Thursday, May 13, 2010

Slushing Through : Play it again, Sam!

Yes, The Pink Heart Society editor Jenna Bayley-Burke knows how Casablanca is constantly misquoted. She just, well, likes it.

We've been doing well, my Slushing Through-ers. We've written our story, taken workshops to make it the best it can be, contested it, queried it, submitted it and now...well, now what?

While your manuscript sits in the waist-high slush pile of your favorite editor or agent, you have two choices -- wait or write. And since the waiting is liable to drive you insane, writing another story is the best option of the two. It can serve as a distraction, a creative outlet, and the opportunity to turn that single book contract into a double (or triple).

What should you write next? Whatever you want. No, I'm not kidding. There are people who will tell you to write something similar so you can brand yourself and blah blah blah... But the best stories are those written with passion and excitement, not the shoulda's and maybe's.

If you like the story you've written and you have an idea blazing for something in a similar vein, go for it! But if you want to cast a wider net, write that. There are some people who each story with a signature style, like The Pink Heart Society's own Donna Alward who has a gift for writing sexy cowboys without actually writing the sex (I'm left in wonderment every time she pulls it off). And then there are people like SuperRomance's Tracy Wolff who has also penned stories for Spice, or Julie Miller who writes for both Intrigue and Blaze, Joanne Rock who writes for both Blaze and Historicals (and beautifully married the two when Blaze opted to try weaving historical romance into the line, and Historicals began releasing shorter, sexier stories as Historical Undone).

The best way to sell a book is to have another coming out. So, think positively. The editor and the agent are going to love your story. They're going to want to see more of what you can do. So...get to writing! It's the best way to get your mind off of trying to figure out if your manuscript is collecting dust bunnies at the bottom of the stack, or coffee rings at the top.

Jenna has a new ebook out. Pride & Passion comes complete with a hero used to getting what he wants, a heroine determined not to give in to him, some indecent proposals, a fair amount of pride, and enough passion to burn up everyone’s control.To find out what Jenna is up to ...check out her website & blog.


  1. Great post Jenna! And fantastic advice, too. Some that I heartily agree with, as WILD FLING OR A WEDDING RING was the project I worked on while my editor evaluated the book she would eventually reject, lol. Nothing takes the sting out of hearing they don't want your story, like being able to say YES when they ask if you have anything else they can look at. :-)

  2. I mailed a proposal to Canada on April 19. A couple days later I wrote the synopsis for my next story. Earlier this week I started writing it. So maybe, hopefully, by the time I hear back this one will be near completion. Last time it took only two months to hear back so I want to be prepared this time around!

  3. Hi,

    Absolutely the best advice I've seen in a long while, more especially for aspiring writers!

    After a serious riding accident and long break from writing I'm just getting back into my stride. Just kicked off a contemporary and a historical, and now cracking on with another contemporary to be closely followed by yet another historical. The more in the pipeline the better as far as I'm concerned.