I had checked my e-mail when I got home on Friday afternoon, like always. Nothing important, which is usually the case. I had to make dinner, and came back to things after dishes. I waited for my Internet connection to go through, just doing something mindless in my gallery, checking out some of the cool stuff I've down-loaded recently.
Something told me to peek at the e-mail window and see what was there.
I kept on thinking, “what if the editor has sent an e-mail to me, now?” No, that's stupid. Quit thinking like that, my inner voice told me.
I looked on my Peoplepc page the e-mail showed something from Crescent Moon Publishing's editor getting back to me!
My heart stopped inside my chest. I got up out of my chair and had to calm myself.
If you've been following this blog, you'll know that I don't ever win. I don't get breaks, I only get rejections from most editors, agents (especially agents), and I was only half-way hopeful when I went into this with e-book publishers. Crescent Moon hadn't been the first one I've contacted, but is the first one I did send a query to, and followed through with as far as sending them anything (a first chapter of Vampire Ascending).
So, I sat back down and nervously open the e-mail. This is what it said:
Lorelei: First of all, I did a short critique of your work and thought what I read held promise. But you need a lot of revisions. Next, vampire books are all around us. Right now, there are so many on the desks of the NY publishers they aren't even opening the manuscripts (I heard this myself at the Romantic Times Convention just a few weeks ago) but CMP gets books we take on out fairly quickly, so this one could work.
Point three: Please don't ever publish your own books. No one will read them and they're impossible to sell. They tell the professionals “hey, she had to publish the book herself. That means it was so bad nobody in the business wanted it.”
That being said, I have questions: Do you belong to RWA or any professional writing organization that could help you hone your skills? Are you willing to revise? Work hard? Take suggestions?
Get back to me after you read the critique and can answer what I need to know.
I can answer yes to all of the questions but one. The part about belonging to any "professional writing organization". I don't know what would qualify as professional. Is anyone out there that knows that can help me figure this out. I know that many organizations have requirements, and/or want you to pay a fee. I can't answer this question until I know for sure. I've got a lot of places I can name that I am a member--critique sites, you know, but those require you to critique others, and before long you are so bogged down critiquing their work, you've hardly got time to work on your own--or, you get no help at all. Which burns me. I do know that there is a very good one out there, can't remember the name of it. But the same thing applies.
Well, beyond that little problem, I'm stumped as to how I should feel. Do I feel elated? Well, sure, but with a measure of caution. Thing is she has not seen the rest of the book. She could look at it and say "no". I saw what she did to my first few pages--I didn't feel terrible about it. She's a professional. Plus, I remember how I'd get my work back from my English teachers with all the red marks in it. In other words, I'm not surprised.
I want to have a book that people will want to read. I want to have a book that I can be proud of. I'm willing and able to do these things, improving my writing is only a natural course of a writer's career--should I have one.
So, I'm at this point. I felt that this was my year. The stars seem to be aligned. I won a contest, never did that before. Maybe I should try the lottery (yeah, right).
What I tell her when I do contact her will have to be the truth. I want to do everything I possibly can to attain this one goal I've been desiring, going after--it has been my main quest in my adult life, since I first thought about becoming an author when I was 17--and I'm not saying how long ago that was, but it's been a life-time.
A quick little side story. I think I may have mentioned this, in an earlier blog. My mother-in-law had gone to New York and had audience with the editor of a major publisher, many years ago--before I knew Dennis. He told her to write something other than what she'd given him. Why she didn't follow through, I don't know. She writes very well, and she could have become a published author. Possibly the whole idea of it scared her. I don't know.
Change is scary, a lot of people don't like change. A lot of writers don't like their words to be re-arranged, or deleted, or have someone suggest that you do something different here, and there.
On my blog "Something Nebulous Within", I have my words below the header which says:
"When you hit the wall, the only way left to go is up."
I've hit the wall too many times, and tried to scramble up to the top. I'm ready to climb over that wall. Now. No matter what. I'm willing to do it.