Sunday, September 12, 2010

What You Want

I love writing, creating the story, even polishing it to a fine shine. Begging agents and editors to look at my work, not so much. With both Goals for a Sinner and Wish for a Sinner being football romances, they were often sent back as unread with the note "We do not do football stories" by many agencies that publish or represent romance. Eventually, I found two small presses that looked beyond the occupation of the hero to the good story being told and got those contracts.

I'd heard before signing that producing a book is hard work and have learned this is true. Over Labor Day weekend, I spent sixteen hours doing third edits on Wish. We were well beyond making any changes to the story and into looking for the tiniest mistakes to make this book the best we could. Some glitch caused the quotation marks to be turned in the wrong direction in about a third of the book. Page after page, I noted this correction. At last, they disappeared and the tedious third edit proceeded more normally with a missed "a" here and dropped period there. I sent off the corrections and was rewarded with the most wonderful compliment by my publisher. She replied she'd repaired the quotation marks, but at times got so caught up in the story she had to go back and make sure she'd gotten them all. Somehow, that made the sciatica flare up I suffered from spending so much time hunched over a computer on a holiday worthwhile.

So, I've learned the truth of be careful what you wish for-it's harder than you think to prepare a book for publication, but so very worth it.