Archive for the ‘Submissions’ Category

A while ago, I tweeted about receiving cry worthy happy news. Now I can talk about that news. I submitted a science fiction, young adult, romance novella to Harlequin Escape, a very new digital publisher, and it was accepted. Indeed, I did cry. I think it was from shock because I was in the car park at Queanbeyan and saw an email come in on my iphone. I thought I’ll read that rejection in the car. I thought there would be comments. As I sat in the car and scrolled through the message, I did a double take because it was an acceptance. So yes I cried a little bit in the car and rang Matthew to tell him the news. He brought me home lovely flowers. I might have a picture of these. Here it is. My first flowers from Matthew and they were lovely.

A congratulatory gift

I understand my title is due out in January. I can’t say what the title is because it is not official yet. I want to thank Romance Writers of Australia for it was their annual conference in August where I heard about this opportunity. I want to thank Harlequin for really going out there and taking risks with cross-genre works. I also want to that Nicole Murphy for basically twisting my arm to go to RWA Aus in August. I have been writing like a mad person ever since (I am that inspired). My house has not been cleaned properly since as a result. Long live the dust mites!

The next post will be about the fantastic, awesome and stunning launch of Harlequin Escape last night. I need to cook dinner first.

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I had an extra day in Brisbane after the RWAus 2012. It was really useful to me to see if the buzz lasted and all those plans I made about being serious were going to stick and whether I really did have a breakthrough in my writing. Well I’m home now, sitting cosy with the electric blanket on because it’s like zero outside. It’s a bit of a shock with 20C in Brisbane today.

I can report that I believe I do have a writing breakthrough. I wrote this morning in the hotel. I think it was about 1500 words on the work in progress. I’ve had trouble with the title of this one but I think it is going to be The Sorcerer’s Spell. So over the weekend, which consists of Saturday night, Sunday night and Monday morning, I’ve written about 6000 words.

As well as talking my head off to Matthew about plans and insights and resolutions, I got this story idea this morning based on something one of the publishers said. During the day the story began to unfold in my mind. We went on a river cruise and more of the story unwound. I had names of characters. I had motive, storyline, beginning, middle and the end. So on the train to the airport I started writing an outline. Now I usually don’t write an outline or if I do it’s usually a poor one with the opening and the ending. I continued to write the outline in the airport lounge and on the plane to Sydney, where we swapped over for the flight to Canberra. By the time I landed in Canberra, I had written 3500 words of the story outline, some 7 pages. I had the whole outline down. If I was to show it to anyone it would need a polish. I think this story is either a novella or category length. It’s romance-focussed with witches in it. I’m calling it Bespelled.

I think I’ll be able to sleep now that the outline is down. I often create whole stories in my head but don’t write them down. Then I forget the excellent detail because I don’t write the things for ages. Well now it is there waiting for me to start. I have to finish The Sorcerer’s Spell first and that’s likely to be single title length as they say in the romance business.

I realised on the trip home that I’m as wired and excited about writing as I was when I first started out. Over the years my enthusiasm fizzed for a number of reasons. My partner didn’t like my writing. My family got annoyed with me about it because I was so fixated and then I was learning to write too so success didn’t come. My progress has been slow and steady. I’ve focused on the spec fic side and left behind the romance side, well not really pursued it. My first attempt at writing was a Scottish Historical romance and I looked at the 900 words I wrote and thought they were crap. I knew nothing about writing then. Later in the year the desire to write came back again and then I got an idea. I wrote Relic in six weeks, practically downloaded it. The writing was pretty ordinary and I had no idea what I’d written. A science fantasy with sex with aliens and feminist overtones. I polished it for years. Nearly got an excellent agent but she dumped me when she heard SF was a hard sell. Then I got another agent but by then I thought Relic was a bit crap. I did get some advice that I should not discard Relic but I haven’t gone back to it in years. It is really a romance when I come to think of it.

So here I am 12 years on and it’s all back, the enthusiasm, the drive and the ideas. I have a different partner now. One that understands the writing, the internet addiction, the weekend long Austen movie fests or Star Trek movie fests. He’s a writer himself and has habits as bad as mine.

A few of those things sitting in my hard drive are going to be subbed pretty soon. Tonight I submitted two short stories. No more procrastination. Now I just have to finish my uni course, get through the next 7 months until the Conflux 9 (a SF convention) is delivered and then I’m home free as far as writing is concerned.

I’m feeling pretty good. Thanks to the RWAus 2012, I’m revved and I’m happy to be so. Thank you fellow romance writers for showing me there are opportunities out there and for being so supportive of writers of any experience. I love your ethos and my membership form was in the mail before I left for the conference. I found something in me that I thought I’d lost. Thanks to Nicole too for encouraging me to come along.

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