I get that question a lot. How’s the writing going? Usually I can honestly say, it’s going good. If I had to answer with one word though, it’d be: Slow. Not only am I a slow writer, the submission process can be painfully slow, as can the process that follows once the book’s been contracted.
Here, for example, is the journey of Dare To Risk All, my soon to be released novel.
I originally wrote this story in the early 2000’s and it was titled No Strings Attached. It did the rounds with some contests and I got valuable feedback. Using that info, I reworked it, changed the title to Risking It All, and submitted to a few publishing houses. No bites, but despite more good feedback, I set it aside and moved on.
In January 2012, Show No Weakness had just been contracted and I had renewed enthusiasm for writing. So, I pulled Risking It All out of the archives and set to work on major revisions. I sent a query letter to my dream publisher in October 2012. (I did say I was a slow writer, didn’t I?) A query submission is merely a cover letter and synopsis, asking if they’d be interested in reading the whole manuscript.
In April 2013, having had no contact, I emailed them again, concerned that my query might’ve been lost. At that point, they requested the first three chapters, which I immediately sent off.
By December 2013, I’d yet to hear anything further from them, and so I withdrew my submission. Honestly, I was frustrated by the long wait. They only had the first three chapters. If they had decided to request the full, would I wait another nine months or more to hear back on that? With no guarantee of publication at the end of that very long wait. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have that kind of patience.
I submitted a query and first three chapters to another publishing house and in April 2014, they requested the full manuscript. The following month they asked for some minor revisions, along with a title change. They obviously liked what I sent back because in June 2014, I was offered a contract for Dare To Risk All. Success, finally!
The cover has been designed (I love it!), the blurb is written, and final edits were completed in October. I’m still waiting for a publication date. Now that the holiday season is over, I’m hoping to hear something soon, but it might not be for several months yet. The final timeline is still to be decided, but the journey’s taken a full three years so far. So, yeah, in a word: Slow.
I haven’t been sitting idly during that time. I’ve written and published It’s Complicated. And I’ve just now finished another story. As soon as I’m comfortable with my synopsis, I’ll have to decide where to send that one. My dream is still to one day have my books for sale in retail stores, but there are very few publishing houses who do that anymore. And the submission process to those houses is, in a word: Slow.
So, we’ll see if the wait is worth the dream. And, the biggie, of course, is whether any of those big publishing houses will even be interested in my little stories.
Meanwhile, I’m brainstorming like crazy on my next story. Stay tuned.