Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer Are Over At Last

I did get lazy this summer. 

After what has been a seemingly endless, hot, and humid summer, we living on the Gulf Coast are ready to break away from our shackles of lethargy and get moving again. It wasn't that I spent my summer doing nothing except swimming and drinking wine with family and friends, it's simply that much of what I have been working on writing-wise has been for naught. I spent much of July and August working slavishly on my new novel, Senseless, a modern twist of Sense and Sensibility, which I nicknamed Never Trust a Man Who Loves Spinach, only to find that another modernization of the Jane Austen classic came out this summer.

At first blow, the discovery depressed me, after all I'd spent some prime writing time on something that wouldn't sell. However, after perusing a couple of chapters (don't you love getting the free samples? I certainly do.) I realized  that not only wasn't the book very good it was downright insipid--Jane would not have been amused. So, instead of relegating what I'd written to the dung heap, I'll set it aside for a while and let it simmer. I'll check it out again in a few months, brush it off, and see if I can get a publisher interested. If not, I'll e-publish it. It's hard to imagine that the other one will linger in anyone's memory for very long.

As if learning I'd wasted hours of writing time wasn't bad enough,  I was also turned down by several literary agents. Okay, we are told that rejection makes us stronger, but I'm strong enough already. Besides, it doesn't matter how positive one's attitude, it's hard to not feel like a loser when that thanks-but-no-thanks rejection email appears in your box.

Relentlessly, the muggy summer wore on and on and on, and I was close to throwing in the towel. And then, like a hero on a horse, Champagne Books stepped in and contracted to publish two of my books: one of them a rather tasty erotica to be published November 1, another a YA Science Fiction due out in the summer. They're also interested in having me submit more romance and erotica, which is dandy. I was surprised at how much I  enjoy writing erotica, it's fun, airy, and gives me absolutely no writer's angst. If you had told me a year ago I'd be writing erotica and romance, I'd have scoffed, yet here I am, the proud author of both.

Maybe it was the endless heat and humidity, but I also decided to drop my quest of finding literary representation and go it alone. Heck, it will save me ten percent and a few remnants of self-respect.
Determined to get more of my work published, I'm currently doing a series of short stories based on my beloved Jane Austen's Persuasion. For those of you unfamiliar with Persuasion, it's about second chances and the older, less beautiful woman getting the guy. My stories will deal with broken-hearted women getting second chances at love. Who doesn't love that?
Ann's not looking so good, but oh that Captain Wentworth
And so with the end of this first blog on The Writer's Vineyard, I sign off with a lesson learned (again, and again, again), not only for writers, but for life in general: never quit on your dreams because with perseverance and hard work you can make it happen.  So, with nothing but balmy days ahead and my body and soul energized, I plan on getting in some good writing. I'll let you know how it goes.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

"What's in a name?" Right? Write!

Welcome to our blog. Good post. Happy winter. (I'm a refugee from Cleveland, Ohio.)

Big Mike said...

Hey Gee (your assigned nickname)

Glad you joined the team and funny cartoon.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

January Bain said...

Good stuff! Champagne is a great place to be as I'll attest to.

Liz Fountain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz Fountain said...

Welcome to Champagne! And congratulations on persisting through the trials and tribulations of the wacky world of authorship. Hey, perhaps Jane Austen (whom I've always thought of as an author of amazingly funny satire, as well as capturing truths about our relationships) would now be writing something called "Prose and Perseverance:" In which Our Heroine encounters a haughty but handsome Literary Agent, who rejects her manuscripts because they "won't sell," but falls in love with Our Heroine through her skillful and sensitive prose?