I've been floating on Cloud Nine lately.
As some of you may know, I signed a contract for a Thanksgiving novella with The Wild Rose Press. An Unexpected Blessing will be my fifth release with them. I had submitted this back in February to meet the holiday deadline. The contract process took a bit longer than I'd hoped, I was asked to do some revisions along the way, but the official document arrived in my in-box about a week ago. From then, we went from signing to first round edits to the mss being send to the copy edit department in less than a week. Whew. It was a busy week, but it was great to be focused on a task and have a specific goal in mind.
It gave me the drive to really dive into my WIP, which I figured would probably be another novella for Wild Rose down the line. In the past I'd only written full-lengths, which ensured the books would go to print. But, after publishing a Christmas novella last year and working on the Thanksgiving one this year, I discovered I liked the shorter length. And with the current spike in e-book sales, not having a print book doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore. In fact, the Christmas novella sold better than my other three print books.
But I digress...
When the mail arrived on Tuesday, I had a letter addressed to me with my own return address label. I knew what it was right away. Return correspondence from Harlequin. I had queried a mss with a cover letter and synopsis back in May. I figured it was a rejection. (Last time I queried they'd sent a letter back with my synopsis enclosed.) So, I didn't even open it right away. When I did, I had to read it twice to make sure I was reading it right.
They want to see the full mss... W.O.W.
I was blown away. I honestly hadn't expected it, and it took long moments to process the good news.
Needless to say, my focus shifted. Instead of working on the new novella these past few days, I've been doing a read-through (The first of several) on the requested mss. I also put out a call to my RWA group to find a couple of readers to get some outside opinions. This mss has been finished and edited for a while, but now I'm second-guessing everything. I wouldn't necessarily say this is raising the difficulty level...no matter where I'd send a mss I'd want it to be the best it could be...but it's definitely a bigger stage.
Will this be a turning point in my career? There's no way to tell at this point. Will writing (possibly) for a different (or another) publisher change the way I do things? If, and it's still a big, big IF, this book gets accepted, will I adapt and expand the planned novella in the hope it can be a second full-length sale to HQ?
I guess for now, I just have to take it one step at a time. My goal is to have the mss ready to go, printed, and in the mail by next Friday. (I go back to work on the 13th, so it would be nice to have that off of the to do list by then.) For right now, I'm doing my read-throughs and waiting on feedback from my volunteer readers. If I don't make my self-imposed deadline, I'll be flexible. I want to do it right.
Once that project is out of the way...I'll go back to the WIP and see where that takes me.
Until next time,