June 13, 2008 at 10:38 pm 8 comments

Still slightly brain dead, but I just had a thought. One of the few that was able to stick around long enough for me to write about it. I thought about my dream publisher when I first signed up for this writing gig. My heart was absolutely set on the Holy Grail of Romance Publishing. I read each line’s submission guidelines, considered what line I could best write for and sent my book in. That book got rejected.

That did not deter my dream of being a Holy Grail of Romance Publishing author. I wrote another book and sent it in. While waiting on word back contests popped up and my first thought always was, “it’s not a line I would want to write for forever, but it’ll get my foot in the door.” Yes, that was my first thought. Thankfully, I never got the gumption to send stuff in for these contests.

Then the book I’d sent in got rejected. Less than a month later I got published by The Wild Rose Press. I stopped thinking so much of Holy Grail due to edits, promotion, and writing on new books. More time passed and still Holy Grail didn’t seem so much like Holy Grail.

Why you ask?

Well, first I finally realized there are other publishers out there. I know it’s not rocket science, but when you are dead set on ONE thing and ONE thing only you get tunnel vision. I also started to realize that getting published with Holy Grail may not be for me. I don’t write stuff that is meant for Holy Grail readers. Not that I don’t enjoy reading books published by Holy Grail. I’m just not a Holy Grail writer. Again, that was like a light bulb for me. And now I’m starting to think, maybe I’m not a traditional romance writer. Maybe, I’m a Humorous Women’s fiction. Or maybe I’m just fickle. Who knows.

Are you fickle? Or did you realize the goals you set for yourself were the wrong goals for YOU?

Okay, I’m done. Back to being brain dead.


Entry filed under: publishing goals, writing goals.


8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amie Stuart  |  June 13, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    In the vaguest sense I always knew I was going to write single title…contemporary westerns. Hot ones. Urban fantasy wasn’t on my radar but YA is. As is southern fiction but it wasn’t always…then again it’s not a huge stretch from Southern Fic to Contemporary Westerns huh>? LOl

  • 2. Caryn  |  June 14, 2008 at 3:33 am

    I think it’s good that you’re expanding your views. The Holy Grail has a variety of lines, yes, but they still have many restrictions that you wouldn’t find with other publishers.

  • 3. raine  |  June 14, 2008 at 7:08 am

    I vigorously sought the Holy Grail with almost every spare moment, all the talent I thought I could muster, all my hope, for over 2 hard-submitting years.
    And I was SO CLOSE, I tell you. But I couldn’t do it. Nothing I did seemed to make me fit into that particular round table.

    But I have managed to catch a glimpse of the TRUE Grail. It was on my own path, and the treasure was inside of me all along.
    And that’s not being fickle.
    That’s discovering truth.

    Okay, now I’m gonna send my cabana boy over to clean up some of these metaphors I’ve left lying all over your blog, lol.

  • 4. Mel  |  June 14, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    No it’s not Amie. I could have sworn I saw a cowboy or two at National’s last year. πŸ™‚

  • 5. Mel  |  June 14, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    they still have many restrictions that you wouldn’t find with other publishers.

    You know you’re right. I can’t see myself writing the same type of book each time. I know each book is different, but when you sign up to write for the TR line you can’t throw in a dead body because your muse wants one there. So, yes my fickleness prevents me from submitting anything else to Holy Grail.

  • 6. Mel  |  June 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    First the cabana boy can come over, but he doesn’t have to clean at all.

    Also, And that’s not being fickle.
    That’s discovering truth.

    I think that’s every process a writer has to go through. Everyone goes this way so it must be the right way to go. And come on, it’s the Holy Grail. Everyone knows that publisher’s name. Now Penguin, Warner, Five Spot and all the others may not be common knowledge. And the thought of getting an agent scares the crap out of most newbies, so why get one when you can submit to Holy Grail and not need one. Heck you can have 20 books and not need an agent.

    That’s not the point. It’s discovering that as an writer you are going to be interested in one thing. That interest may last a lifetime or five books.(God lets hope it’s not in a middle of fulfilling a contract.) It’s also recognizing you are going to change and grow as a writer. Really it’s a lot of things, but the main one is making your own path.

  • 7. Jess  |  June 14, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Yay! A Mel post! Missed you; t’was quiet round the blogosphere. Was thinking about sending out search hounds with wine and chocolate. >.>

    And good question.

    I’ve always been a fantasy writer. Always have, probably always will. Because that covers such a GIANT UMBRELLA of sub-stuff that interests me, I don’t think I could possibly say that’s the wrong goal for me. I currently feel most at home writing YA fiction of a more traditional bent (whereas last year it was all about adult UF). I don’t think, in that regard, I’m fickle, to me it’s all the same thing just different angles.

    The biggest problem for me was how “spicy” to make my writing, as a Christian I really wrestled with that and decided that I would go story-by-story and stories that demanded more than I was willing to do probably wouldn’t get written. Not that I won’t push boundary lines but if I’m going to feel my conscience convicting me for writing the book, I’m not going to write it. I have to live with myself, you know? If it’s a bit of scene here, or a word there, I can deal with that, if it adds to the story. But if the whole book is one giant personal moral No, then why am I considering writing it? I’m not.

    As far as goals re: publishing; I’m just diving in, so I don’t know. But I’m fairly positive that I want to do X, and if X doesn’t work I will re-evaluate, but X may take years of trial and error till I decide it truly is out of the question, so we’ll see. I’m very stubborn, very persistent, and overly confident. I believe in myself probably more than I should, although sometimes I think to survive in this business you gotta think like that, with the “You Suck” script waiting in the corner.

    This is long, but I haven’t seen you in like a full week, so I hadda chat it up. πŸ˜€

  • 8. Jess  |  June 14, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    and one more thing,

    “And the thought of getting an agent scares the crap out of most newbies,” Mel said.

    WHY?!?! I am SO excited to start that next month. My goal is to at least get one personal rejection amidst all the form ones. πŸ˜€

    I think part of this is simply I’m a fantasy writer first, romance writer second, and thus have a completely different context and set of reference points for the whole business.

    To me? The Holy Grail of publishing would be… see, there isn’t one for SF/F! Well, not really, anyway. There could be, but I don’t know of any that really stands head and shoulders above the rest.

    Now, Holy Grail of agents on the other hand… I have a short list. It is indeed short. πŸ˜€

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