|Hey, what's that?|
No one ever talks about submissions. It seems to be an unwritten rule and I can see why--you don't want to tip your agent's hand by blabbing every detail of your submissions experience on your blog for the entire world to see, especially if your agent is in the midst of some kind of negotiations. But also, quite honestly, not a whole heck of a lot happens. And if you think agents take a long time to read a full . . . well, anyway I was on submissions for 18 months and all I had to show for it was what I like to call my "bucket of glowing rejections." My books were in the hands of lot of editors and the responses we got were very positive. Almost all the editors who passed on my work had some pretty nice things to say. There was really only one rejection that I found puzzling but hey, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.
At some point we began approaching smaller presses. I really felt like a smaller press might be a better home for my books and a better fit for me. Particularly because many of them are well-focused on the ebook market which, let's face it, is growing in leaps and bounds. (I know seventy year old women who only read on their Kindles or Nooks!) We had feelers out to some small presses.
Then, as many of you know, my BFF and fellow writer, Nancy Thompson signed a contract with Sapphire Star Publishing, a brand-spanking new small press specializing in genre fiction. Nancy had a great experience signing with SSP and I loved the idea of approaching a publisher that was new and hungry--and one that didn't have a list so full that you might get lost in the deluge. So I mentioned them to Jeanie and she approached them.
You know where this is going . . .
Finally, an offer! Sapphire Star Publishing made us an offer. And I took it!!!!
That's right. I JUST SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH SAPPHIRE STAR PUBLISHING!
For both my books.
I've read so many blog posts about the moment you find out you have an offer. Writers at the eye doctor or on their way to the dentist. Me? I was home. It was late evening. My husband was rushing around, frantically preparing for a trip. I was getting my daughter ready for bed. She had had blood taken earlier in the week and had a bad reaction to the bandaid they put on her arm. When I went to change her shirt, I saw that the tiny sore in the crook of her arm was now a quarter-sized, festering, pus-filled sore. A photo was quickly texted to her R.N. grandmother for assessment: ER visit or wait till morning for the pediatrician? Regardless, I wanted to get some bacitracin or neosporin on it ASAP until we decided what to do.
My daughter and I were searching for the "O-sporin" as she calls it. We couldn't find it. My husband pointed out that it should be in the first aid kit he had so meticulously prepared. Of course my daughter and I had taken out the O-sporin the week before for some lesser emergency and not returned it. Words were exchanged. My parents live nearby so I called my dad and asked him to check his own cabinet for some O-sporin which he had. So there I am waiting for the delivery of the O-sporin and my phone buzzes--an email. Absently, I check it. See the email from Jeanie. Figure it's another glowing rejection.
And then . . .
I got an offer!!!
So it took a few days to iron out the details and I was bursting at the seams for nearly a week wanting to tell the whole wide world that finally, I have a publisher! (And my daughter's sore healed very quickly with no intervention needed!)
My first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher will be released on December 6, 2012 and my second novel, Aberration will be released on June 6, 2013.
Not only have I now realized a dream I've had since I was 11 years old, but I've managed to sign with the same publisher as my very best friend, Nancy Thompson. As those of you who read both of our blogs know, we are quite close (I know you're rolling your eyes, thinking of the many of professions of love we've tossed back and forth!) so this is extra, extra special for me!
Strangely enough, the day my contracts arrived for signing, I also got a box in the mail with these lovely, hand blown wine glasses from Prague, courtesy of my former English professor, mentor, and great friend, Dr. Danny Robinson and his wife, Vickie. They were technically a wedding gift but we used them to toast my big news!
I'd like to thank my family and friends for standing by me so steadfastly all these years. I'd also like to thank all my fellow writers who have kept me going through this process and have helped me and taught me so much. You guys are awesome! I hope you'll stay tuned for the next leg of this journey, because as Roy Halladay said when the Phils clinched the NL East in 2010, only days before he pitched a post-season no-hitter and I landed my agent: "It's only gonna get funner."