Thursday, February 14, 2008

Perseverance Pays Off

I'm happy to announce I just got a contract for my Civil War time travel romance, Erin's Rebel, from The Wild Rose Press.

When I looked over my submission file for this manuscript, I realized I'd been sending it out for five years and getting nothing but rejections.

I actually wrote this story before joining RWA. This was the first novel I'd written entirely on my own. With my YA novel, I was in a writer's workshop with two published authors looking over my shoulder every step of the way. After I joined RWA, I started submitting ER, and was also entering it in RWA chapter contests as well as taking workshops. What I found was that the story and characters had problems. By this time, I'd starting work on another Civil War romance, Katie Rose. I thought maybe I should put Erin's Rebel aside and finish KR, but I couldn't get my mind off how to fix ER.

Since Erin's Rebel is the book of my heart and my biggest wish was for it to be published so everyone would have a chance to read it, I decided, whatever it took, I had to fix it to make it publishable. I went back to plot level, and taking what I'd learned in my workshops, I started from scratch with both character motivation and plot development coming up with a new and better version of the story. I then realized half the manuscript had to go, it no longer fit the new plot. I also had to move chapters around and write a lot of new material. My critique partners, all members of this blog, were a great help in getting my characters and those opening chapters right. After completing the revision, I submitted a partial to one publisher and got a request for the full. But in the end they didn't want it.

After yet another rejection, I decided to submit to The Wild Rose Press because I thought a small e-publisher might be the place for this story. With a lot of the bigger publishers, your story might be great, but if they feel they can't market it, because of the time period or setting, they'll pass on it without giving you a reason.

And The Wild Rose Press wants Civil War. Most publishers seem to shy away from it. The important thing is, this story will finally have the chance to be read by lots of readers and won't languish in my desk drawer. That's all I can ask.

At long last, my story's found a home.

7 comments:

Marlene said...

Congrats on your sale, Susan. So glad your perserverance finally paid off. I think it is a must when you have the story of your heart and you want "them" to see it that you keep pushing. Continued success and may lots of sales come your way. I've read your story bit by bit and really think it is a great book to read.

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Congratulations, Susan! Success is definitely more sweet after you've waited for it a while!

And kudos to your for not giving up until you found a home for your story!

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Marlene and Nic!

You don't know how many times I was about to give up on this story and move on to the next, but I just couldn't let it go.

Kristin-Marie said...

Congratulations!

Maureen Fisher said...

Way to go, Susan. I totally understand your need to get the book of your heart published and applaud your perseverance. I know how difficult it is to re-write a book, eliminating chapters of work you poured your heart into the first time around. You deserve the success you have found.

Georgie Lee said...

Congratulations on your sale!

Susan Macatee said...

Thanks, Kristin-Marie, Maureen and Georgie Lee!

I'm so glad I didn't toss in the towel on this.