So this last month I've been flogging my entry in Mills and Boon's New Voices contest and sadly didn't make it to the final 10. First, thanks to Nikki Logan who helped me out with polishing my entry until it sparkled. I won a kind of mentorship type thing with her at the Romance Writer's of Australia conference in August (through the Ovarian Cancer charity fundraiser) and it was a pleasure to work with her.
Secondly, I want to thank all of my amazing friends and family who stopped by and left a comment and voted. It's really, really awesome to know how many people support me in my endeavor to be published.
Now, do I take this as a rejection? There were over 800 entries and some were really, really good. Only 10 were chosen to advance on to the next round and since I wasn't one of the 10, was I rejected? I'm not sure. I stopped to think about the thousands of submissions each line would receive every month and out of these, how many debut authors would be signed on and given a slot. Competing with how ever many authors they already have and are committed to publishing, the chances of being picked up through the contest were actually considerably higher than my slush pile chances. But I'm still not feeling rejected. I'm not sure if it's the fact that I can still submit my historical to New York, whether it's because I already have a partial on Sally Williamson's desk that I haven't heard back about yet or maybe it's that I want to write single title not necessarily category. I keep thinking that Harlequin would be a fantastic place to start out as an author and learn the craft and hone my abilities but is it what I really want?
I have no freakin' idea!
I'm far past the stage of subbing to anyone and everyone just to be published somewhere. I've got my three houses that I would climb over the bodies of my fallen fellow writer's to be published with and I won't stop until I achieve that goal but with the rising ebook trend and the emergence of Carina Press and other smalled publishers, am I aiming too high? Does wanting to be pubbed with Avon, Berkley or Harlequin seem like an unachievable goal? At the moment? Yes! I feel like I'm standing in Hawaii with my hands in the air waiting for it to snow. Is this how everyone feels? I reckon so! I've said it before to people who after a bad rejection or a bad result in a contest crack the shits, give up. Go home, tear up all your books, delete your files, throw out your dictionaries and never look back. Not me. Never.
Everyone in my family has something they're good at, artistically speaking, and I despaired of ever finding my thing. That thing that sets me apart as a person, as a contributing member of society and as a successful individual. For me, that thing is writing a cracking good yarn! I've been at this for about six years now but I stopped along the way to have two babies, move house, change jobs and study. I figure that still leaves me about four years to reach the contract stage since most published authors I speak to took about ten years. Four years? It's not long on the bigger time line of my life. I'll be thirty-two. I've got about four complete and an unknown number of started manuscripts under my belt and more ideas than I'll be able to write in my lifetime. Can I do it? Am I close? You betcha ass I am! =) Now I'm going to turn off the internet, close all my browsers except for a Word document and I'm going to write my little heart out because this is who I am.
I'm an Author!
I want to know what it is about winter that makes the writer in me want to hibernate? Is it the dark cloudy days? The cold rainy nights? It shouldn't be. I'm writing dark historicals at the moment so you would think winter would help me get in the zone. Nup. Maybe it's that I changed jobs earlier this year as well as dealing with kindy drop offs and a three year old who wants to ask me every five minutes if we can pick up her sister? Whatever it was, with the emergence of the sun, I'm hoping to get my WIP finshed and start on the story that came to me in the middle of traffic the other day. I pulled off to the side of the road to jot it all down only to find that of the hundreds of pens I came home with from the conference, not one made it to my handbag or the car. So then I had to duck into Burnside Shopping Centre to buy one from Coles. The I sat in the carpark for about thirty minutes to get it all down.
My writing style includes getting the first draft of the first chapter done along with the details of the story but I had to pick the kids up from childcare and kindy and unfortunately children don't care if you're late because you were working on a love story. (That's what I tell my kids I'm doing when I'm shushing them or saying, give me one more minute)
Procrastination is not my friend! Why would anyone even put that word in the English dictionary? It doesn't help anyone! So now I'm rambling but I'm in that kind of mood today. I want to be outside playing in the sunshine but I want to write as well. Every time I try to open my netbook, the kids zero in on me and pester, pester, pester. So the next two weeks of school holidays is going to be about me trying to work out a writing roster. After all, you can work with crap writing but you can't do anything with a blank page!! I can see lots more late nights in my future...
This is just a quick note to let you all know about a contest on the go with Mills and Boon. The website is www.romanceisnotdead.com and my story is called 'Behind The Courtesan.' Just click on either link, one will take you to my chapter (it's only one chapter at the beginning of the contest) and there you can have a read, leave me a comment, vote on how many flowers you think it deserves. Please, be kind =)
The point of this contest is for Mills and Boon to find new voices. Hopefully they can wade through it all and find mine!
I'll keep you all posted... Have a good week!!
I'm a published author but I'm still mostly stumbling about in the dark looking for the right paths so this blog is about that, though sometimes something will give the me the shits and I'll have a bit of a rant. I'll try not to be offensive but occasionally my mouth opens without asking my brain's permission so I'll apologise in advance.