For as long as I can remember I've wanted to be a romance writer. About fifteen years ago I took my first step toward taking it 'seriously' by joining a local chapter of RWA. This was, and still is, a good decision for my career. I've learned a lot by attending meetings and programs and participating in critiquing sessions, both as a reader and a critiquer.
About ten years ago I took another 'serious' step and attended a writers' conference and pitched to an editor at Silhouette. She requested the full manuscript, but it was eventually rejected, although I did get a very nice, personal letter from her. A few years after that I submitted a query to another editor there, but that, too was rejected.
I was bummed, but not overly so, since rejection tends to be a part of this business. More than being bummed, though, I was stuck. I wrote what I termed 'series' romance, and with nothing new in the works at the time, I'd pretty much exhausted my options for where I could submit my work.
For a while I just let it lie. After all, I had other things going on in my life. Writing was a bit of a hobby.
Then about five years ago I decided if I ever had a chance to get a book published, I had to get 'serious' again. I asked a writer friend about her publisher, but as she was not too thrilled with her house, she recommended I check into The Wild Rose Press, a slightly new small press. So, I did, and it turned out to be another one of those good things for my career. With TWRP I've published three full-length novels, a short story, and a free read. I have another mss in a rewriting/revision stage for them, and am working on another short story to submit as well.
So, after that really long story, here's the indecision part. About a year ago, my editor at TWRP wrote me a really, really nice e-mail, saying she thought I was ready to move on to one of the 'bigger' publishers. To say the least, I was thrilled. While I really enjoy writing for TWRP, my dream had always been to see one of my books in the Harlequin/Silhouette rack at my local book store.
To that end, I'm in the process of polishing up another mss that I'll be pitching to an editor from Harlequin at a conference in April. But the thing is, I don't know if Harlequin/Silhouette is the right fit for me. Do I think it would be awesome to see my book in one of their displays? Yes, but I'm not sure if I'm a 'career' writer. I have a career that I love. Meeting deadlines is not easy for me, just from a time stand point. My first priority is, and has to be, my full time job. Writing on a deadline scares the beejeebies out of me.
And, I really, really love writing for TWRP. I've had nothing but good experiences with them: from the owners to the editors to the cover artists to the marketing department...everything has been wonderful. And with e-books becoming more and more popular, even my shorter stories not being in print isn't such a big deal anymore.
That doesn't mean I can't write for someplace else, too, but if I'm happy where I'm at, and it's working for me, why do I want to? TWRP is a good fit for me. And if I'm writing for more than one place, am I going to be stretching myself too thin? Will I be able to do a good job for both, or will one suffer?
But to have my name on a Harlequin book? That's something I've dreamed about since high school. And to have a dream come true is nothing to turn your nose up at.
See? Indecisive. (And long winded...)
And of course this all may be a moot point, if I pitch and at whatever point in the process get a rejection, all of this worry will be for naught. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
Until next time,