The Beginning?!

This past week, an online community for romance writers that I belong to, RomanceDivas.com, hosted  what they call “Not Going To Conference Conference”, for those of us not fortunate enough to go to the RWA Conference in New York.

There were several online workshops on various writing related subjects. The presenters gave their information, and participants could ask questions on the forum and be answered by the presenters. There were tons of doorprizes, free books, critiques, ads, even a tarot reading, and other things. Participants commented in the thread mentioning the prize within a set period of time, then the winner was randomly selected from among the commenters. I won a copy of KJ Reed’s Faithful To A Fault.

There were also a number of editors from different publishers accepting pitches. Writers posted their pitch, usually a three sentence summary, in the comments of each editor’s post. Editors then PM’d the writers to ask to read their manuscripts, or posted in the comments in reply to writer’s pitch to request the submission. Editors representing Carina, Lyrical, Ellora’s Cave, Wild Rose Press, Entangled, and Liquid Silver Books accepted dozens of pitches.

I wasn’t quite finished with my final round of edits for Blood Dragon, but on a whim, I quickly put together my three sentence pitch, and posted to the editors from Carina. I still had a couple days’ work to do on the edits, but I wasn’t worried about it, since I’d put so little effort into my half-assed little pitch. It sucked and I was quite certain it would be ignored at best, laughed at probably.

Imagine my surprise when I received a PM from one of the Carina editors asking to see the full manuscript! So I replied to her that it would be a couple of days, but I would be thrilled to send it. At the same time, another editor was accepting pitches. Just for the hell of it, I posted my little pitch, minus the typos this time, in her thread. And she requested to see the manuscript!

By the end of the week, I had three requests for full manuscripts, an invitation to submit, and a request for more information. Something from each of the editors I pitched to. I missed pitching to the Liquid Silver Books editor, didn’t see her thread until it was already closed. If I’d seen it, I might have had another request. Of course, if none of the others work out, I can always submit to LSB through their regular process, at least.

When I got the request from the Carina editor, my first thought was that everyone who pitched received the same thing. I looked back at the pitch thread, to see how many people had posted. Several people posted follow up comments that they had gotten requests, and others posted back congratulating them. From the comments, I learned that I was one of a few, about 1/3 of those who pitched, to get requests.

Needless to say, I’ve spent every spare moment, since opening that message from the Carina editor, working on finishing up those edits. Now one last read-through to make sure everything is as perfect as I can make it, and I’ll be ready to hit send.

I can’t help feeling that it’s a momentous occasion. It marks the official starting point of my quest for publication. At this point, I’m fairly confident. I know I have a good story, and a fresh take on the creatures. I know my writing is passable, and I believe it’s actually pretty good. I even believe that one day, it’ll be really good, as long as I’m able to continue working toward improvement.

As soon as I have everything ready, I’ll take a deep breath, then click the “Send” button. I’ll be proud for a moment, maybe even eat some celebratory chocolate. Then I’ll spend the next few weeks in a state of absolute panic while I wait to hear back from the editors.

Then, to ward off the panic, I’ll jump right into the next novel – another weredragon/vampire paranormal romance. I have several outlined, so I’ll just choose one and start writing. Maybe I’ll also spend some time working on my new creatures, getting them ready to star in their own stories.

And hopefully, in a few weeks, I’ll hear from one of the editors that they would like to publish BLOOD DRAGON. Wish me luck!!

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