Status Report

Published January 10, 2010 by Christa Maurice

About a month ago, I was here (within a few centimeters in fact, which is odd because I’m house sitting) and I decided I needed to set some goals. School had ended for the semester and I knew I had a month that could either slip through my fingers or be used wisely. There were a few manuscripts (4) on my harddrive that were thisclose to being ready for submission. (I know, if you’re just struggling through your first manuscript, you hate me right now.) I knew where I wanted to send them, I just hadn’t done the final edit and submitting. With that in mind I set ot work.

Believe it or not, I exceeded my 4 manuscripts submitted goal.

I straightened up the speadsheet that I use to keep track of what I have at what stage of finished and made notes about where I was headed. Then I started on the first one.

Satellite Of Love needed a fine tooth comb and a synopsis before I could send it in to Freya’s Bower. Then when I read the submission guidelines I found out that the synopsis could only be 1 to 2 pages long. Gah! So I pared my 75K novel down to 4 pages and then to 1.

Looking at Satellite, I realized that the 3rd Rock Star book, Let Me Be The One, really needed to be critiqued. I was ambitious with that one. Three POVs and 2 timelines running concurrently. There’s 1 or 2 places that I think I’m missing a scene, but I really need other eyes. So I prepped that one for my crit group, cleaning it up and putting in chapters.

Thinking of my crit group led me to Welsh Rogue, my historical. I had my group critique it over a year ago and never did anything with it. Going though it made me rip out my hair because it’s  couple years old and I’ve come a long way, baby. I still like it and still want to see it succeed, but I think another tuning is in order. I put together a synopsis anyway and set it off to an agent. It’s already been rejected, but the original plan was to submit it to a publisher anyway. They’re going to take 3-6 months to get back to me and in that time, I’ll have been through Welsh Rogue at least one more time.

Destined Flight, a sci fi romance, is another one that I had critted last year and just left on my hard drive, waiting. It also didn’t have a title until last week. Edited it, forced a title out of myself, wrote a synopsis and sent it a query to an agent last night. (The same one who rejected Welsh Rogue as a matter of fact.)

In the middle of this somewhere, I got the news that a story I submitted months ago to Wild Rose Press, and got a revise and resubmit on weeks ago, should be getting a contract soon. This is why we have to keep the ocean full of bottles. You never know how long it’s going to take one to wash up in the right place.

The last title on my list was Master Gardner. I wanted to send that to Liquid Silver, but I didn’t know how to submit to them. I emailed my editor hoping they didn’t want a synopsis because I’d just written 3 of them. She said I could submit the full manuscript because I’d already been published by them. Whew. Then I went through that manuscript tearing out my hair (though I do have hair left.) I wrote it 2 or 3 years ago, edited it to the very best of my ability last year for submission (which earned me another rejection) but since then, I’ve edited 3 books with 3 different editors. All this stuff I thought was perfect before? Not perfect. Not at all. No wonder it was rejected. I cleaned it up to the best of my current ability and sent it off.

Having accomplished everything I set out to do, I needed to update my spreadsheet. Not sure how it happened, but I was looking at the speardsheet thinking, “gee I wish I had something to sent to Carina Press” when it jumped out at me. I have a pair of novellas I wrote a year and a half ago and had just edited a few months ago. They are set in a small town and happen concurrently so some scenes repeat from different perspectives in both stories. I had thought about sending it to Lyrical, but I have a series going with them and I’m not done with book 3. I also thought about sending it to Wild Rose, but I’m in the middle of the submission process with them already. Carina Press is the epub arm of Harlequin. I couldn’t not try. So I put together a submission and sent it out. If they take this one it’ll probably be a twofer.

So in setting out to submit 4 titles, I submitted 3 (maybe 4) to publishers, 2 to an agent (1 rejected, 1 just sent last night) and I have 1 of those nearly ready to go to a publisher. Pretty darn good for a one month break from school.

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