ShortbreadStories: The Blog

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Worth the Wait

/by Sandra Ireland/

I’m sure it was Joanna Trollope who said, “It’s taken me twenty five years to be an overnight success.” That about sums it up for the aspiring writer- it takes a lot of patience and hard graft to get from pen to print. There is also a lot of waiting. ENDLESS  waiting, in fact. You have to wait for inspiration, and then you have to wait for the time and space to write. Even when you’ve managed to get it all together enough to write something and submit it to a competition/agent/publisher you have to wait some more! Oh the excitement when an envelope drops on your door mat- the trembling fingers as you open it to reveal…another rejection slip.

I know all about that, I’ve had three rejections this week alone; all on the same day from three different magazines. I am convinced that everything you submit goes to some central Big Brother-type publishing house, presided over by a God-like Editor-in-Chief, who cackles manically as she/he decides who will WAIT and for how long. Or maybe I’ve just been working too hard. Anyway, the good news is that one day a very nice angel-like editor will smile kindly at your words and say YESSSS!!!

This actually happened to me a few months ago, so I’m desperate to share the joy. Someone gave me a writing magazine and I happened to see a small article from a new US publisher which was looking for submissions. Soul Mate Publishing commissions all genres of romantic fiction in e-book and print form. Since I don’t generally have much in the way of romantic notions, I glanced briefly through the submission guideline. It was the word ‘novella’ that really caught my eye.

I knew I had a long-forgotten story on my computer which, at just over 16,000 words, qualified as a novella. With a little tweaking and polishing, the story became Foxfire, a paranormal romance set in Edinburgh. I duly sent it in electronically and…actually, I didn’t have to wait. Debby, the editor, replied immediately to inform me (very nicely) that my file was in the wrong format for her computer. I was absurdly pleased that she’d bothered to let me know. Did that mean that she actually thought my story was worth reading? I re-submitted in an rtf format (I didn’t know what it was either; I got my son to do it) and lo and behold, the nice editor lady replied to say that she would read my story with interest and would get back to me within six weeks.

Debby actually got in touch sooner than that to say that she loved Foxfire and wanted to publish it. I was over the moon, as you can imagine. And she didn’t keep me waiting that long! There was a flurry of activity after that. I had to sign a contract and submit details of my characters so that they could commission the cover art. Being a short novella, Foxfire will just be published as an e-book, but apparently the cover art is very important, as that’s what will tempt the reader to buy it on the Soul Mate website and Amazon etc.

I can’t WAIT to see it!

Foxfire is due to be published in December. Watch this (ShortbreadStories) space for more details! You are also welcome to visit my blog at http://sandra-awaywithwords.blogspot.co.uk/2012

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