Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some Stories are Harder than Others

My upcoming release (no definite release date yet), An Unexpected Blessing , has definitely gone through its ups and downs. I really wanted to write a Thanksgiving story since it's my favorite time of year. Last year I was promoting a Christmas novella well before Thanksgiving, and it didn't seem right to me. I decided this year I'd be promoting a Thanksgiving novella and Christmas could wait its turn.

An idea came to me, I wrote it, and submitted it before the holiday deadline. All was well.

From there things got more difficult. My editor requested two rounds of revisions before offering a contract. No biggie. Every author goes through that. But coming on the heels of another editor asking for revisions on a full-length I'd submitted, I began to wonder if I was losing my touch.

Once things were settled and I'd signed the contract, the final editing stages went fairly quickly, but I was a smidge disappointed when I got the galley back to approve and saw the 2013 copyright date. I thought we'd hit all of the proper deadlines for this year, but according to the galley, my story won't be out for almost another 14 months. That seems like a really long time to wait, but since it's a holiday story, it would be silly to release it at a different time of year. (I did ask my editor about this, so we'll see what the final word on release year is...keep your fingers crossed for 2012).

Then yesterday she e-mailed and asked me to look at the comments the blurb department had written about my blurb. Basically, they didn't like it. Again, it made me question my ability as a writer. So, I went back to the drawing board and revised. Today I got an e-mail back from her saying: "They loved it! Good job." Whew.

All of these revisions are, of course, making me a better writer. And no matter how many novels I publish, I can always improve my writing...and welcome ways to do it. But it can get pretty discouraging down here in the trenches.

Plus, I'm still waiting with bated breath for a cover to appear in my in-box. That's always a nerve-wracking moment.

Yep, some days and some stories are just more difficult than others. The only thing to do, is learn from them and go forward.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Hurry up and wait must be the rule of publishing. Still, you are getting published. I'm jealous, Debra.

  2. Hope you manage to get the 2012 release, Debra. 14 months is a long time to have to wait, but I suppose it has to happen sometimes with holiday-themed novels. Fingers crossed!

  3. Ana, It's definitely hurry up and wait. You're a very talented writer...before you know it, you'll be waiting, too! :)

    Paula...thanks for crossing those fingers.

  4. Never having done a holiday-themed release, I can't say for sure, but I would think the lead time might be longer for a release date because they can only be published at certain times of the year, and I would think publishers only plan on a finite number of those, since they're also probably going to generate sales at very specific times of the year.

    As to the need to make revisions, don't put all the blame on yourself. Just as acquisitions are subjective, the need for revisions (other than strict grammar/punctuation, which I'm sure you've got down), is also subjective. Could just be the luck of the draw regarding which editors you get, or what they happen to be looking for at that time.

  5. Thanks for the encouraging words, Jennifer.

    You could be right about the number of holiday stories being published per year. I don't know what the policy on that is at TWRP.

    And different editors definitely look for different things. I've learned something from each of mine.