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