Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Traveling a Very Long Road

FLASHBACK: I finally received an email (after many emails, actually) from the publisher I'd submitted to for my mystery romance, A DEADLY DEED GROWS and the editor informed me that I was being offered a contract. Woo hoo! I was so excited. In fact, I was amazed that I could've gotten two books and two contracts in a matter of six months. Both were with small presses, one significantly smaller than the other. Still, I'd managed these on my own. Of course I want to get more, and more. We authors are a greedy lot :-) Anyway, I signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press in April of 2013. Yes, you heard me. 2013. 

FLASH FORWARD: It's now February, 2015, nearly two years of editing, revising, and editing and revising some more, but we (my editor Johanna and I) are finally getting there, i.e. a publication release. I'll admit, there were times I'd think, "maybe they'll decide not to publish it, put it on a shelf, and let it sit for an eternity". This, too, is the mind workings of an author. Lots of insecurity and doubt along the way, and it's a true roller coaster of emotions from highs to lows. But when you see the cover, then you know. It will happen. And it feels great! 

I haven't received a release date for the book yet, but I'm hoping some time this spring. In the meantime, I have my cover to keep me satisfied. And it's truly an awesome cover! Thanks Kim Mendoza! You rock! So, drum roll, please ..... brrrrrum ... Tada!  (UPDATE: Released March, 20, 2015)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Tweeting We Will Go ... to Find an Agent

I decided it was time to post about my experience tweeting. No. Not just any tweeting. I'm not a newbie to that. I'm talking about Twitter contests for authors and agents and publishers. I ventured into that world recently to see what I could accomplish, and frankly to see what the buzz was all about. After all, I've been writing for many years, had a few books published, which gained a modicum of success, depending on how you view success. I've been enjoying the experience thus far, but want to take it to another level, i.e. agent represented, i.e. knock on pub doors I can't do otherwise. 

I discovered Twitter contests like #adpit, #agentmatch, #pitchmad, etc. by accident while using Query Tracker (an excellent resource, by the way) and perusing the comments. Authors were saying how they submitted to such and such agent after said agent requested their work on __________ Twitter contest. So, I ventured over to Twitter and ... Voila! All those little goodies, a paradise land for writers scrambling to get noticed and sell their work to an agent were here, popping up all over the place. I could already feel the attraction, the joy it must bring to be a part of it all. I mean, there can't be anything better than that feeling of validation where one hears an agent tweet, "I liked what I read in your pitch. Send me the first 20, 30, 50 pages." What??? Somebody likes me, really likes me ... that is, I hope so after he/she reads my sample pages. 

So, I took the dive. I entered #sunvssnow, #adpit, and #agentmatch. Now here's where I must warn you, it's addictive. A drug you want twenty-four seven. But that aside, I gladly joined the realm of agent-seeking peons. And it hit me. So, here's where the party is happening! All the agents are coming over to take a look. Then another thought slapped me in the head. Of course, they'd come here. Scanning through maybe fifty to a couple hundred pitches vs. hundreds of query emails coming at you almost everyday? I'd choose door number one, too. Not to forget, these contests provide a support system with lots of success. Writers helping writers helping agents, and it's turning out to be a wonderful pay-it-forward cycle.

Oh, about that support system? Writers connecting with other writers is gold, pure gold, giving each other encouragement, pulling each other up from the trenches when it gets rough and mean, and sometimes offering help with that precious baby called a manuscript. Trust me. Nine months is nothing when there are some who've spent years on developing, polishing, and polishing again that "precious baby". 

So, what did I accomplish? Lots of new Twitter friends, like-minded people with similar goals and obsessions. And I did get a few nibbles at my work. Who knows? One of them may work out and a partnership will be made. I can always hope. In the meantime, I glow from the validation, the acceptance, the camaraderie. Yes, that part is priceless. 

Oh, and did I mention the addiction aspect? Hmm ... I think I'll head over to Twitter and see what's happening next. I hear #pitchmad is approaching, or maybe ...

Happy writing, all!