I Have a Request…

I didn’t get chosen for the agent round of the blind Speed Dating contest. I was…”bounced” by the bouncers. I would be a lot sadder about this if not for the other thing that happened February 12th. I saw the announcement of a pitch contest on Twitter for Carina Press, a digital first imprint of Harlequin, scheduled for February 11th, but decided not to pitch my finished novel because I was in the speed dating. I second guessed myself, but I missed the window & couldn’t participate. The morning of the 12th, I saw the second chance Carina Pitch. Since I’d been feeling some regret for missing it before, I pulled out my speed dating pitch and tweaked it to suit the guidelines of the pitch contest. I hit send on my entry & forgot about it.

Checking my twitter feed, I noticed I had a new mention. I nearly keeled over at my desk when I saw it was Kerri Buckley, an editor for Carina Press, requesting to read my story!! cue happy dance in my chair & mad rush to co-worker/beta reader’s office for squeal party.

It’s been a mad rush to write a winning query letter & synopsis as well as rap up the last couple chapters’ revisions to submit by the deadline. This was my first query letter & synopsis, so I’m not sure if they were exactly right, but I did it. The letter was professional & focused and the synopsis detailed the main characters, plot, & conflicts, so they at least do what they are required to do.

I’ve added one scene and extended two scenes since I sent the chapters to my critique partners, & I think they really strengthened the manuscript. As soon as I hit send, I was plagued by doubts. I had too much of this or should have tweaked that more. But at the end of the day, I know using the additional couple hours I would have after work wouldn’t better the manuscript enough for me to push so close to the deadline. I know I sent in a good story, & I know that the rest of the series will be as strong or stronger. I’m content with the book I submitted.

I should hear something by the 21st of March. In between now and then, I have my birthday, 11 book reviews, book 2 to continue, & 2 more detailed outlines to complete. If you think that will keep me from obsessively checking my email way too soon, you don’t know me at all.

The point, though, is I’ve taken a major step in my publishing journey: I got a request & I submitted directly to an editor. That’s plenty to celebrate…for now

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Performance Anxiety

I thought the post before this one was already published two weeks ago. If this post makes no sense because of the high I was on two seconds ago, that is why.

Let me just say that it’s amazing how God causes things to fall in line. He moves fast. I was just saying a couple weeks ago how I had a breakthrough with the marriage kit book (which isn’t much about the marriage aspect at all anymore–hint!), when something very interesting happened.

A couple months ago, I told my minister that I needed help with my book. I needed someone to read what I had so far and to help me develop a book proposal. Instead of helping me himself, he gave me the number of a minister out of North Carolina who wrote for a Christian publication, Bro. Jefferson R. Curuthers, Jr. I was hestitant to call someone I didn’t know and who didn’t know me, someone I’d never heard of before, so I kept putting it off. But I kept writing.

It turns out that Bro. Curuthers is the speaker at our revival all this week. His wife spoke at our ladies’ day on Saturday, and as I sat there, it dawned on me her husband was the guy. Since I had just had my break through with major writing a couple of weeks ago, it seemed like a nod from God to go ahead.

The thing is, now that I have him here, I can’t seem to bring up the idea of my book and pitch it to him. I mean, the guy is here to preach the Word, not read my WIP. I don’t want  the opportunity to pass me by, but I’m having a hard time being “aggressive” with pitching my work. I have always had this problem and I know it will be in the future if/when I get published.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can use this networking opportunity? Have you ever pitched a book face to face?

An excerpt of what I’ve been working on will be coming soon! Stay tuned!