Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hard At It

I haven't posted for almost a week now because I've been working hard trying to get my romantic sci-fi finished before I start doing things like revisions and writing another whole new book for Noble. I still plan to query The Agent as soon as possible, so as we speak, my CP has started looking over my first 3 chapters for me. I really feel like I'm on a roll at the moment, so want to get this query in while I'm hot. Hopefully I'll be ready to query within the next two weeks. I've only got around 17,500 words left to write and I always find this an exciting time, writing up to the ultimate climax and then winding things down. As well as the prospect of starting another new story in book 2. I know. Another new story. As if I really need another one. So that's where I'm at. As always, with more than enough to keep me out of trouble.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The News I've Been Waiting For

I'd resisted blogging for the last few days because I was playing the 'wait and see' game. I heard back from Noble Romance Publishing only a couple of days after I sent the query and partial off to them. Their acquisitions editor requested the full manuscript, saying I'd done a remarkable job of creating a believable alternate universe and that she loved it. Later the next day I sent off the full after giving it one last read-over. Not even 48 hours later I heard back from them, there was an email waiting in my inbox from them this morning. The opening line was 'what an awesome book.' I literally jumped out of my chair when I read that, skimmed the rest of the email saying they were going to publish it and welcoming me to Noble Romance Publishing, then I went running up the other end of the house to tell my husband.
I'm over the moon about finally, finally getting myself a publishing contract, but more than that, I can't believe its been through writing romantic sci-fi. It was the one genre I'd always secretly wanted to write, but never had because they've never sold very well. It seems the market is coming around though, and making a name for myself as a romantic paranormal sci-fi author is my deepest dream come true.
I'll put details up about release dates and all that jazz as it comes in. But for now, here's to many years writing and many books published!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

No Love

Woke up this morning to yet another rejection in my inbox. This is the first time in a few years now that I've done a round of queries and not had one single request for more material. If it hadn't been for the helpful insider info I got from The Agent, who I queried first and told me editors are starting to get sick of seeing romantic suspense (as it was for paranormal a few years back) then I might have started having some serious doubts about myself.
While I thought it would have been nice to get my SOAP manuscript somewhere with another agent, I still dream of making The Agent into My Agent and her encouraging words and willingness to help me has given me continued hope.
Which is why I'm powering through the futuristic/sci-fi romance I've been working on, hoping that it will be the one she will take.
So though I might send out a few more queries here and there for the rom sus, I won't be too upset or surprised if rejections for it keep coming in.
In other submissions news, I sent a query letter and partial to Noble Romance Publishing for a futuristic paranormal novella I wrote about a year ago now. I really liked that story and my CP liked it and mentioned a few times I should try subbing it somewhere else, but since it was a mix of genres, I was never sure where I might be able to send it. Noble Romance apparently likes mixed genres, things that are a bit different and 'cutting edge' ideas. If they decided to take it, I'd like to develop the idea into a series (I always want to develop ideas into a series) and write full length manuscripts of 90,000 to 95,000 words. I thought if they publish my futuristic paranormal, I might also be able to give them the manuscripts I'd written with Silhouette in mind. Noble are only a small e-press at the moment, but they seem to be growing and will be branching out into print later in the year. They also come highly recommended on the Predators and Editors website.
So, as usual, I have lots of work to keep me busy and lots of prospects to keep my hopes up.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Claytons Conference Weekend Wrap-up

Didn't get a chance to post last night, by the time the day was over and the awards all handed out, I was exhausted!
I have to say, it was a great weekend, I had lots of fun and got heaps out of it. And I have to announce, just quietly, I didn't do too badly when it came to awards for the weekend writing challenges. I placed in every challenge I entered but one and then as if that wasn't exciting enough, I won the Claytons Conference AAA award for the weekend, which went to the author they thought had contributed, helped others and generally had the drive and 'gumption' to go all the way and become a published author. Once the chat transcribes are posted, I'll put up here what the moderators actually said, because it was all very lovely. I never dreamed I would win something like that! I almost fell off my chair when they announced my name, I just couldn't believe it.
I guess it just re-enforces my belief that I'm almost 'there' and I'll admit, it does feel good to have people believe in me and endorse me by presenting me with such a wonderful award. As I said, I'll have more details (including my actual placings in the writing challenges) once the award night chat has been transcribed and made available.
Now I'm off to do some writing and put together a proposal package for editor Jill Noble at Noble Romance Publishing, who chatted with us yesterday and offered to take partials from us this week. I'm going to send her the futuristic paranormal romance novella I wrote around this time last year. It needs a bit of editing, so I'll do that before I send it as well.
So, like usual, I'm busy, busy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Claytons Conference Day 2

Today wasn't as action packed as yesterday, partly because I had things to do this morning and missed out on the morning session. Once again the writing challenges were quite interesting and I managed to get both done and submitted. The chat with Tracey O'Hara was very informative and I even won myself a prize for a witty rejoinder. Not really, actually I made a smart comment about sparkly vampires, but still, I guess it pays to be humorously sarcastic sometimes.
I won't be attending the chat tonight which will include live results from the RWA awards night in Sydney, which I'm a little disappointed about, but I'm sure I'll hear all about it in the morning.
Tomorrow we have a Q&A discussion with Jill Noble of Noble publishing and I'm looking forward to see what sort of insider information she's got for us. There will be two more writing challenges and chats with historical author Diane Gaston and paranormal author Shona Husk, ending with a Claytons Conference awards night chat.
So, once again, haven't done any writing on my wip, but am enjoying myself immensely!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Claytons Conference Day 1

It was a total last minute decision, but since I couldn't get to the RWA conference in Sydney this year, I decided to participate in the online version held over the same weekend for us poor saps who can't manage to get out of the house.
Its been a lot of fun so far and this afternoon I got to do something I'd always wanted to do but hadn't - make a book trailer! I'll add it at the end of this post, but without the music, unfortunately. While I took the trouble to get royalty free photos I could use and post on the net without getting in trouble over, for the sake of the workshop (when it wasn't going anywhere besides my computer) I put the song O Verona from the Romeo and Juliet movie over it.
There were also a couple of writing challenges. The first one was a character profile with GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) which I enjoyed and managed to work into a whole book idea for my futuristic series I'm working on at the moment. The second challenge was to re-write the end of one of your chapters using a different POV and then making it into a different ending. I found that one quiet challenging, but did get something submitted a few minuted before the deadline. There was some interesting discussion about how it can show when a scene is maybe in the wrong character's POV.
Tomorrow morning there will be an opportunity to pitch to Noble publishing, but since I don't write erotica, I won't be doing that. In the afternoon the very fab Tracey O'Hara will be our guest speaker and I'll be interested to see what day 2's writing challenges bring.
But I should go get some sleep. Obviously there I won't be getting any writing done on my wip for the next couple of days, but for something like this, I don't mind the delay.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making the Summit

I'm so close to the halfway point of my book, I expect to get it done today if all goes well. I feel like once I reach that halfway mark, its all a downhill run from there. The hard part, the uphill climb, has been done. That's not to say the downhill section is all smooth sailing. Sometimes its rough, really rough. But its an exciting time as the story is taken to its climax and then all issues and situations are resolved.
My CP has started reading the first few chapters and she has great things to say about it. Of course, some of my old habits are in there (old habits die hard) but according to her the flow and character interactions are much better, so I can't wait to get it all written, do some editing and query some agents. So, I'm off to do some writing.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coming Along

I haven't got as many words written in the past few days as I would have liked, partly because I had a busy weekend. But I have at least kept on track with my personal minimum of 1000 words a day. Except for yesterday. I think that was the first day in 3 weeks I'd written less than 1000 words, but I still did manage to get 949 done. Why the heck did I stop only 51 words short? That's like 2 paragraphs. Anyway, I'll make it up today and hopefully get an extra few thousand done. I've ticked over the 40,000 word mark, so I'm almost half way.
I've decided I might send off another query for SOAP today. I still haven't heard back from that other agent I queried a few weeks back, but from experience, I know sometimes you just don't hear back at all. That old 'no response means no' thing. The agent I plan on querying today is with a reputable agency, but she has only just started taking on her own clients, so I like the idea of getting in when she's looking to actively building her list. Do I think this might give me more of a chance? Damn right it does! So I'm off to draft a query letter and then get my words down for the day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

...And Then The Phone Rang

Sometimes writing terrifies me. Often when I sit down to write I have no idea whats going to happen in the scene/chapter I'm about to write, nothing but a vague idea. I'm a total pantser and quietly sometimes I wonder where the ideas come from and what happens if one day there's just no more words?
But on the flipside to this, sometimes its exciting. Its like reading a book to find out whats going to happen. I'm as in the dark as anyone, except apparently I'm at the controls. What I love most about this is when characters do something totally unexpected. Or a development comes to light that is entirely left field and I'm surprised and intrigued by the new direction.
It reminds me of those writing exercises we used to have to do when I was studying. If a scene was boring or stagnant, the general idea was the phone would ring or someone would whip out a gun and it would take the story in a whole different direction, because then you'd need to answer the question of who was on the phone and why that person over there suddenly decided to be armed.
A couple of days ago, I had a character walk into a room to confront another character about something. Sounds pretty boring, run of the mill, yes. But the direction that conversation took and the resulting emotional fallout was almost as big a shock to me as it was to my characters. Now I'm dying to know what other issues are going to come out of this, but frustratingly, I remain clueless until I finish writing the book. Another reason to keep working hard and my daily word totals above the 1000 words mark!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Status Check

This morning I received a reply from one of the agents I'd queried, who said although my book sounded interesting, they thought there might be better agents out there suited to representing it. We'll see if anything comes from the other query, because I read a recent interview with that agent who said she was looking for a great new rom sus voice.
In terms of my rom sci fi, I'm flying through it at the moment. The story is just so big, has all these intriguing elements coming into it. I've just ticked over 30,000 words, after writing 7000 words between Saturday and Sunday. As I said in a previous post, I'm hoping to mostly keep up this pace so I can have a completed manuscript and be able to start editing in a matter of weeks.
So I'm off to do my 1000 words for the day and if I'm lucky, might get double that done. Happy writing!