As you can tell, this is the season of hails and farewells on Emudebuts. As a member of the “second wave,” my tenure here wasn’t all that long, but I’m so thankful I got to join this group for the dizzying months before and after publication.
Given that most of my publication journey still falls on the “before” side of the equation (It’ll take eight years of being a published author until I break even), those prepub days carry a hefty weight on my psyche. Like most Emudebuts, my first post focused on “The Call”, and the rest of my posts have described the exciting/scary/overwhelming run of events up through launch.
But goodbyes bring with them a desire to look back. I never want to be so jaded that I take anything about getting published for granted. Therefore, I thought I’d focus on the darkest-before-the-dawn time preceding the call that made me eligible to join this blog in the first place. And I’m making it personal. As in ripped from the pages of my diary personal. Below are selected excerpts from my journal in that last year before the deal. At that point in the process, I’d been writing “seriously” for five and a half years, and had signed with amazing agent Ammi-Joan Paquette a year earlier when she took me on with MANUSCRIPT#3 (Not its real name).
April 28, 2010
MANUSCRIPT#4 is off on submissions! I have so much more hope for this book.
In the meantime, I should start my fifth manuscript. Yeeesh. What am I excited about anyway?
May 12, 2010
Bleh. I want my book to be sold NOW. Either one of them. [MANUSCRIPT#3 had been on sub for a year.] Now, now, now. I’m having a hard time starting something else. Those editors should be in love with MANUSCRIPT4, chomping at the bit for it and its sequels. What’s wrong with them?
May 20, 2010
[My journal is filled with story ideas and blurbs. Here’s one that might sound familiar.]
Moria Mann is ticked. Her best friend is all over Finn, Moria’s person-of-interest. This party isn’t going the way she’d planned at all. Moping outside, she makes a rash decision to play NERVE, an on-line version of truth or dare, without the truth part. Players can win big—but almost no one does. With some skin the game, Moria’s determined to at least get her entrance fee back. But when her dare pairs her with a hottie from the other side of town and builds an audience equally as enticing, she’s tempted to push her luck too far. She realizes too late that she stands to lose a lot more than money.
May 24, 2010
Feeling mopey…got another rejection on MANUSCRIPT4.
As for NERVE. Moria (think I’m going to change her name) has completed a dare at a bowling alley that got kind of violent. But the thrill of surviving it, plus winning the money, plus attracting a huge audience has her seduced into trying one more.
May 28, 2010
Wow, I’ve only been writing NERVE for eight days and I’ve got over eight thousand words. Crazy. I’ve changed Moria’s name to Venus, for now. Guess it’ll keep changing till something clicks.
I got two rejections on MANUSCRIPT4 today. *&^%. I really thought this book would sell quickly. Guess a writer has to have that kind of faith or why keep writing? Still, it sucks, sucks, sucks to be rejected again.
Okay, back to NERVE, what should the next dare be?
June 9, 2010
Alas, my fifth rejection for MANUSCRIPT4 today. The editor thought the writing was strong but… Sigh. Ugh. Phooey. My sure-fire winner is getting pummeled. I really thought it would sell fast. It’s sure getting rejected fast.
June 18, 2010
A funny thing happened yesterday. I was reading “The Angel’s Game” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. The main character is a writer, and he was going through some writerly ruminations. I thought to myself, yeah, that’s exactly how writers would experience it. The odd thing was, I was thinking of writers as a “we” rather than “them.” I think that’s the first time I included myself in the fraternity. It was a weird realization, since the threshold I’ve always set for being called a writer was to be a published writer, or to at least have something under contract.
Now, I don’t see myself introducing myself as a writer unless/until that occurs, but in my heart, I finally feel that I am one. Only took four manuscripts and a good start on number five to get there.
September 24, 2010
Revising NERVE. MANUSCRIPT3 and MANUSCRIPT4 are out of the game until I revise them again. So, no irons in the fire. Hate that sitting-on-the-sidelines feeling.
October 30, 2010
Sent NERVE to Joan. Good news was that she really liked it. The challenging news is that I need to come up with a new ending.
December 5, 2010
I sent the latest revision to Joan last night and hopefully she’ll deem it sub-worthy. At this point with MANUSCRIPT4, I was so sure it would sell. Now I feel the same way about NERVE. I’m like a new contestant on The Bachelor, ever hopeful that this time things will all work out. It’s as though the previous heartbreaks haven’t happened. Or, if they did, I’ve recovered enough to put my heart out there again.
December 8, 2010
What to write? What to write?
What if the earth stopped spinning? Guess the atmosphere would mess up and the oceans too since the centrifugal force of the Earth spinning at 1000 mph keeps water over the equator.
[NOTE: Fortunately, I did not pursue this idea since, even if it had sold, THE AGE OF MIRACLES would’ve come out sooner.]
January 3, 2011
Happy New Year!
My theme word for this year is:
All I can do for this publishing dream is write. The rest is out of my hands. Let it go.
Saturday Jan. 8, 2011
An editor at AWESOMEPUBHOUSE was hooked by NERVE, pitched it at an editors meeting where they loved it, and passed it along to other editors to read this weekend. This weekend! As in today and tomorrow! Somewhere in New York, an editor could be reading NERVE right this minute.
February 14, 2011
On the writing front, I STILL haven’t heard from AWESOMEPUBHOUSE. It’s been over a month so they must not be that excited about it. I’ve finished rewriting MANUSCRIPT4.
On the non-writing front, it’s Valentines Day! Way more fun to focus on that.
February 16, 2011
Going crazy with the lack of word on NERVE. I know I should put it out of my mind, but every day feels like it could be the one when I get THE CALL. Maybe I should accept that the call may never come and just get busy being useful.
Princess of Perseverance or Duchess of Delusion?
I think/know I need a break, but this writing addiction has become worse than that of a gambler who’s promised himself“Just one more game.” It’s clear where this is heading. Just one more manuscript…And another, and another.
At what point does it become simply ridiculous?
[NOTE: I expanded this whine and posted it anonymously on the Verla Kay blueboards where I received all kinds of support from other writers.]
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I GOT AN OFFER!!
And the rest, including another offer, was documented in my intro post.
It’s weird that while culling through my journal to collect these tidbits, I relived some of the stress. But I also remembered that there were other writers I could commiserate with, at every stage of the journey.
As a reader of Emudebuts, I found it an enlightening guide. As a member of Emudebuts, I found it a blessed sounding board. As an Emeritus of Emudebuts, I know it’ll be a cherished memory. And I will never fail to smile when remembering the videoed dares of my fellow Emudebuts when NERVE was released.
But this isn’t truly goodbye, because I’ll be stalking the comments section for a long time to come. And you know I’ll be here to celebrate each book launch of the latest authors to wear the Emudebut mantle.