Deborah Riley-Magnus, Writeaholic

March 4, 2010

10 Things to do … now that I no longer need to query

Filed under: Cold in California — Deborah Riley-Magnus @ 5:23 pm
Tags: , , ,

Yesterday morning I signed a contract with my (yippee!) wonderful new best friend and literary agent. At last, I have a champion! A knight in shining armor to do amazing things to help me reach the Holy Grail – PUBLICATION.

It seems like a dream come true, me and my book, Cold in California , are represented!

Cool huh? But … it sure didn’t happen over night. It took many more than 50 queries (that means more than 49 rejections and they’re still coming, lol), a complete deconstruction and rewrite of the entire novel, sleepless nights, genre exploration (is it an urban fantasy with a little romance or a paranormal romance with a little adventure?), massive agency and agent research, weeks of thinking and planning, writing and rewriting the query letter and seeking the courage to open returned mail from the agents I already queried.

This wasn’t my first time at the rodeo, either. Before Cold in California, I wrote, rewrote and queried a different novel. That process took two years but nothing about the experience was discouraging. Suggestions and rejections taught me to be tough and learn how to tighten my craft.

Now, it’s a strange and bizarre feeling, like suddenly the house has dropped in Oz. “Oh!” and stillness … not even the chirp of a bird or rumble of distant Los Angeles traffic. It’s a euphoric feeling that seems fragile. All day today I sat at the computer and had to push away feelings that I should research one more possible agent, tighten one more passage in the manuscript, find one more hour in the day to focus on getting representation. It’s done. It happened. But what am I to do now that I no longer need to query?

Well …

  1. I can banish the whole wheat penicillin growing in my refrigerator.
  2. I can plan meals and actually take time to cook them.
  3. I can collect the sock balls and dust bunnies and send them off to their own heaven or hell.
  4. I can focus on friends, socializing and enjoying myself, even spend more time talking on the phone with family back east.
  5. I can seriously look into the promotional ideas in my notebook (because as we all know we should have an ever handy notebook for promotional ideas as we write our book, right? See, I practice what I preach.)
  6. I can take Belly Dancing classes, since spending so much time at the computer has not only made me wider, but stiffer
  7. I can watch television. Really, there was a time I never watched TV, then I found I loved certain shows and over the past year, I discovered that even while watching those favorite programs, I was thinking of the book and querying. Now I can just relax and enjoy.
  8. I can sit in a chair other than my creaky old desk chair which has been trying to kill me … honest … I swear.
  9. I can take a weekend off! See, I almost never take a weekend. Ever. Saturdays and Sundays are just another work day for me. This weekend? Celebration in San Diego. Even though the weather prediction is rain, I’m excited to be getting out of traffic choked Los Angeles and visiting my less stressed friends down there.
  10. And finally … I can feel better. Less fearful. More confident as a writer.

The culture shock is mind boggling! I’ll enjoy this few days of  R&R then back to the grindstone. I can attack my the other writing projects, the next book in the Cold in California series and proposals for my non-fiction books. And of course, I’ll be back to totally enjoy working with my publicity clients who are all authors.

Just … not quite yet. For now I smile a lot, even laugh.

And when I look in the mirror I actually wonder if I look different, like a writer with an agent, a writer that much closer to just maybe becoming an author.

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  1. Congrats!! That sounds like a wonderful list of things to do with your newfound free time. I look forward to seeing your book on shelves, it sounds interesting!

    Comment by cheyanneyoung — March 5, 2010 @ 11:06 am | Reply

  2. I loved reading your journey. Can’t wait to read your book. Congratulations. Go Deborah Go!

    Comment by PamelotH — March 8, 2010 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

  3. Congratulations!

    I’ve taken your advice and written a marketing plan for my book. Thanks!

    Comment by Joy — March 10, 2010 @ 9:01 am | Reply

    • Wow, I’m so thrilled! A strong marketing plan is a perfect way to direct you and your book’s destiny!


      Comment by Deborah Riley-Magnus — March 19, 2010 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  4. What a wonderful post *admires with shining eyes*. I can’t wait to know what that feels like. Congrats and enjoy that bit of stillness – you’ve earned it! Thanks for sharing your journey and the process.

    Comment by Zoe — March 12, 2010 @ 8:50 am | Reply

    • Zoe, the journey is so strange … and stranger still is the odd way it ends … that it takes only one “yes”, one champion, one agent willing to step out for you and your work. It’s like that house spinning in a tornado in “The Wizard of Oz” just landed with a thump!

      On to the next journey, praying he can convince a publisher to love Cold in California as much as he and I do, lol!


      Comment by Deborah Riley-Magnus — March 19, 2010 @ 12:18 pm | Reply

  5. That is so awesome, Deborah – I’m about a week behind you in having it happen to me, too. I feel your squee! Congrats!

    Comment by Stephanie Boman — March 12, 2010 @ 9:33 am | Reply

  6. Yay! Mega-congratulations. I can hardly wait for that day to occur for me. And to come up with my own list of relaxing “to-do’s”. And I LOVE hearing the success stories! Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Laurie Ryan — March 14, 2010 @ 7:57 am | Reply

    • Thanks so much and honestly, just when everything looks the darkest, prepare for the light. It really does happen!


      Comment by Deborah Riley-Magnus — March 19, 2010 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

  7. Congratulations, Deb!

    Comment by Lainey Bancroft — March 16, 2010 @ 3:29 pm | Reply

  8. Congratulations, Deborah! I know how much this win means to you. You and Cold in California are no doubt every bit deserving after all the hard work you’ve poured into you manuscript. Keep writing!

    Comment by Debra Marrs — March 19, 2010 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

    • Thanks so much, Debra. Everything seems topsy turvy right now but I’m keeping very busy, working on the sequel to “Cold in California” entitled “Monkey Jump”, working on a new womens literature called “36 Full Moons” putting together proposals for a publicity series of non-fic author help books and, of course, my cookbooks. No point in going nuts from the waiting, right? lol

      Thanks again,

      Comment by Deborah Riley-Magnus — March 19, 2010 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

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