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?
- I can banish the whole wheat penicillin growing in my refrigerator.
- I can plan meals and actually take time to cook them.
- I can collect the sock balls and dust bunnies and send them off to their own heaven or hell.
- I can focus on friends, socializing and enjoying myself, even spend more time talking on the phone with family back east.
- 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.)
- I can take Belly Dancing classes, since spending so much time at the computer has not only made me wider, but stiffer
- 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.
- I can sit in a chair other than my creaky old desk chair which has been trying to kill me … honest … I swear.
- 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.
- 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.