Friday, March 13, 2009

Winners #4 & Writing Journey: Part X

First, announcing the next set of FIVE winners from my giveaway:

1) TWO people get the Love Notes CD of romantic music performed by Glenn Hatch. Those two people are LexiconLuvr and SO.

2) The SLC Baby Bandz gift pack goes to Lolli.

3) The Sew Sara bib goes to Krystal.

4) And The Worldwide Ward Cookbook goes to Brooke.

Congratulations, all!

Winners, be sure to send me your mailing address so the sponsors can get your prizes shipped! (annette at annettelyon dot com)

Tomorrow I'll announce the Grand Prize winner of the Colorado Kernels gourmet popcorn gift basket. (Not entered yet? This is your last day. Do it quick on the giveaway post!)

Now, continuing the Writing Journey series:

Part I Part II Part III Part IV
Part V Part VI Part VII Part VIII
Part IX

Unfortunately, in the end, the financial risk was deemed to be still too high to publish girl chapter books like the two I'd submitted about St. George.

Let me say one thing: rejection stings. No matter what.

It's painful, it's icky, and it makes you miserable. You never, ever get used to it, even after you've been published and even when you can intellectually see past the situation and know it's nothing personal.

To make matters even stickier, right around this time I also submitted a YA fantasy I'd written years before, since Covenant had done a few of those (like K.L. Fogg's Serpentide and David Farland's Of Mice and Magic). They didn't take it, either.

I guess the good part is that these rejections didn't crush me like others in the past had. But it was still difficult and, well, not fun.

You'd think that being published (having my fourth book accepted and in the pipeline at that point) would have given me this great self-confidence and ego armor. Hardly.

Also, know that just because you've been published doesn't mean you'll continue to publish. I know lots of authors who have gotten rejected by their own publisher after having more than one book published by them.

There are simply no guarantees in this business.

I was given the green light to submit the girl series elsewhere. I did. Within a few months, I got an answer from the other big LDS publisher. Basically, they said the same thing: we love the idea, great manuscript, but it's not a financial risk we can take.

I knew the books were so specific to Utah that they likely wouldn't work on a national level, even if I took out the religious stuff. I knew this, but I still took out the religion and tried finding an agent for it. Of course, I was told that yup, it's too regional to work nationally.


Getting the rejections on these chapter books was frustrating in a new way, because I wouldn't have ever written those stories if someone else hadn't suggested it first. I felt like I'd totally wasted time, effort, and emotional energy to create something that was for naught.

Then again, it was totally my fault for getting my hopes up and spending all the time on what was a doomed experiment from the start. My daughters were particularly disappointed, because these books were the only things I'd written that were sort of for them. Bummer.

I still have those two "St. George Girl" books, and I might put them up for download on my website some day as e-books if I find some interest in them.

I reluctantly set them aside and moved on to plotting my next temple book: Salt Lake. Once again, I was burning daylight (a common theme with me . . .).

I'd spent the first several months of the year researching and writing those two chapter books, and while I'd also done some work on the Salt Lake book, I hadn't made much progress. And here it was April again.

Would I be able to pull off practically the same timetable as I had with ATJE (get it written, polished, and submitted by the end of the year, and have it not stink)? Yowza.

When I first started the research, I had no idea what story to tell. For starters, as you likely know, the Salt Lake Temple took a whopping forty years to construct. Obviously I couldn't cover all that time.

A tricky issue was that for much of that time, construction was pretty uneventful ("Let's see, this year we laid another row of stones . . .") What would the story be, and where between 1853 and 1893 should it take place? Once again, I had nothing. No characters, no plot. Last time both of those came after I started the research. So I dove in and hoped someone like Maddie would show up.

But this time, I was antsy on a different count. For years, I'd wanted to write a modern-day adaptation of my favorite Shakespeare play. I'd even written notes about certain scenes and how I'd make them work in a contemporary setting. I'd envisioned entire scenes with characters and dialogue . . .

Now? Well, I had willingly stepped into a historical box and had promised to stay in it for a while at least.

Man . . . too bad I couldn't write that Shakespeare book. It would have been a ball.

Today's tour stop: Overstuffed.


Kristina P. said...

It seems like you would definitely develop a thicker skin with the rejection, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt!!

Randi said...

Yikes. I think I'm much too thin skinned to be a writer.

Heatherlyn said...

The shakespear adaptation sounds very interesting.

Your account of your publishing issues is really interesting too.

Rebecca Blevins said...

Sometime I'd like to read a post on how you handle and get past the rejection. I'm still not even close to the point to submit a manuscript, but I know I would have a really hard time with that.

I would enjoy reading your chapter books!

Lara Neves said...

It really is too bad that good books never get published because they would be difficult to market.

As always, loved reading more of your journey.

Laura said...

Life is so like that. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, or made... bam. Ouch. Rejection stinks. Then you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and eat a lot of chocolate. Then, you go back to the keyboard and make another miracle. Yeah, you can do it. You already have.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

That "Shakespeare Book" was the first of yours I ever read, coincidentally! I read it again just a few months ago, I loved it that much.

Just SO said...

I'm so excited!!!! YAY! I won the cd and it has my most favorite piece of music on it from my most favorite movie Somewhere in Time! *jumping up and down, clapping hands and squealing like a little girl* YAY!!

I am not good at rejection so I'm glad I won!! ;)

Anonymous said...

Congrats to more winners! It's like Christmas everyday over here!

Heidi said...

I HATE wasting time! I would have been just sick about those chapter books!

An Ordinary Mom said...

That Shakespeare book was fantastic! I loved your version of it!

One of these days you should put those chapter books up on a site. How fun to be able to read them.

Josi said...

I haven't won yet, what's up with that? :-)

amelia said...

It's interesting to read your writing process. And congrats on your book release!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's too bad about that re-telling of Much Ado...I mean, wait! Spires of Stone kind of reminds me of that. I wonder why... =P

WOW!!! I WON SOMETHING? REALLY? Nah, you totally just love me and rigged the contest. It's okay to admit it. I'm sure everyone here knows that there are just some people who come into our lives that we can't resist showering affection on.

I'm totally kidding. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! That's so awesome!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather of the EO said...


I HAVE NOT been meaning to reject all this fun giveaway stuff. I've been much too busy and therefore VERY scattered about blog reading. I currently have over 200 posts in my reader. I sure wish there was more time. Someone else certainly deserves to win over me :) So I'll just do my best to catch up and watch all the hoopla from the sidelines.

I'm still here! I'm just SLOOOOW :)

Heather of the EO said...

Wait. You're the expert and I'm too tired to think...

Is it: I wish there was more time.

Or, I wish there were more time.

I think maybe I got it wrong. Dangit. I need to go to bed :)

Jen said...

I think that no matter what, when you put your heart and soul into something, it's gotta sting, no matter how big or small of a fish you are in the book business. You spend a lot of hard hours creating a story. I'm glad you are still considering publishing it elsewhere--like online! I can't wait to read your book I won from Shauna at Trying 2 Stay Calm! Woot!

hi, it's me! melissa c said...

I do not look forward to those moments of rejection which every writer faces. I'm still in the safe zone of writing.

I am bringing a couple manuscrips with me to the conference but who know what will happen with them? What is no one wants these babies of mine? I've worked hard and taken so much time. I hope I get a break.

Anyway, I love your blog. I love how open, honest and real you are. I can't wait to meet you in person. Keep your chin up. I bet that one of these days, your chapter books will be picked up. Never give up hope. Just wait. The time will come.


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