First, let me get something off my chest. “AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!” Which stands for—“I finished the rewrite from Hades!”
Clear throat. Adjust clothes. Thank you. I feel much better.
As I told my editor: if I ever get the bright idea again to merge two very different series in one book—shoot me.
Y’all, I appreciated the comments from Friday. Greetings and a special thank you to those who left notes for the first time. Ron—please don’t feel frustrated. That’s the last thing I’d want to make an aspiring author feel. Hang with me. The valleys ain’t over, but we’ll get there yet.
Some day.What I am doing today—madly scrambling to figure out what in the world I’m writing for my next series. Which I have scheduled to start tomorrow. Hm. Anybody got a plot or two lurking in the corner?
One last musing, and I shall return to my never-ending, publish-or-die saga. On Friday, as I struggled to finish my rewrite of Web of Lies, I took my husband’s shirts to the cleaners. Carried the wad in, plunked ’em down on the counter. Started counting ’em. Whatdya think crawled right out at me. Yup. A hefty-sized gray spider.
I tell ya, they’re comin’ for me.
Okay. Back to story.
We left off Friday with C.E. carting a very interestingly formatted copy of Eyes of Elisha home on the airplane. Three editors now had this manuscript. Meanwhile Cast a Road Before Me was in line for production and would come out the following spring. And Color the Sidewalk for Me was an expected easy sell to the same house that bought Road. It was my second time at Mount Hermon, editors were beginning to know me, and—hey, life was good.
So what happened as 2000 progressed?
First, Editor C.E. gets back to my agent, Jane. After all the airplane hand-carrying--the house can’t publish Eyes of Elisha. The story is rather envelope-pushing, has visions in it, and, well, you know, they just don’t really wanna go there. Plus I have this vague recollection that C.E. said something about not liking my ending.
Told you editors don’t know everything.
Well. No problem. We’ve still got two more editors with the manuscript. I do realize Eyes of Elisha isn’t for everyone. For example, I wouldn’t even try to send it to Editor A—the one who said Cast a Road Before Me wasn’t Christian enough. This edgy book, with visions and murder—at that house? No way.
We wait for word from Editors B & C.
Guess what! Editor B at major house loves Eyes of Elisha. B wants it in the worst way. Tells my agent the manuscript will be taken to pub board. “Pub board” is one of the terms used to mean the committee that decides whether the house buys a book or not. It includes both the editorial side and the marketing/bean counter sides. The editor brings a book and says, hey this is great, let’s do it! Then the marketing people try to think of all the reasons why it won’t sell, and the bean counters try to think of all the reasons it’ll cost too much money. If everybody agrees the book is worth it, the house will buy the book.
That’s the plan, anyway.
Editor B’s taking me to pub board! I skyrocket in excitement. I’m finally close to selling this novel! The first one I ever wrote! The one I started writing ten years ago.
We wait. Unfortunately, pub boards meet only once a month or so, and sometimes a project can’t be fitted in the meeting and gets bumped to the next one.
We wait some more. Breathe, Brandilyn, breathe. I count the days. I snatch up the phone each time it rings. I simply will not survive this waiting . . .
Editor B finally contacts Jane. Jane calls me. And sends my heart to my toes. Sorry, no go. B fought hard at pub board. Saw this novel as a beginning to a series. But the house didn’t wanna go there. Too dicey, this subject of visions and murder. Nope. Ain’t gonna do it.
I am utterly despondent. And am beginning to see a frightening pattern. God—You did have plans for this book, didn’t You?
One more editor left—Editor C.
Editor C contacts Jane. “I love Eyes of Elisha. I want it, want it, want it! I’m taking it to pub board.”
Another waiting game. This time a more cautious one on my part. Days . . . weeks . . . a month. I swear, this will be the death of me yet.
Finally Editor C contacts Jane, my agent. Jane calls to tell me the verdict. I’m shaking. Go ahead, tell me the bad news . . .
“They’ve taken it to pub board,” she says. “They said yes. They’re gonna publish this book!”
Aaaaahhhh! My suspense novel is gonna be published! The one God redeemed! Thank You, thank You, Lord! I do Snoopy dances and polish the cabinets. I am ecstatic. I float like that cartoon canine eating his doggy biscuits. I will not come down to earth. Now I will not have one book come out next year—I will have two!
I am in this ethereal state for a couple weeks.
And then I get a call from my agent.
Read Part 28