Waiting is Murder on Nerves

It’s been nearly four months since I submitted my manuscript to a publisher and I still haven’t received a yea or nay.

“Write another novel,” they say.

Sure thing.

I’m trying, but one eye and both ears are glued to that little icon and the ding from my inbox, and each time a new message appears, my heart squeezes until I can barely breathe. Is it THEM? If so, do I want to read it? Of course I do, but as each writer knows, especially the ones like me who aren’t established on the national market, it also brings terror. What if it’s a rejection? What then?

Oh, I’ve handled rejections before. During the years I was first learning the mechanics of fiction writing, they nearly debilitated me. Worse, no one explained the couple of scribbled lines that said they didn’t want  my work, so I was left wondering. Why the rejection? What was wrong? Was it the story? My writing? All I could do was study more, try to learn more, and write more. A lot more.

Now, several years later, I’ve had a couple of novels published with a small indie and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing my short story in a national magazine. I wrote features and restaurant reviews for my So Cal newspaper, but my passion is for the novel, so I spent most of last year cocooned in to write my latest, a mystery/thriller, With Full Malice. When I wasn’t home writing, I interviewed professionals – a police sergeant, EMTs, a newspaper editor, and did a lot of research. And finally, after a year, my masterpiece was complete.

Then came the edits, edits, and more edits, then the submissions.

After a respectable length of time, the publisher wrote back saying, “Your novel has successfully passed the first round of reviews, now we wait for the final word.”

That was over a month ago.

I think I’ve stalled on the new novel, but I’m trying. It was a lot easier to write when my attention wasn’t always on the Inbox. And it doesn’t help to write on my other computer, the one not connected to the Internet. I just wander back to my desk to check – again and again.

So. While I know it takes time to review a manuscript, especially with all the submissions today, I wish some magical book fairy would come to my rescue and tell me my latest would be published. Oh, how I wish that were possible. I believe, oh yes I believe in book fairies. Maybe she’ll head my way if I tempt her with cookies. Chocolate chip? Sugar? Ok, I’ll bring out the big guns: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies.

Is that a ding I heard? Yes! It’s the Inbox icon. Is it them?

With Full Malice:

When a shortage of reporters forces traumatized restaurant reviewer Madison Young to cover an execution-style murder in her quiet California town below Big Bear, she has no idea her life is about to change. Reluctantly interviewing a witness, she jots down one word, one seemingly insignificant word that will link to a chain of murders across the country, and to a secret society, a vast and deadly organization that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets. She traces clues, shocked when they reveal a connection to the man who slaughtered her parents, horrified when the evidence leads to her own grandmother, the gentle woman who raised her after her parents were murdered.

I'm a novelist, short story writer, and I currently serve as CEO for L. Cooper Press, a service for writers. Thomson-Gale bought one of my novels, With Full Malice, for their 5 Star Mystery line, then Harlequin WorldWide Mysteries bought the mass market paperback rights. I lead a novel critique group in Redlands, CA, so if you're in the area and writing a novel, join us: http://www.meetup.com/SoCal-Novel-Writers-Workshop/ When I can't attend, Amy Fletcher leads the group. You can always contact me through my websites: www.brendahill.com www.lcooperpress.com

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Posted in My Blog, The Publishing Process

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January 2011
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