Sunday, 29 January 2012

A step in the right direction...

I have to admit, I haven’t been completely honest. Twice. Not lying outright, more of an omission. The first glossing-over-the-facts occurred in September when I was awaiting the New Writing Scheme (NWS) report on a book, Summer Fling, I had written targeted at M&B Riva. I knew full well it had gone for a second reading but didn’t blog about it. Why? Well, I wasn’t entirely sure what the first reader had said or if the second reader would like it. I didn’t want to post excitedly about my success only to have to admit to a damning second report later. Not just a few months after the Standard R so, I waited until I had received both and blogged about the experience as a whole.

The second omission was in November when something amazing happened. At the end of Oct, after some extensive editing of Summer Fling taking on board all the detailed comments and advice from my readers, I bit the bullet and submitted it into M&B. Thanks to the NWS I was lucky enough to skip the slush pile and send it ‘FAO’ but was still expecting a lengthy wait. This didn’t stop me from checking my email endlessly and obsessively which, as I waited 40 weeks for Standard R 2, was not very productive. Only…

Four weeks later I got an email. They liked the partial, they wanted to read the whole book.


I reread the email many, many times; and then I read it again. A frantic last proof read or two and the full book was off.  And time for omission no. 2. No mention of this amazing step here. Why? Partly because of the long, long wait times (a friend has been waiting for over 40 weeks for a decision on a full), partly because of the fear of another Standard R. Partly because I was hoping to write a spectacular, surprise blog detailing the story of My Call.

This isn’t that blog. But neither is it another Standard R. Ten weeks after I pressed send I received a mystery package in the post from M&b enclosing two Rivas, one by the very talented Jessica Hart, the other the latest Nikki Logan. A few hours later I received an email. Not an offer, no, not yet. But, for an aspiring M&B author it was gold. A breakdown of what works and, more crucially, what doesn’t. A long, long email from an editor with suggestions looking at character, story, writing style – the works and an offer to reread it if I make the suggested revisions or to read something else if I decide to work on another project.

If I revise it? Well of course I am going to revise it! Only not just yet…  there is a lot to take in, a lot to think about, a lot to plan. So, *rolls up sleeves* I am going to stop procrastinating and write Minty, edit her and send her into the NWS and then, with the experience of a 2nd book behind me, I will rewrite Summer Fling and try again.

I’m not there yet – but I’m one step close.

And my surprise package? Research. One of the first things aspiring M&B authors are told is to choose your line. Turns out although I’m aiming at Riva my voice is somewhere in between Cherish and Riva so I have been told to read as many Riva writers as I can. It’s a hard life sometimes isn’t it?


Julia Broadbooks said...

I'm so thrilled with your success. Best of luck with your wip and the upcoming revisions!!

Alison said...

This is great news! Keep going - I bet that research is such a hardship ;)

Charlotte Phillips said...

That is so exciting!!!! So tempting to leap back in, rattle off revisions and bash it back to them, you are so right for taking a step back. Loads and loads of luck, I will keep everything crossed for you. I am also up to my ears in RIVAs, which is great but I definitely have moments when I feel like I'll never be as good as that!

Catherine Coles said...

I stalked and found your news!! That's awesome! I'm so happy for you :-) And you have got such a wonderfully sensible attitude, taking a step back and letting those revision requests sink in before acting is a great idea.