Revisions and a Hearty Breakfast


On Thursday, I received the long awaited (in reality it was only six weeks) response to the manuscript I entered into the Harlequin Love Inspired From Blurb to Book contest. While I didn’t receive “The Call” offering me a contract, I am very happy with the response to my entry.

In the email I received, the editor told me how much she enjoyed my voice (writing style), my interesting characters, and the suspense plot that kept her on the edge of her seat. Unfortunately, there were some plot holes that were enough to make the story need extensive revisions, so she was unable to offer a contract. However, she has given me feedback and revision notes and has requested that I revise the manuscript and resubmit it.

For a writer to receive this kind of feedback from an editor is major! Of course the day I received the email I felt very overwhelmed. But fortunately, I have a wonderful support system (family, friends, and a writing community) that immediately set about to make me feel good about the revision request. My cheerleaders are chanting words of encouragement and keeping me motivated so I can power through these revisions.

Now it’s up to me to get the revisions completed and the manuscript sent back to the editor. I got started early this morning by taking my notes to the local barbecue restaurant where I sat in a booth and worked on revisions while enjoying a hearty breakfast that I didn’t have to cook. ūüôā


Not Quite Ready For Publication

“…this version of the story is stronger than the draft I saw before…it‚Äôs not quite ready for publication yet…”

These words were in an email I received from an editor this week. The email was in response to a revised manuscript I’d sent to her after she had read the full and requested I make revisions and resubmit.

It’s been my experience that most people don’t realize the amount of work that goes into becoming a published author. Here’s the¬†timeframe for this particular¬†manuscript:

February 12, 2014 РStarted writing manuscript

June 6, 2014 РSubmitted completed manuscript

Aug 8, 2014 – Received request for a revise and resubmit

January 26, 2015 – Resubmitted manuscript

July 30, 2015 – Received afore mentioned email requesting another round of revisions

As you can see, I’ve devoted over nine months of writing and revising time to this manuscript as well as more than eight months of anxiously waiting to hear its fate. This doesn’t even take into account the countless hours spent by the editor reading the manuscript and writing¬†notes and suggestions for making it¬†ready for publication.

You may be wondering, how long will the revisions take? The first round of revisions took me more than five months to complete. Of course, like most writers, I work a full-time job and have a family. I’m not sitting around writing all day. I have to squeeze in a few hours here and there. And, sometimes, life gets in the way. So, there really isn’t way to know how long the revisions will take.

One thing is for sure. No matter how long the revisions¬†take, I’ll stick with it. I’ve come too far to give up now.

Writing Dreams

One¬†question I see in nearly every author interview is “When did you know you wanted¬†to be a writer?” For me, a better question would be “When did you let go of the fear of failure and start pursuing your dreams?”

You see, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Well, okay, maybe not always, but for at least the past thirty-five years. . . which, let’s face it, is a really long time. I was always telling my friends and family that one day I was going to be an author. I even sat down a few times and attempted to write, but I’d get distracted and never complete a project.

So, what changed? Well, I heard about a pitch contest for Harlequin’s Love Inspired line. I told my husband, Mountain Man, about the pitch. Actually it was all I could talk about for days. Mountain Man finally told me to either enter the contest or stop talking about being published. He said, “One day is now. You either do it, or stop talking about it.” Of course, I had to ask, “But what if I fail?” To which, he replied, “Then you fail. But one thing is certain, you will never succeed if you don’t try.” [Boy is that man smart!]

That was in the spring of¬†2013. When I pitched my 100 word blurb, I received a request to submit a proposal (synopsis plus first three chapters). I couldn’t believe it! I hurried and prepared my proposal and sent it off. Not surprisingly,¬†that manuscript received a rejection. Actually, it was a very nice rejection with lots of positives. The main thing I learned was being a good storyteller does not equal being a good writer.

Of course, I pouted for a couple of months, and  I set the manuscript aside and never finished it.

Now, I was faced with a dilemma. You see, I told everyone (including my 7th grade students) that I had written a book and was trying to get published. So what now?

I had two choices. Either be a quitter and teach my students that when things don’t go their way they need to give up, or try again and teach my students that hard work is the only way to achieve their dreams.

Two years have passed since that first manuscript winged its way across the Internet to an¬†editor’s inbox. Since that time, I’ve participated in two more pitch contest. During Love Inspired Suspense’s Search for a Killer Voice contest, my manuscript made it to the final round. This time, I received a request to revise and resubmit.¬†It took me a couple of months to wrap my mind around the changes that needed made, but five months later, I sent the revised manuscript back to the editor. I’m waiting to hear the outcome, but I suspect I missed the mark and that manuscript still needs a bit of work.

In the meantime, I entered this year’s Love Inspired pitch contest, Blurb to Book. I happy to say I made it to the final round and wrote another full manuscript within a four month timeframe. My completed manuscript is¬†in the hands of the editors. So¬†now I wait.

Will this manuscript will be the one that garners me the much coveted call from the editor? Only time will tell.