Monday, April 18, 2005

How I Got Here, Part 37

Happy Monday, BGs. Hope your weekend was spider free. Actually—mine was. Amazing.

Well, we ended Friday with clashing cymbals and swelling violins. In other words, I had just slit open the package to withdraw a copy of my first printed novel. Couldn’t wait for hubby to get home to celebrate the moment with me, or the kids. Nope. I had to see it—now.

I slid my hand in the package and pulled out the novel.

Oh. Wow. Oh! Oh, oh, oh.

The publisher had sent me an email attachment of the cover, but the real thing looked so much better! It had gold foil around the outside, all shiny. I ran the palm of my hand over the front, the back. Over my name. Opened up the book, saw the dedication (to my husband, of course). And my name again! Read the opening chapter. Read it again. Flipped through the pages, reading bits of this chapter and that.
Oh, remember when I wrote that sentence? And this one—how I struggled with that metaphor.

Oh, oh, oh.

I couldn’t see the book enough, feel it enough. After ten years, you just don’t throw the thing down after a cursory glance. Even as the day wore on, I kept coming back to it, picking it up again. Rifling the pages once more.

I got an idea. I needed one of those little book stands to display my novel, plus the two versions of my true crime, A Question of Innocence—one in English, plus the German translation. I ran out and started to buy three stands, then decided on four. That way, I wouldn’t have to go back to the store when Eyes of Elisha was published in the fall. Back in my office, I looked around, figuring out where to put my display. Ah, of course. Mark had built a five-foot-high wooden partition around the corner area I’d so grandly said he could use. (Hey, after all, he’s got an executive office in a building somewhere.) The top of that partition is about 5 inches wide. I set up the three stands in the center and placed my three books upon them. Stood back and gazed at the splendiferous sight.

Wow. Way cool.

Promise to myself: Some day I’m gonna line this whole doggone thing with books.

Speaking of which, I was still trying to sell another novel—the sequel to Cast a Road Before Me. Color the Sidewalk for Me was still out at those two publishers. About time we heard from them . . .

Dear BGs, more good news. Well, haven’t you and I waited long enough for this? Remember all the pain we’ve suffered . . .

House A wanted the manuscript.

But wait--the editor would take it to pub board.

Uh-oh, PB—that disastrous, demented, diabolical faction of fiends. Sitting around a table, rubbing their hands and cackling over how miserable they could make my life . . .

And--House B wanted the manuscript.

The editor would take it to pub board.

Oh, boy. Dual PBs. I wasn’t sure my heart could take this.

Back to waiting.

Sort of. Thing is, in the meantime I had lots of work to do. I’d already turned in Getting Into Character, remember? Now the editorial letter came back. Time for the rewrite. Oh, joy.

Cast a Road Before Me started appearing on shelves. The Romantic Times review chose it as a TOP Pick and gave it a very rare 4 1/5 star + gold rating. (It’s the added gold that’s rare—I’ve found in general that Romantic Times, now often called RT BOOKclub, is pretty easy on books, so you’ll find plenty of 4 ½ stars.)

Wow. They liked me! They really liked me!

No doubt books sales would now take off, and the thing would make me a fortune.

But in the meantime—I had to start rewriting Getting Into Character. And when that was done I had to write book 2 in the Chelsea Adams series. Whose plot I still had no clue about. With this much work, the days passed a lot quicker as I waited for news from the PBs about Sidewalk. Still, those ten years of rejections weren’t so distant. No way, not at all. Every time my business line rang, I’d jump.

Then—oh, boy, what a heart rattler. I got The Call from Jane. With the news she'd heard . . . from not one, but both PBs.

Read Part 38


Hope said...

I found this blog yesterday and read through the entire archives in about an hour. Thank you for sharing your journey. It helps someone like me, who is just starting out, to see that nobody is an "overnight" success. ;)

Kelly K said...

Wow! Persistence, persistence, persistence! Thanks for sticking with it. If you had given up at any of the million opportunities we'd all have missed out.
Sounds like our faith walks huh? How many times have I wanted to give up? Countless. But there is that question - "Are you going to leave me too?" and I have to answer like His disciples - "where else can I go?" And doesn't He use our struggles to bless others and then boomerang blessings back onto us?
BTW - thanks Becky for the encouragement to go to the conference. I think I'll wear Groucho glasses and I should be safe. Even if she swings at me I'll have an extra nose to take the hit.
Thanks for your comments D., also. I personally think KK is a winner for character names.
Now Brandilyn, not to be nosy (pun intended) how's Paige?

Cheryl Russell said...

What amazes me is how I have that "augh! I have to wait until to see what comes next!" feeling when I have the completed books on my shelves! *That* is a sign of a great writer. :-0

Hmmm, I wonder if Paige is getting frustrated at her lack of progress on the page. She's still trapped in Brandilyn's mine, fending off spiders, wondering what happened to that 6 page a day thing. Wondering when she will leave this bizarre place and see the sun, hear the birds, feel the breeze.

C.J. Darlington said...

Walk among the living dead ...

I caught a spider crawling across my papers yesterday and thought of you, Brandilyn. Isn't it lovely to be associated with such wonderful things?

Lynette Sowell said...

Fun to hear the good news. :D A bit of nail-biting, but not as much as at first. Paige, are you there??? ~~Lynette

Kelly K (shudder) said...

BeeGees you are outta control. I'm the one who has a contract out on her nose. No more Paige inquiries!
Drat! I've opened a can of spiders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brandilyn, I am trying to control the group. Go easy on me!!!!

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