In my perfect dream world, my HMB editor would be like Alice from the Brady Bunch. There to greet me in the morning with a nice hot cup of coffee and a ready ear for whatever brilliant shower revelations were made during the lather, rinse, and repeat cycle. She’d clean my kitchen to a high polish shine while detailing what exactly worked with my ideas and what didn’t (note, the touch of realism here with my acknowledgement that not every idea is going to be perfect).
I’d drift into my office with a fresh plan in mind while she prepared sack lunches for the kids, organized a shopping list, and planned the dinners for the week. And when I burst back out of my office seven minutes later with some newly applicable question…she’d be waiting. So enthused by the potential of this building story, nothing would come before it.
Obviously, I’ve been into the Rubber Cement again, because anyone who’s ever even heard word one about the publishing industry knows that the most far-fetched element of this fantasy is not that my fab editor would have left her family and home in the UK to scrub grout in my Minnesota kitchen. But that she would be waiting for me.
Sadly, that just isn’t how it works. As much as I would love to be the center of my editor’s universe, I’m but one of many, many, MANY orbiting the sun that is her HMB editorial existence. Sure, there’s a schedule and I’m a part of it. So in that sense, there’s an expectation that I’ll deliver to her in a timeframe we’ve discussed. Of course things happen that occasionally screw with that timeframe… like the need for a revision that borders on a rewrite…and then editorial shuffles to accommodate. But in terms of her undivided attention as it relates to my manuscript…I wait for her.
And while she does her best to get back to me in a timely fashion, there are times when I just plain have to wait a LONG time…like while I was waiting to see if the first half of the revision worked or whether I needed to start again.
Everyone who has ever submitted anything (to an agent, editor, or even critique partner) knows that the waiting sucks. There’s just no two ways about it. You hit send and immediately the mind starts whirling into every crazy scenario it can conjure. Like the one about your editor drumming her fingers next to the keyboard, just waiting for those first ten chapters to arrive so she can finally get that next taste of your work. Or after a few weeks...the one where you start to wonder if maybe she’s not calling because she hasn’t figured out how to break the bad news to you.
Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to save the creative energy for the writing. My editor is not going to read my manuscript the day I send it (unless something in her schedule demands it). And the only reason I don’t hear back from her, is because she hasn’t had a chance to get to my stuff yet. But when she does have time…I need to be ready. So even though I’m desperate for the feedback on what I’ve just sent…the only productive thing I can do, is keep moving forward under the assumption that what I sent is going to work.
So for the last little while, that’s how it went for me. There was much waiting. And much trudging on even as doubt nibbled at my nerves. And then one day, my editor emailed that she’d read the chapters. Loved the changes I’d made. Wanted to get me into the next month’s schedule and asked if I could have the rest of the book to her in a week.
Lol, wait over!
A few fourteen hour days later, the book went in and two days after that I got email that it was sold. Yay! So word is, THE S BEFORE EX will be out in the UK in July 2011 (US title and release TBA)
Mira's second book, TABLOID AFFAIR, SECRETLY PREGNANT! as ebook from the Mills & Boon site now. (US release as FRONT PAGE AFFAIR in Jan 2011)
Come back next month to follow Mira through her first year of publication with FIRST THINGS FIRST.