Can We Talk?
If you’ve noticed, I’ve kind of sorta been quiet, which for me is unusual. Some of it has been because I am just tired. Tired of the last two years of endless deadlines. Tired of promoting. Tired of worrying about book sales. Tired of years on different RWA boards. Tired of taking care of everyone, and just flat out tired. I’ve spent more time doing nothing and not wanting to do anything then ever in my life. Yes, in a funk if you will, but I think, a much needed one. I have subconsciously been regenerating my brain, my heart and my soul. I have much bigger things ahead of me, and I’m going to need to be firing on all cylinders.
But another reason I’ve been quieter than normal is because I’m working. Really hard. On a kick-ass romantic suspense proposal. I have a fabo series concept my agent is excited about. And I LOVE it.
Being the impatient girl that I am, I rushed through the end of last year to get something, as in proposal, put together, and because I rushed, and because I didn’t stay true to what I envisioned to begin with, the proposal stalled, and ultimately fell flat. My agent was meh, and so was I. Not a good sign.
So back to the drawing board. I love what I’m writing now. I can see it, like a movie playing out before me. My h/h have so much chemistry I get excited thinking about them. And they haven’t met on page yet! How is that for hitting the sweet spot? My hero is an antihero. He’s bad. Really bad. But so is she. I cannot wait for them to meet.
This entire process brought me full circle on something I have always known and tried to really adhere to, and that is the old adage, To thine own self be true. Don’t write something that doesn’t feel right, even if it sounds ok. Don’t follow trends, unless of course the trend is what gets you excited each time you sit down to write. Write through this shitty economy. It’s bad for 99% of us. And the golden 1%? They’re sweating too. Life in the big apple is a life they have never seen before. Not only are the publishing houses laying off their people, but they are laying off authors as well. What worked last year flops today. Everyone in publishing is scared. And when people are scared they either panic and run or freeze unable to move. Very few roll up their sleeves, raise their fists and say, a la John McClane, “C’mon mutherfucker.”
I kind of fancy myself Bruce Willis’ character in Die Hard. I mean, I have to! I have kids who would so not understand if mom bowed out.
So yesterday, after a long conversation with several good friends, (thnx Maya and Syl) and an even longer conversation with my agent, I rolled up my sleeves, put my big girl panties back on and yelled, “C’mon, mutherfucker!”
No more funk. I’m not backing down. I’m not jumping off the ledge and I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow what I’ve worked so hard for all these years be taken away because of some freakin’ recession! Hah! Okay, so seriously, I know when it’s time to shop this proposal, editors will be playing a different ball game, and that’s ok. I’ll still be in the game. I know that this story, this series is good. Better than good. It’s the best contemporary stuff I have written. It even feels different when I sit down each day to write. And you know what else I have discovered during these harrowing times? Even if I never sold another book, I would write. I have the heart and soul of a writer. I love, love. I love to tell a story. I have learned something else about myself: I’m a better writer than I gave myself credit for. It’s about freakin’ time I came to that conclusion.
Despite this crazy time, I still flat out love what I do. I’ll never stop. And here’s something Megan McKeever (Pocket editor) said when she came out to my RWA chapter meeting earlier this year when she was asked what she likes to hear in a pitch. She said, “I want to hear how much the author loves their story.” That simple statement has sat with me since. It was one of those Homer Simpson “Doh!” moments. I mean if we don’t love our story, how the hell can we expect an editor to?
So, just when I think I have it all figured out, the puzzle pieces shift and fall more neatly into place.
Life may be tough right now, but it’s good. Really good.
So, instead of us chatting about our problems, let’s chat about challenges we have overcome and where we want to be this time next year. Who wants to start?
And BTW, did anyone catch AI last night? Did you see Alexis from Philadelphia come back all cleaned up? I gotta tell, ya, that woman didn’t quit, and while she is weird with a capital W she is one determined gal. I can’t wait for Hollywood week next week. I think the roller coaster ride is going to be the craziest yet!