Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Wet Desert

For the first time it what seems like forever, I crossed the country in--get this--an airplane. I think in the past year I have been doing more traveling by car than in the past ten years combine, so it was nice to be able to sit back and not be responsible to arriving to my destination on time.

I don't think I had ever been to Dallas before, but I didn't see much of it other than out the window and at the airport. Maybe next time I'll be able to meet the Ewings or a rich oil sheik.

And of course it was in the 80's with clear skies when I left Virginia at 8 a.m. only to arrive in Utah during a massive downpour and 60 degree weather. All I packed was short sleeves and flip-flops. Good thing I have a wonderful friend who brought me a jacket when she picked me up from the airport.

This trip is really for my friend's wedding, but I'm also trying to see as many people as possible while I'm out here, and I've been lucky enough to see a lot of friends, including my book buddy, Jaleh. I've been staying with her family for a couple of days, and it's been like one big slumber party. She also has two little kids, so it's been fun to play with them and see how much they've grown in the past year. And of course, we managed to sneak in a book signing.

Syndey Salter has been a great source of encouragement and support for me, so I was excited to be able to show her a little support as well. Her book My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters is a fun read for any teenage girl. I haven't read Linda Gerber's Death by Denim books yet, but she was kind and funny, and I can't wait to see what they're all about. And Jaleh was excited to meet NYT bestselling author Aprilynne Pike and get her copy of Wings signed.

You ladies may not be local authors for me any more, but a huge part of me still resides in Utah. Thanks for letting us hang out with you for awhile!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hooray for failures!

I received my first rejection letter today, and it was actually a good experience. I'm not just saying that because you're supposed to keep your chin up when you're down and all that. It really was a good experience.

I got a very nice email (it was an electronic submission), not a form letter, telling me that she liked my writing, loved elements of the story, went "around and around" with her discussion, but ultimately turned down the manuscript. I emailed her back thanking her for her kind words and asking if she would be willing to receive queries from me on future projects, and within seconds she had emailed me back saying she would be happy to look at other things from me.

Overall, I think I had stilled myself for feeling totally dejected and receiving a form letter telling me thanks but no thanks. I know that selling a historical fiction manuscript will not be easy, and this is probably the first of many "no"s I will receive in the coming years. But if this is what it is like to be rejected, I think I am ready to have it happen some more.

Ask me about it again in five years when I have a pile of 100 rejection letters for three different novels and I will probably feel differently.