Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Shake, Cry & Try


I’m not normally home on Tuesdays. I’m not normally home weekdays, period. But my daughter was sick with the flu and since my ex-husband has a new baby at home, and so does pretty much everyone else I know who is home during the day, I was taking non-paid leave to be home with her. It’s not such a bad gig, if you don’t mind the disgusting parts that accompany a sick eight year old, and as I’ve been a mom far longer than I haven’t been, I long ago stopped minding the disgusting bits. The poor little thing had finally managed to nod off and I was quietly wasting time on the laptop when I noticed that a publisher I’ve been following on Twitter because I like their books, @Crimson_Romance was having a promotion of sorts: Tweet-pitch the editor on completed manuscripts, one day only.
 
I had finished writing a book and then spent the next two+ years, revising and insisting it wasn’t ready. But, with my daughter’s not very subtle snoring as a soundtrack, I figured it would be an opportunity to network and a fun writing exercise. How do you craft a compelling pitch, both grammatically correct and spell checked, in 114 characters or less including spaces (I know you get 140 characters but I had to include @Crimson_Romance in the Tweet)? I won’t lie; I worked on it for a couple hours before I was satisfied. And still I Tweeted expecting nothing more than a form “Thank you for your interest” or something to that effect, if anything.

I was shocked when they requested the full manuscript and a synopsis. I didn’t even have a synopsis. I spent two days in an anxiety and caffeine fueled craze. There is no industry standard for length or format of a synopsis; I looked. I wrote and re-wrote until I couldn’t cry because my eyes no longer had the ability to produce tears. I then speed read the entire book looking for the glaringly obvious. I submitted the packet less than 48 hours after being asked. 

I then shook for thirty minutes. Maybe longer. I’ll never know.

I’d seen how many pitches they’d gotten and knew they must have a lot of material to review, not counting what the editors already had on their plate before the Twitter promotion; I decided to put the whole thing out of my mind. That way I wouldn’t make myself any crazier babysitting my email account or jumping out of my skin every time the phone rang. Then only eight little days later, an email showed up from an editor. It opened with “Thank you for giving us the chance to consider Wolf….” I admit, my heart sank a little but then it soared right out of my chest because the very next line said, “I’d love to have it for Crimson.”

I shook for an hour this time; I timed it. And I cried.

The contract came last week. Of course I was on business in D.C. and couldn’t print it out, sign it and return it till yesterday. I got my tentative release date today. And I’ve gone public. I haven’t been able to stop smiling in all that time. It’s just unbelievably surreal. I’m incredibly happy. And thankful. I can’t count how many people I’ve thanked.

If you read my blog post titled “Twitter and Nathan Fillion” you know I’m only on Twitter because my brother thought I’d enjoy the actor’s sense of humor. Due to that and my daughter’s unfortunate luck at having the flu that particular Tuesday, I’m getting my book published this spring, tentatively in April.

Shake, cry and try. You never know what can happen. =D

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