Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Coming Closer

In the mean time, my critique group had finished reading the Harlequin novel. I started to revise it, and get it ready to send to the editor.

The day job was creating problems, so things didn't move as fast as I wanted, but it was getting better. I finished the revisions, and all I had left to do was the synopsis. I hate writing synopsis.

I put the Harlequin book aside and realized I hadn't heard from The Wild Rose Press. I knew that was unusual based on talking to other authors on author loops, so I sent an email to follow up.

I pulled out the erotic romance novella I sent the query and synopsis on to The Wild Rose Press and realized that I really needed another read through to catch typos and such.

That meant I really needed to put my butt in the chair and write. I started editing the novella, but in the back of my mind I had put a deadline on getting the Harlequin book out the door.

So I took a Sunday afternoon and wrote the synopsis to the Harlequin book, my critique group read it, revised it. Then mailed it off and went back to the novella.

Then I received an email asking me for the full manuscript of the erotic romance novella. I tried not to panic; I still had some editing to do. I finished the edits and sent it off the editor.

I kept busy, I had already written the first draft of another erotic romance novella, and I needed to start plotting out another Harlequin book.

Continuing the journey next Monday

Monday, November 23, 2009

Almost there

I finally found a new critique group; I'd been without one for over six years. While I had a writing friend who would read my work and critique it for me. She lived in another city, was working full time and writing, and I felt like I imposing on her writing time.

The first critique meeting was more of a getting to know you meeting. We all talked about what we wrote, where we were in our writing careers and where we wanted to go with our writing careers. We also made some rules for our group.

I asked my group if they would read the full manuscript I'd just finished, I really needed input. The first chapter had been put into a few contests, but because it was targeted for Harlequin I needed people who understood Harlequin and alpha heroes.

They read the novel, gave me their input. I was revising that manuscript, when I realized I really needed to be doing more in my career. Writing and submitting one book a year wasn't going to cut it. If I wanted to write for Harlequin and write my erotic romance I really needed to figure it all out.

I sat down at the computer knowing I had an erotic romance novella ready to go and started researching e-publishers.

I liked what I saw at The Wild Rose Press website, their submission policy was straight forward and the novella I had was perfect.

The next day I sent off a query and synopsis.

Continuing the journey next Monday

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Mixed Up the Dates

There are some days I don't know if I'm coming or going. This was one of them. For those of you looking for my new post on my writer's journey, please go back to Sat. Nov. 14th. I posted it on Saturday rather than today Monday.

I hope you're enjoying reading about my journey.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting There

While the editor I'd talked to rejected the book, I was on the right track for them, the rejection letter told me I was, and only this book wasn't the right book. Okay, than meant going back to the drawing board and figuring out another book for them.

My writing time was being impacted by the move of my day job, now instead of having a commute of maybe 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night, I now had a 2 hour a day commute. And because I work very early hours, that meant getting up at 4 a.m. and not getting home until after 3 p.m. in the afternoon.

I had to find a way to write. I tried writing on the train ride, it didn't work. I thought back to when I first started writing and asked myself how could I write so much then and not so much now.

It just so happened I had signed up for an on-line class given by Margie Lawson called Self-Defeating Behaviors. And all I can say now, is I'm very glad I did.

The class helped me not only identify where my time was going, but helped me realize what was holding me back.

With my newfound knowledge and a plan in place, I was able to start writing more again. Maybe not as much in the beginning, but I was learning that I didn't need every word perfect the first time I wrote it, I could go back and edit it.

I had to make the time to write, no one was going to do it for me. If I wanted to do this as a second career I had to put in more time to it.

I started limiting my Internet and email time, I started writing on my lunch time at work, I started writing on weekends. I also bought an Alpha Smart which I could carry with me.

A year later, I had two completed manuscripts.

Continuing the journey next Monday

Monday, November 9, 2009

Carina Press

I'm breaking my rule of one post a week because this is important news.

Harlequin has announced their new e-book publishing line Carina Press. Their website is:

Angela James has been named executive editor. Angela was with Samhain Publishing.

This is great news for Angela, I'm happy she's found a new home.

Carina Press will take romance, erotic romance, sci-fi, mystery, almost anything except non-fiction and poetry. They will not pay an advance and are DRM free.

I'm wondering how Romance Writers of America (RWA) will handle this new part of Harlequin, RWA's stance on e-publishers has been very limited in the last 5 years. One has to wonder if that is going to change.

Improving, but not quite there

Selling a romance novel was getting tougher. I heard this from everyone. I let it bypass me, I kept writing. I'll admit I was writing slower than every, but I kept telling myself at least one page a day. I didn't always make it, but I tried.

I'd taken on-line classes, met lots of people at conferences, and dealt with my day job. Things were going along good, while I was still getting rejections and I knew there was still an element missing to my writing I hadn't pinpointed yet.

Then life interfered again. My father's health was failing and I put writing on hold for six months until he passed away, then another four months after that while I helped my mother not only deal with the passing of her husband, but getting her financials in order and the house in order.

Reading romance was my escape during this time. And I knew I wanted to give other women this same escape when their lives became difficult.

After attending the RWA conference that year and talking with an editor, I finished up that book and sent it to her. Then I started on the next one. I also started sending my erotic romance to contest, wanting feedback.

The next year was my transition year as I called it. Recovering from the passing of my father, but also knowing that my writing was moving faster than every before.

Continuing the journey next Monday

Monday, November 2, 2009

Still Testing the Waters

Harlequin Presents were still my first love, but learning about erotic romance was more than fun. It was pleasure – in a special way. I discovered authors I'd never heard of, and I learned about romance writing in a new way.

I kept writing Harlequin style books, but at the same time I started working on an erotic romance novel. It took me time to complete novels, as my life had changed. Job changes had me putting my writing on hold, at one point for over a year. My father was having health problems, so I was helping my mom with him. And then I had to have surgery for a neck problem.

Once life calmed down, I submitted my first erotic romance. While it took a while, and it was ultimately rejected it was a personalize rejection. I'd also kept receiving other rejections.

I sat down one weekend with a writing friend of mine and said "what am I still doing wrong." She had me pull out every rejection letter I had and she began reading them. And pinpointed the issue – character motivation.

It's one of the most important items in a romance novel; the reader must understand why your character is doing something. While I could tell her the character's motivation, it wasn't coming across on the page.

I couldn’t thank my friend enough. I would have to figure this out. Instead of going back to just reading craft books, I picked up one or two books on character motivation, but I also read the books I enjoyed and started to analyze how the authors were getting character motivation across.

My writing was slow because I wanted to get this right. And while I still received rejections, they were getting more and more personal. I was also meeting with editors, so it helped me bypass the slush pile.

Continuing the journey next Monday