Tag Archives: book decisions

When saying “no” is a good thing…

Just as an aside, I am a member of an on-line chapter in my RWA organization, the Contemporary Romance Writers. Since this is what I write, it makes sense I’m a member, no? Hee hee.

CRWA has a blog that many of the members contribute to, including myself,  and the other day a new post was presented that I swear on everything that’s holy was written exactly for me. I  know it wasn’t – but it really could have been, because it was posted at a time when I was struggling with whether or not to compromise something I’d written just in order for it to be sold.

This is the post :Its’s Okay to Say No, written by  author Brighton Walsh. The gist of the article is that you should never say a yes when you’re feeling a no to a writing situation. As an author – and still one who is relatively unknown – this hit home for me. Hard.

Let me e’splain it Lucy….

I received a phone call – yes, really A phone call, not an email!!! from someone in the publishing industry the other day to whom I’d cold-sent a new manuscript proposal. (Cold sent  is what over the transom means nowadays. It’s basically an unsolicited email about a manuscript). This person called me and was utterly professional, very forthcoming and sincere, and really, really lovely and nice as he/she went about telling me everything that was wrong with my proposal and how I had to change it to make it something he/she could even consider worthwhile to try and sell. Everything from my character names, to their professions, even the plot arc of the book series was “weak” and cliched and needed to be tightened up. I was told that if I wanted to make all those changes  and did – I could feel free to send along the new proposal and manuscript for re-review.

So here are the emotions that went barreling through me at that call: ( in order of their appearance!)

  • thrilled to have been called and not summarily sent a form email
  • nervous
  • hopeful
  • anxious
  • doubting myself as a writer
  • depressed
  • flummoxed

When the call ended I seriously don’t think I took a breath for a few moments.

Here’s the thing: I lovelovelove the story I wrote. truly. It’s got one of my favorite heroine/hero couples that I’ve ever written and every point in the story from their careers to the story arc is exactly how I wanted their story to unfold.

But this in-the-know person in the industry was saying if I made these changes the book might have a chance of being sold to a publisher.

See my dilemma?

Was I willing to change almost everything I’d written with the story just on the slim marginal chance it would be published? Was I willing to sacrifice a storyline and an entire series plot arc, rename characters and change their professions, just to get the story published? Was I willing to abandon all that I’d written and tailor-make it to someone else’s specifications inorder for my words to see print commercially?

I seriously gave myself a stomach and headache that afternoon from all the angst ripping through me.

And then I saw the new CRWA blog post.

After reading it, it was as if the sky had opened up and was shining after a downpour had moved through and darkened it. A little dramatic, but true. I was able to breathe again. My headache disappeared and my stomach pains went the way of the dinosaur. My decision has been made and I think you can guess what it was.

I’ve been talking a great deal about angels lately and how I think they are surrounding me and sending me messages almost daily. I truly believe that blog post was something I was meant to read and learn from. And, just BTW, it’s a really good blog post! You should read it because it can be interpreted for way more things than just writing.

The power of saying No to something that just doesn’t feel right deep down in  your soul, is an amazing sensation.  As women we need to learn to do that more often, especially if saying yes means we have to compromise our integrity. As writers, new and even established, no is a word that doesn’t get said enough.

If my story never gets sold commercially, that will be okay with me, because with all the options of self publishing available these days, I know I could release it on my own.

The power of NO. It’s, as Martha says,  a Good Thing.

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Dedications. They mean more than you think…

Do you read the dedications in the front of books? I do. I think it’s cool to try and figure out why the author decided that  person was the one to whom the book, the author’s baby, was deserving of a praise-filled mention. After all, it was the author who wrote it, not the person it is dedicated to. The author put in all the blood, sweat, tears, and work into the story. Shouldn’t they, by rights, dedicate it to themselves?

Okay, that’s a dumb question, but I think you know what I mean.

Do authors choose the person to list the dedication based on something they might have done for them? Helped them with research, maybe, so the mention is like a thank you, then? Or perhaps the idea for the story came from the person it is dedicated to? Could it be the dedicatee is somehow connected to the book? Is it their story told from a fictional viewpoint?

Is the dedicate-ee a lifelong friend who suffered through the endless revisions, deletions, and plotholes with the writer? Or is it a loved one whom the author wanted to publically acknowledge?

So many questions, and I’ll bet each writer chooses a dedicatee for a different reason.

All of my books have been dedicated to someone in my life I love. My first book I assigned equally to my husband and daughter, the two halves that make my heart whole.

I’ve dedicated another book to my best friend – a woman who not only has supported me through my endless attempts to establish a published writing career, but one from whom I have learned so much  about life, sharing, and unconditional friendship.

I have a Christmas story coming out this year I’ve dedicated to one of my wonderful sisters-in-law because the family in the story could be her own. It isn’t – but it could be, and I knew she’d appreciate all the humor, pathos, and family love woven into it.

So, if you’re a writer, how do you choose who dedicate your work to? Let’s discuss…….

My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS, is dedicated to my mother.

Blurb:

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

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Filed under Author, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Friends, Life challenges, love, MacQuire Women, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor