Sunday, September 1, 2013
Rejection Isn't Always a Bad Thing
Other rejections have nearly cleaved my soul in two--like when my ex-husband had an affair and a child with another woman. Oh yeah, that was probably the darkest period of my life. My emotional healing took years...years.
As a writer, I have to be prepared for rejection. It's part of my "writerly" journey. Without a doubt, it's probably one of the rougher parts. Rejections hurt. They wound. There's no other way to put it. If more than one editor
OR...it can lead to something else.
Around the end of January an editor at Carina Press put out a call for Christmas novellas. She listed the parameters and tropes she wanted the stories to contain. I got a bright idea to give it a try. My current WIP had hit a major wall, so jumping into another project would give my mind a rest from banging on that darn wall. The timing seemed perfect. Besides, I'd promised my agent I'd allow her to start shopping me out again. All of my titles are with The Wild Rose Press and, although I love them, Dawn wanted me to branch out, to spread my wings a little. So, I worked like a fool to write this novella and meet the editor's end of March submission deadline. My agent mailed it in a couple days prior to the cut-off date, and we began the waiting process.
I told Dawn to send it back and I'd do some rewrites. She insisted she'd "shop it out" to some other publishers. I figured we'd missed most publishers' holiday deadlines. Dawn, however, wouldn't be deterred. That's what agents do. They push ahead when ninnies, like me, would pull back and lick our wounds.
A couple more rejections rolled in, and I was mentally rewriting some scenes for when I convinced Dawn to let me have it back.
Then, the oddest thing happened. An editor at Random House emailed Dawn. She'd read Santa Wore Leathers and loved it, but Random House had already contracted their holiday stories for the year. So she had to pass on the novella. Did I have anything else, she asked. She loved my writing. Dawn told her I had a Scottish paranormal romance in which the first chapter took third in the Golden Acorn contest. The editor emailed back right away, asking for the first three chapters and a synopsis. Dawn called to fill me in on what she and the editor had decided, and I freaked. I hadn't worked on it in months. I only had 28,000 words written on a projected 80,000 word book. "Well, girl, you better get to writing, because we have a Big Six editor interested in it." Long story short: I have a contract with Random House with options on three more in the bear-shifter series.
So, out of a rejection for a novella came a book contract with an advance and options, a contract for the novella and keen interest from a third big publisher. Who would have thought?
Rejection is not always a bad thing. Giving up is. Had I been doing this on my own, I'd have pulled back, thrown up my hands and said, "See, I'm not good enough." But Dawn kept pushing. I guess that's what we need to do more in life--at least I do. We need to keep forging ahead and never, ever give up...NEVER!