Thursday, October 14, 2010

All At Once


So, on Monday, I received a phone call from a lovely lady named Paula Gill, who was with the Rose City Romance Writers (up yonder in Portland). In a delightful conversation, Paula informed me that my book Indian Princess had been named a finalist in the series category in their writing contest, the Golden Rose.

I have to tell you, it's been months, if not longer, since the last bit of Authorial Good News. But suddenly, I'm a finalist with a decent shot of not only winning a one-of-a-kind handcrafted rose pendant for being first in my category, but also winning a real gilded rose if I'm the top scorer. Top it off--an editor for Harlequin will read my entry.

Needless to say (but I shall say it anyway), I was thrilled. Hyper thrilled. Dancing around the house with The Kid thrilled. After a long, demoralizing drought of nothing happening--the kind of drought that makes a girl question what she's doing and why she's doing it and if maybe she wouldn't be better off doing something else--I suddenly felt Authorial again. I am a real author, and I write real books. People--three judges, to be specific--said so. One judge, God bless the woman, gave me a 149 out of 150 and her comment was that the book was "ready for the bookshelf!" I love that woman, whoever judge #16 was. LOVE HER.

So that was exciting. I felt better about the world and my Authorial place in it. Then, unexpectedly on Tuesday, I got an email from Laurie McLean of Larsen/Pomada. She'd gotten Indian Princess in front of an editor--and miracles of miracles, this editor loved it. She totally got my story.

After a year and a half of searching and sending and hoping and praying, an editor gets it. I had to call the neighbors and apologize for all the screaming coming out of the house.

Nothing is set in stone right now--nothing. The editor wants me to make a few changes--nothing so major as killing a character or moving the sex scene to page two or anything--but she wants to see how I handle the revisions, both personally and in terms of writing. Then, if she likes what she sees, she'll present my book to a senior editor with the intent of selling it--and maybe more. Laurie is handling this negotiation, obviously.

So, right now, I'm revising (and I mean that in a literal, time-based sense). This offer could fall through; it could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Part of what happens next depends on me and my ability to revise and handle myself in a professional manner (which means, basically, that I have to stop jumping around and yelling at the top of my lungs long enough to do some rewriting). Part of it is out of my control--the senior editor could pass. (But I hope she doesn't.)

It was, hands down, one of the more insane, eventful, action-packed 18 hours of my life.

Now, I know--this is Thursday, where I normally blog about the Mom part of the Authorial Mom, so to tide you all over until my head comes down out of the clouds, I am including a photo of Pooh Bear, wearing his Halloween costume--he's dressed as 'Alvin the Munk'--while he plays battleship with The Kid:

There. That's better!


lucylucia said...

Wooo hooo!!! This is so EXCITING!!!! I can't wait to buy your books the Borders near my house!!!

Pamela Cayne said...

Ditto on the Wooo hoo!!!!! Your crazy journey makes me think of one of my favorite quotes---Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.

And wings you have--congrats!!!!

Andrea Dickinson said...

Congrats, Sarah!!! You've worked hard and deserve good things.

Good luck on the revisions!

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Thanks so much, Ladies! I'm beating my head against revisions right now...

Kaki said...

Excellent, Sarah! Be sure to tell your agent (and editor if you have one-on-one contact) that this ms just finaled in the writing contest and it's now being judged by an editor at Harlequin. It might light a fire--it will definitely tell them your stuff is being well received--and will also tell them they can put "Award Winning Author" on your book cover. You sound like you're on your way! I'm so happy for you!

Blythe Gifford said...

Have a wonderful celebration. Just as soon as you finish those revisions....
Seriously, super news. SO thrilled for you! Enjoy the moment.

Heather Snow said...

Woohoo! Now go write Judge #16 (and the other two) thank you notes so you don't have to live with the guilt of meeting them at a conference like, oh, I don't know...Spring Fling, and realize that you didn't send a darned thank you card!!! ;)

Seriously, congrats my friend. Revise away! You will handle yourself very well!

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Okay, the revisions are to the beta readers! But I think I'm too pooped to party!

Heather--thank you for the reminder--and you're too funny!

Barbara Marshak said...

Congratulations, Sarah! This is the moment we all dream of as writers--enjoy every happy scream-filled second of it!! I'm sure you will handle the revisions wonderfully...and more screams will come from your living room. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello fellow writers. I am the Golden Rose Coordinator for the Series Category. I know who judge #16 is...

Actually, I know all three judges who had the extreme pleasure of reading Indian Princess, and I heard them discuss what a fabulous entry it was, and how they want to see it on the book shelf so they can read the whole story.

As the coordinator, I know the talent and years of experience behind those judges opinions.

Because the Golden Rose holds a strict policy of anonymity for the judges, you really don't know who thought your entry was fabulous. But I will share that the three that judged Indian Princess are awesome writers, great storytellers, and veterans in the world of romance fiction.

This contest is about more than the rose we present every year, or the new writers discovered. It's about celebrating the awesome stories and amazing writers.

Dance and celebrate.

Sarah M. Anderson said...

Terri--thank you so much for passing on my appreciation to the judges! I'm very excited by the whole thing. I've judged entries for the Fire and Ice contest, and I know how exciting it is to find a story you can't wait to see on a shelf soon (Yes, Heather--that's YOU!).

Thanks so much!