Thursday, August 16, 2012

Once upon a head injury

"Be Seeing You" was literally inspired by a dream. I'd taken a head-dive off of a horse (not a dream) and landed in the E.R. with a bad concussion and a neck injury. I was doped up to the high-heavens on pain medicine and had the wildest dream: deserts and sexy, half-dressed, greek-god looking men and a tough chick with black hair and a soul the color of stardust. I woke up and thought: man that would make a good story. That was November, 2009. I "finished" the story this March and started querying away. (And boy-howdy do I have a lot to say about querying. But I digress.)

By May I had almost 20 rejection letters to my name. (Side note: for those of you who are in or about to begin the querying phase, is an awesome resource for lists of agents and publishers who are accepting unsolicited queries.) Yes, they stung. But they also helped. Those rejections made me tighten and clean and change and hone. Those rejections were my teachers. Don't get me wrong, most days I thought to myself: well clearly so-and-so just didn't get my vision. But once the thanks-but-no-thanks started piling up, I realized they might have a point. So I took a break, and then took a long, hard look at my manuscript all at once. I had some work to do. I also kept revising my queries, and stored my rejection letters in an email folder to keep myself motivated. (I can move mountains when I'm trying to prove someone wrong.) Those rejections made my story right at the right time.

I think back to a quote that kept me going - that is literally taped on my desk so I can see it whenever I start toying with the idea of pretending I never wanted to be a writer in the first place: "Because the 64th time was yes." It's a quote from a book called "The Wednesday Sisters," a group of mothers who meet at a playground and form a writing group. One mother has been querying her tail off in secret, and finally, on the 64th attempt, gets a yes. It just takes one.

I promise the next post won't be a proverbial happy dance, but I'm on cloud nine and I really want to spread the love. :)


  1. Querying is tough. I cried a lot while I was querying, but that one yes made it all worth the effort and the tears. I chose to look at it as every no was getting me closer to my perfect yes. :)

  2. @Kelly - didn't it though?? I don't know if I've ever been so excited in my adult life as when I saw that first yes. I literally jumped up and down. Totally worth it. And I can't wait to read your new books you just got a great deal for!!

  3. I have never queried so I'm not good at it at all. I wouldn't know where to start. However, I have heard quotes like the '64th time' before and you're right, it only takes one. I hope you have lots of success.

    Sidenote: I want to follow your blog but blogger won't let me. Do you think you could add a follower thing to your sidebar?

  4. Thank you Clarissa!! I didn't realize there wasn't a follow button. Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. Please visit again soon, and feel free to post your blog url here if you have one.

  5. @Clarissa - there are several great posts about query letters on Mary Kole's blog: I plan on posting more in detail once i get the green light to release drafts of query letters from my publisher.


Ramble on, y'all.