Posted in A Day in the Life, books, Lane is Writing, PLAYING ALL THE ANGLES, The Book, the submission process

Banner Day!

It is a banner day all around! The best news is that my mother is being released from the hospital today, having had a successful surgery, and excellent recovery. She’ll be back to top form in no time.

The other good news is that I sold the romance novel! I can’t share too much right now, other than the title, PLAYING ALL THE ANGLES, but I am thrilled. I’d had word from the publisher several weeks ago, that I should have an answer within the week, but hadn’t heard back from them. Yesterday, sleep deprivation and stress broke down my “don’t bother the nice people” mentality, and I contacted them. I had a response within the hour, and I was sure it meant a rejection was on the way. I had steeled myself for it, so when I started reading the email from the managing editor this morning, I had to read it three times before I was convinced it wasn’t dyslexia playing tricks on me.

Now, here is the importance of objective, impartial readers: Nicole and I started this story a decade ago. While I was shopping TIARA TROUBLE, I found a piece of the romance file, and started working on it again. I rewrote a good deal, added a new opening, and finished it off, then sent out a few queries.

Meanwhile, I won a critique spot on one of openings on Miss Snark’s First Victim, and based on the commentary there, I did another harsh edit, and went through with the critique suggestions/questions in mind. I sent off the next submission and…sold it! –If you are a writer, I highly suggest Miss Snark’s site. You can learn a lot from reading the critiques, and get an idea of what is working well for people. You also have lottery style opportunities to share your work with some great agents.–

I really credit that critique commentary for helping me streamline and bring some clarity to a story with three plotlines and a lot of characters. I think it’s a pretty decent stab at a Judith Krantzian style of melodramatic romance.

Right this second, I am typing from my iPad in Mom’s hospital room. We’re waiting for her release. She’s napping, and I am freezing because the a/c is set at 60. But, I’m very, very happy. Very.

Posted in books, the submission process, writing

I’ll Have What She’s Having

I got a nibble on a query for the romance novel.  It is funny how rejection through the submission process can make “erm, we’ll see,” sound like an enthusiastic, “Yes!”  What the publishing house is saying is, “You did well enough on your synopsis, so we’re cautiously optimistic that it wouldn’t be a total waste of our time to look at the full work,” and what it sounds like is Meg Ryan in that diner scene from When Harry Met Sally.

I am saturnine enough to temper my own [frequently] misguided excitement, so the [frequent] disappointments are usually tiny ones.  I did have one that made me sad for a few weeks–if I’m being honest, I’m still very sad over it–but the truly striking, lingering disappointments are rare.

I do attribute most of this to a familiarity with the audition process, as I’ve said a hundred times before.  I don’t take it personally because taste is relative, and taste isn’t always even an issue (as with the agent who told me she already had something too similar in her list. Obvs she liked the idea–she’d already bought one!  But no one needs two purple, patent leather sofas in the living room.)  There’s also the problem of casting John Wayne to play Genghis Khan.  Sometimes, it’s about wanting a name and not caring about the face.

Part of it has to do with blogging, funnily enough.  I put myself out there for criticism almost every day.  I’m always writing and always exposing myself/my writing to the public eye.  I get enough feedback from it that I don’t expect every submission to be received like the birth of Aphrodite.  I’m certainly not immune to criticism or rejection, but I’ve made myself vulnerable through the written word for so long that it’s as natural as talking to strangers on the bus–which is to say, still incredibly uncomfortable, but not impossible, or life-ruining when I don’t get the desired response.

Besides, if I want that book deal, I can’t be afraid of the word no.  I’m going to hear a lot of no.  If you’re trying to publish, you’re going to hear a lot of no.  But it only takes one yes.  It doesn’t matter if you get a million responses that say, “No.”  One little yes will change all that.  And that’s what makes it okay to get excited about the maybe.