Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sometimes Even When You Win, You Lose…

Back safely from an incredible trip to Chicago for the Chicago North’s Spring Fling writer’s conference. This was my first time at Spring Fling and I must say that it was a phenomenal regional conference. The headliners, Cherry Adair and Julia Quinn, were both gracious and quite hilarious, the workshops I attended were very well done, and there were a wide array of editors/agents present. In other words, the conference was top notch. It’s put on every two years, so I would recommend planning to go in spring 2012. It is well worth it.

I can’t say enough about the people I got to know. Lydia Dare, Amy De Trempe, Samantha Grace and Erin Kelly, you girls rock! More about them individually to come, as they are historical authors not to be missed, but until then, you can check out their blog at Lady Scribes.

I got the chance to meet three other Golden Heart ® finalists, Rochelle Staab, Cat Schield and Erica O’Rourke and I must say, they are completely lovely and I am honored to be in the same GH class with them.

Erica O'Rourke, Rochelle Staab, Cat Schield and Me.

And I also met authors Sarah M. Anderson , Pamela Cayne and Ann Curtis as well as caught up with friend and awesome Regency author, Cheryl Ann Smith and Nancy J. Parra, Joelle Charbonneau and Jenna Peterson. All in all, a great time!

So now, to address the title of this blog. I am thrilled to have won the Historical Category of the Fire and Ice contest. It’s such an honor and I am grateful that the judges thought well enough of my manuscript to send it to the final round, and that the final round judge found it worthy of winning the category. But one of the things I enter contests for is to get my work in front of a particular editor or agent in hopes that they will request the full manuscript, and in that I lost. I also learned a hard lesson about the business of writing this weekend. During my editor appointment , the editor who judged my entry told me she very much enjoyed Sweet Enemy and that I had a wonderful voice and she’d love to see anything else I have, but that they’d recently published a particular book (by an author I really like, so I couldn’t even make a voodoo doll of her because she’s just too darned nice) with a similar premise to mine and therefore she couldn’t request it. The editor had some other lovely things to say about my writing, and she was very gracious and kind.

My pubbed friends assure me that editors don’t often say the things she did just to be nice and that sometimes it all just comes down to rotten timing. Perhaps so, but I am still disappointed.

Rejection and perseverance are both part of the game, so I am moving forward in the agent hunt in hopes of finding a house that loves Sweet Enemy. And I’m buying a fun gold gilded frame for my Fire and Ice certificate and maybe taking myself out for a nice glass of wine with my winnings!

In other news, I found out that Sweet Enemy is a finalist in the Georgian/Regency/Victorian category of Hearts Through History’s Romancing the Ages contest, with the final judge being an agent I’d really like to have. So I’ll set me sights on that and keep writing.

See you next week!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Off to Chicago for some Fire and Ice...

Busy week this week in the Snow household, with each of us coming and going different directions. My husband just returned from an extended business trip, my son has been away visiting first my parents and then my hubby’s while I finish up rewrites (thank you, awesome family!) and now I am leaving to go to Chicago for four days just when his grandparents will be bringing him home. I’ll miss seeing my son by hours…

But life is exciting, too. I popped in during Lent to tell you all of the Golden Heart® final, but another fabulous thing happened while I was away. Sweet Enemy is also a finalist in Chicago North’s “Fire and Ice” contest . So I and a good friend, historical author Keri Smith, will be going to their Spring Fling Conference and awards dinner this weekend, where Julia Quinn and Cherry Adair are headlining and where I will also be pitching the manuscript to an editor I’d really love to write for. All that, and I get to meet four other Golden Heart finalists who will be in attendance, catch up with my friend and fellow author, Nancy J. Parra, as well as meet many other incredibly awesome and talented writers. If you’re interested, details can be found here.

Chicago Spring Fling

Maybe I’ll have super news to share next Tuesday…and if not, at least I’ll be holding my boy in my arms again by then.

Have an awesome week!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Doing My Part to Promote Literacy

My son is two. Since before he was born, I’ve been reading brainy baby books, trying to figure out how I am going to instill a love of reading and learning in his darling little mind. From the day I brought him home from the hospital, I read and read to him. I made him look at books when his little attention span could be measured in microseconds. I dragged him to the library for Mother Goose storytime when all he wanted to do was run around and yank books off of the shelves yelling “Yah!!!” like a Backyardigan Viking. I strapped him in his high chair and made him turn pages, naming what he saw, for ten minutes at a time. I followed the advice of Moose A. Moose on Noggin who says , “Read with your child for 20 minutes a day and promote a lifetime love of reading.” Yet he couldn't be bothered. I despaired that I was a writer raising the little boy who hated books.

So, much to my delight and joy, the boy has finally turned the corner. Books have become his new favorite past time. We read and read and read all day long, over and over and over again. I can recite the lines of Dr. Suess’s “The Foot Book” and Sandra Boyton’s “Moo, Baa La La La” and “But Not the Hippopotamus,” just to name a couple. Yay, Mom! I should be thrilled…

But have you ever tried to read Dr. Suess twenty times before your child goes to bed, get that rhythm and rhyme into your head and then try to write a sex scene?

He likes to do it on a train
He likes to do it in the rain
He likes to do it in a boat
He likes to do it with a goat?

Oh no, it’s not pretty…


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Houston..we have reacquisition of signal in 5…4…3…2…1

Lent is over, and I am stepping from my self-induced unnecessary internet fast blinking into the sun like a baby owl with horn-rimmed glasses.

The night before Ash Wednesday, I was glued to my iPhone right up until midnight. Remember the movie, Apollo 13? As the clock turned over, I sat my phone face down in the dark and I swear it was being in that scene where they’ve turned off everything they could to conserve power, they’re freezing in the little module, looking at the earth through the window and wondering how they’re going to survive. Then the lights go out. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but man…it was quite surreal.

Forty days later, I realize it wasn’t so bad. Yes, I missed out on a lot of news. Luckily friends let me know when something big was going on. I know I missed wonderful things going on in my blogging friends’ lives and careers. Yet, it went by fast and I feel more at peace, less rushed. I did watch the Oscars this year, (Sandra looked so beautiful! Bad, bad Jesse James), had a lot of fun with my family and even got some writing done.

I wasn’t perfect, by any means. You’d be amazed the things I suddenly classified as “necessary” so I could look them up on the web. And I did break for March 25, or what we in the romance-writing-world call “Rita and Golden Heart Day”. More about that later, but the short version is that I was one of the lucky to get a call that day and now my manuscript has moved onto the final round, to be looked at by 3 acquiring editors!

Due to my Golden Heart ® final, I will be slower to get back around to see everyone on their blogs. I had no expectation that Sweet Enemy would do so well, and therefore had slacked a bit on the rewrites— so I am having to write like a mad woman to get it whipped into shape in case the editors come calling! But I’ll stop in and say hi as I find the time.

Leave me the high notes in the comments section…I’d love to hear what you’ve all been up to!