Monday, July 21, 2008

kiss me, slap me - the world of publishing

My friend Rhonda calls the ups and downs of publishing "Kiss me, slap me" - which is true. I am not normally one to go for violent relationships, and yet here I am, stuck in an abusive one!
And there is no way I'm walking away.
Insights thanks to copious amounts of white zinfandel, and sort of meditating (zoning while watching Raymond reruns) have led me to believe that I am, on a very passive-aggressive level, no quitter.
Which basically means that even though my career path looks like a derailed roller coaster, I'm in til the end of the ride.
I've always written. I had a plan. After winning a People's Choice Award in 1996 (count em - twelve - TWELVE - years ago) I knew that writing would be so overwhelming that I wouldn't be able to put my all into raising my kids. Writing went on the back burner, and I took classes and wrote short stories, but basically put kids and family first.
Until 2001, when my kids could feed themselves without burning the house down, and my fab hubby told me "it was time" - stop whining about writing, and to get to it. He threatened me with duct tape.
So, blah blah blah, I wrote, and wrote, and scored well in the Golden Heart - 2 out of 3 scores, anyway. The third score knocked me out of the running. Whatever. I found a critique group, became active in my local RWA chapter (FRW rocks!) and blazed my way through conference after conference and agent and editor appointments galore.
I sold one book in 2005, sold more in 2006, only to close a line in 2006 and have all of my books returned to me. I've had two bad agents, one book with an editor I love for a year, and a great support group.
In between closing other lines, I've sold six books in the past year - one ebook YA - one print historical romance that is ON the shelves!! I threw myself into advertising and marketing and got a job to pay for it all - cause writing doesn't. Not yet. I set up booksignings, did panels and promoted the hell out of myself.
I got Books A Million to let me sign - and the day before all of my friends and family were coming to support me at my local Jupiter Chasewood Plaza location - the lovely Linda calls to say that my books are MIA.
It's a glitch, she tells me, which means ***T Happens.
Yes, I have books on the shelves - just not at Books A Million, lol. We are going to reschedule, but in the meantime, I have to call all my friends, family and places I'd advertised to tell them "Don't Come".
More than one person commented on the fact that my writing career seemed to have more than the average bumps in the road.
And did I cry? No. Did I want to curl into a ball and pout? No.
My answer is that for all the really crappy lows - and there have been many - I will get some terrific highs. I don't know if that is why I stick around. Maybe I just don't know better? I have a feeling that it's because being a writer is who I am. Telling stories is what I do. And even though I cannot stand roller coasters, I'm trying to enjoy the ride.

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