I cannot wait to see what this year brings me. One additional thing I am excited about for 2016 is that I can enjoy a writer’s conference without the worry of pitching.

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2015

on November 11, 2015

nano_feature

When I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2012, I never thought it would lead to the start of a writing career. I was an avid reader and loved to make up stories for my kids, but the concept of starting a career in writing was a foreign to me.  Yes, once upon a teenage dream, I did want to write novels but I placed that idea on hold for a career that paid the bills.

Lo and behold my sweet husband, one morning at the beginning of September, he stopped while reading an article in the Wall Street Journal and said, “There is this thing called NaNoWriMo. I think you should participate. You love to read and you said you used to think about writing. Why don’t you go for it.”

I looked up from the middle of my crazy, get my children dressed for school, fed, and out the door routine with a blank stare.

After he explained what it was, an online community of support to write a 50,000 word book in one month, I still wasn’t convinced.  How was I going to write while managing two young children and the millions of other things I had to complete?

Nevertheless, the little seed was planted and after a few days of mulling over the suggestion, I thought. Why not?

During the course of any spare time (usually after my heathens were in bed for the night), I researched how to plan a novel. (Yes, I am a plotter, not a panster.) I sketched a general outline of my fantasy novel and then spent the remainder of the month filling in plot points.

November 1 rolled around and I was ready to start. The only problem was I made the big error that the NaNoWriMo site says not to do, REVISE.  I was supposed to keep writing even with errors and just get it on paper. That didn’t work out for me.  That first day, I wrote barely three paragraphs because they didn’t sound right. Frustrated I gave up and went to conquer the role I was good at: mother, wife, PTO goddess.

I didn’t give up though. I sat down again the next day and tried to tackle the task, but this time just writing until I couldn’t write anymore. By the end of the day, I had written four thousand words. I continued this momentum until I had reached my goal a few days before Thanksgiving.

To celebrate, my husband and I signed a contract to build a new house.

After all the holiday festivities, I returned to my “completed manuscript” for edits and the rest was history.

NOT.

I spent the next year taking classes, editing, and submitting with no bites, as well as, coordinating the building of my family’s new home, an hour away from where we lived.

At the moment when I thought I’d give up on this dream of writing (Early Spring of 2014 to be exact), my sweet partner in life said, “You know they do another NaNo in April. Why don’t you try again?”  This time I didn’t question him and agreed to write something new, something completely different from the first. Well, except for the heat, I love heat! I went through my planning phase and by April 1st I was ready to start again.

Now a year and a half later, I am doing the whole cycle again, but this time I am writing the second book in the series and possibly announcing a new contract soon!

The moral of this story is don’t give up.  Keep trying. You never know where it might lead.

nanoprep