The Story

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Felicity Stripped Bare is the first ms I wrote a couple of years ago. Initially it was aimed at BLAZE because I knew I liked to read/write pretty hot romances, plus I thought, erroneously, that writing a shorter length book would be easier for a first time writer. ::cue hysterical laugher:: . After the page count grew well beyond BLAZE guidelines, I turned my ambitions to HQN (cause that’s what new writers do, one imprint is just as good as another, right? ::cue more hysterical laughter::

HQN did request the full of DENIAL (the original title) but after waiting 8 mos, I got the dreaded form R. *sob* I tweaked it a bit--cut a couple of minor characters and had a secondary character assume their purpose in the plot, cut about 50 pages, and tightened the pacing while fleshing out the subplot and changed the title to something a little less generic--then began querying agents (12 in my first and only go round). I got seven requests (mostly partials, but one notable request for the full from a big name agent) out of that. But... no contract. *sob*.

So I shoved it under the bed and worked on other stuff. Or not work. I was really living the 'Struggling' part of "Writer" for awhile there because of a lot of stuff going on in real life. Also, maybe I was paying a little too much attention to working about the marketing/business aspect of writing, and indulging in too much second guessing stuff and not enough just writing and getting carried away with the magic of writing. As a reader, I know that I can forgive a myriad of writing sins, from major plot holes to minor grammar issues, if I love the character and story. Why did I forget that when faced with a blank page? Thing is, I could never completely stop writing (or trying), it made me just too miserable.

Anywho, I have a few shall we say 'persistent' friends, most particularly Chaoscat/Samantha Storm who nagged, erm, 'encouraged' me to send the ms back out. About 2 months ago I did, when Raine offered to mention me/my ms to her editor (Samhain was closed to submissions at the time, except by invitation). The editor, Jennifer Miller, and my editor now (squeeing!!), was interested (thank sweet suntanning jesus). I submitted on May 21st, a month later, June 20th, I got a reply: she loved the story, but she wanted some changes before she could consider offering a contract. She sent along a list of things she'd liked me to look at, "if I was interested" and "if I wanted to resubmit."

"If"? What for is this 'if' you refer to? ::twirling finger by temple::

It took about 2-3 weeks to complete the revisions, then I emailed the new ms off, July 15th, and *exactly* a month later on Aug 15th (a couple of days ago) I got the contract offer!

There's my story. Never feel you have to go it alone. And protect the work.

The End.
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Jordan Summers said...

A very inspiring first sale story.Congrats again. :)

Jorrie Spencer said...

It's great to hear the backstory of the story :)

And, yay, Chaoscat and Raine!

I think it's easy to focus on marketing/business. I've found, at different times in my past (of course I am all over that now *g*) that I'd let it become a real time sink. Otoh, you always learn something.

By the way, I love the title.

Amie Stuart said...

I can't wait for everyone to know the greatness that is Felicity!!!!!!

V.Jaye said...

Jordan - well, I dunno if it's inspiring, but at least it illustrates that the path to publication is fully of twists and turns.

Jorrie - I hesitated to post this, kinda thought it was boring, to be honest, but well the hell. *g* One one hand, you can't ignore the reality of what the business is, and the better you understand it the more realistic/prepared you'll be. But a little knowledge goes a long way, and too much can be pretty paralyzing and/or a time suck, as you point out.

Amie- Thanks hon. I am happy that Felicity (& Daniel) will get their moment in the public eye. I just hope peeps will love their story as much as i do.

Sasha White said...

The key to getting published is never giving up.
Well, one of the keys. A BIG ONE as you've proved.

I'm so proud of you !!

And THANKS to Cat and Raine for kicking her butt!

EvieMac said...

I'm jumping up and down thrilled for you. I've been muttering for a long time, when is Jaq going to just jump in the deep end? It may have seemed like the long road, but you've learned something, and trust me...If I do anything the easy way or right the first time- it's an accident. :)
Be proud, be happy, celebrate and call yourself a published author...
say it, feel it, wallow in it, lol. You've earned it.

D (aka) Eve Asbury/Gayle Eden

vanessa jaye said...

Sash, all my friends nudged me to one degree or another. I think they all knew I was >thisclose< to quitting. So, thank you, also. :-)

Hey, Evie! I was remembering how much I enjoyed Whispers in the Dark and popped over to your site awhile back to see whats doing. Thank you for dropping by and for the congrats!

Karen Erickson said...

So I love your sold story, that's wonderful!! Congrats!

You're going to find Samhain a wonderful place to be. :)

vanessa jaye said...

Thank you Karen. :-) I think Samhain will be perfect fit for me.

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