I am super excited to be here today, Sarah! This has been a fast and fun tour for my latest release, Risk Factors.
I want to talk about submissions today. This book, as many of you may have heard, has been submitted for consideration two times. The second time was the lucky one. I’ll walk through the process this book took that last time I bit the nail and submitted it.
I had just finished some revisions on a story I titled Perfect Dr. Viv and I loved that story and wanted to see it homed with a good publisher. I’d heard of Lyrical Press, Inc, had been to their site a few times and thought they would be a nice publisher to write for some day. I don’t remember specific dates but on or about February 11, 2012 began that day. My now super editor, Piper Denna, was doing her first annual blog pitch at the Word Wranglers blog.
I tweeted and emailed the pitch since one of my critique partners is part of the WW blog and I support my cps whenever I can. There were some seventy hopefuls who pitched their three or so lines to her, many being asked for a partial or full. I thought why not put PDV in there and see what happens? I was scared stiff when Piper asked for the partial. It wasn’t ready! So what if I had already submitted it to another publisher the year before and then took it back, it obviously wasn’t ready or I would have sold it then!
Ok, this is the beginning of why I’m writing this post today. I didn’t send my three chapters right then like others had. In fact I didn’t sent it that day or the next--or that week even. It needed a few more edits, tweaking here and there. By March I had almost talked myself out of submitting it at all. My friend and staunch supporter, YA author, Harley Brooks pushed me to send it. She’d read it and thought it was perfect to submit. So, I sent the partial.
Now let me say that when an editor asks for your writing--SEND IT. After all, isn’t that why we do pitches? Is that not what we authors strive for? To get our writing in front of an editor? Especially an editor we chose before they chose us? Don’t make excuses. JUST DO IT. We writers…we can come up with a gajillion reasons why we shouldn’t hit the send key, can’t we? I see you nodding out there. We’re writers, making stuff up is what we do.
We are our own worst enemy! LOL
So once I got the nerve to hit send I waited. And waited. For three more months. I waited twelve nerve racking weeks. Yeah… Don’t do as I did. My lovely Harley kept emailing, asking if I’d heard anything. Nope, not yet. I’d say. Finally she asked “Didn’t she say to email if you didn’t hear back soon?” My hiding gig was up. Yes, Piper had told me that when I sent her the partial. So in May I emailed to ask if she had gotten to my partial. She asked me to just send it to her again to expedite things, which I did (right then this time) and waited…all of twenty-four hours maybe, before she asked for the full. By now I was ready to send it to her (I’d already wasted three months, remember), so I sent it the next day and prepared to wait a while. I’m not pushy, I know these things take time and I can be patient (or at least appear to be :-) ).
I think it might have been three days later (a Thursday?) that she emailed to let me know she was almost finished with another ms and mine was next. I was stunned when I got another email on Tuesday that she was going to request a contract for me. The next email after the contract was a title change suggestion and Risk Factors was born.
The rest, as they say, is history. :lol:
The point of this is Risk Factors came out March 4, 2013 and I’m ecstatic! But had I sent the partial to her right away, had I followed up even two months sooner, I might have had a 2012 release date. Then again, maybe not, but I definitely would have had less ulcer-inducing, nail biting worry over the whole process.
So as a writer (and an editor), I just want to say--if you are brave enough to take the challenge and request an editor look at your work, be brave enough to follow through in a timely manner and let what may come happen. It’s better to know one way or the other as quick as possible what the outcome will be, than to sit on a possible good thing and risk losing it altogether as I almost did, without even giving my book or my editor a chance to meet.
I’ll leave you with a sample of the book that almost wasn’t. :-)
Love, like life, is not without risk.
Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales, Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps. Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him, leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv--and himself--enough to play the possibilities?
It was close to five o’clock and Viv wanted to go home. Winter hadn’t reached the Midwest yet, but from September through October the temperatures often dipped and dove sporadically, before diving for the long winter ahead. There’d been a slight chill in the air that morning and she hoped for a few more weeks of warmth before harsh weather moved in.
She looked forward to a hot soak in the bathtub, but Skittles was due for pick-up first. Connor had assured her he’d pick her up, or have his father get her before five. She glanced at her watch again. Four-fifty-six. She didn’t mind staying late if she needed to; it would be a shame to leave the nervous animal alone another night.
She opened the small closet to put the dust mop away.
With a start, she spun and her hand caught the broom handle on her way around. Gasping, she grabbed uselessly, horrified as the cleaning tool flew sideways from the closet. In slow motion she saw it shoot out against Connor’s shoulder and fall with a sharp snap onto the tile floor.
“Oh! I’m so--so sorry! Are you hurt?” Instant heat rushed up her neck and she bent to reclaim the errant broom to shove into the closet. She slammed the door and leaned against it on a sharp breath.
“I’m fine. You worried your killer broom might attack again? You might consider putting a lock on the door,” he said with a crooked smile.
Puzzled, Viv looked around and realized with total humiliation how it appeared she’d trapped the broom inside the closet--when in actuality, she wanted to climb through the door beside the instrument and hide.
“Of course not. That would be silly. I didn’t expect you right now.”
“It’s two minutes of five. I told you I’d be here for Skittles. Is it too late?”
Right. The skunk. “No. I’m sure she’s more than ready to go home. Do you have the pet carrier to put her in?” She probably didn’t need to ask when Connor stood empty-handed before her. He lowered his head and she knew he’d forgotten it, fought back a smile at his forgetfulness.
“Sorry. I drove straight from work and didn’t think about it.”
“No worry. I have one you can borrow.” Which meant he’d have to see her again. She’d definitely need to see him again.
“Thank you. I’ll bring it back tomorrow.”
“Oh, there’s no rush. I keep a few on hand for emergencies.” She led him back to the cage where the skunk still huddled, and got a carrier while he opened the cage to retrieve his daughter’s pet. As he lifted the black fur ball out, Viv set a pink case next to him.
He hissed under his breath and almost let the animal loose. Viv opened the cage and held it upright for him to lower the skunk down inside and shut the door. Once he stood with the pet taxi, she detected a smear of red on one finger.
“She bit you?” Skunk bite, rabies, germs…
“It’s fine. When she’s scared she tends to nip a warning like a cat.” Connor’s lack of care concerned Viv, however.
“I should clean it with antiseptic before you go.”
“I’ll tend it when I get home.”
“But, it may have germs…get infected.”
“It’s not the first time, and her rabies vaccination is current. Thank you, but it’s not necessary.”
Viv stopped by a cabinet on the way to the front reception area to grab ointment and a Band-Aid.
Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up, when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. Then she discovered Rock-n-Roll and cute musicians. Poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. These days she lives with the same man who convinced her to take a romantic journey with him almost 30 years ago. After raising three strong daughters she spends her days loving their granddaughters, hoping for a boy someday, and writing. When she’s not writing, you can find Calisa putting on her editor hat and working to help other published and aspiring writers.
She is working on more projects with her favored contemporary cowboys, first responders and firemen, as well as, the occasional ‘other’ heroes- and their sexy female counterparts, those sassy, stubborn heroines.
Find Calisa at her website/blog http://calisarhose.wordpress.com
Twitter@CalisaRhose, Facebook/Calisa Rhose, Goodreads, Amazon and Pinterest
Thank you for letting me take over your keyboard, Sarah! I’d like to leave your guests with this question-- What was the biggest risk you have ever thought of taking, or did take, in the name of love?