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!


  1. Congrats & sympathy both. It sounds like a fun, productive conference. You'll have something else to send that editor soon enough, too.

  2. Thanks, Laura :) It truly was a productive conference, and very encouraging as well. Just gotta keep moving forward and honing my craft and the right story will hit at the right time.

    Many of the authors I'm most inspired by wrote many many books before the right one hit. I'm very grateful to have such supportive writers around me that keep me on the 'write' track ;)

  3. Good and bad (timing)...so goes the publishing game. But you're a terrific writer so things will happen!
    Glad you saw Nancy...I miss not having her at MARA!
    Good luck with all the wonderful chances coming up for you!

  4. Cherry is my favorite. Did she tell you to FINISH THE DAMNED BOOK?

    Like you really needed to hear that. Congratulations and Good luck!

  5. WOW, Heather. You are doing awesome in all these contests! And it sounds like you have a great IN somewhere, even if they couldn't accept your story right then. I just read another blog that said it was all about timing.

  6. I think it's still a win-win, Heather. That editor now knows you and your work. That may not mean a sale today, but who knows where that connection could lead down the road.
    Congratulations on the new final!

  7. Heather--it was so great to meet you, too! I adored every word from Cherry and Julia and everybody else and thought that conference was just awesome!

    I was so happy you won and know that fabulous things are just waiting in the wings for you. I really look forward to congratulating you for those wonderful, successful things when I see you in Nashville!

  8. Heather, that sounds like the very best kind of disappointment, knowing you're so very, very close!

    And I love your book trailer! :)

  9. Heather, those were wonderful words from an editor. You have made a great contact in the publishing world.

  10. Woman, don't get down. Think of it this way, she remembered you! She remembered you and had things to say about your book even though it wasn't in front of her right then. Consider how many manscripts she sees in a day, let alone a week. How long ago did she submit the scores? And she still remembered YOU!!!

    I'd say there is no loss there because when you go to your second book...she will probably STILL remember YOU!!!

  11. April - Nice to see you, as always. Nancy is well and says hi to all!

    Gretchen - Yes, she did, loudly and many times!

    Linda - Thanks for stopping by. Your timing, of course, is always impeccable! Good to see you.

    Jane - Great to see you! Yes, you're right. Regardless of immediate outcome, it is very encouraging. Thanks for the congrats.

    Pamela - Same to you. Nashville, here we come :)

    Gillian - Thanks! The trailer was fun to play around with. I'll probably change it up when the book sells, but for now it's good.

    Sandy - Thanks for the encouragement

    Jackie - You rock, girl! I love your attitude and your words made me feel much better :)

  12. Hi Heather, congrats, congrats on your win!! It was so great to see you in person. I wish I had had more time with you. I owe you a drink~ hopefully won't have to wait until 2012. lol

    I foresee a GH win in your future! Keep trucking. (My first published book was #15. I'm certain you won't have to wait so long.) Cheers~

  13. Hi Heather!

    It was so wonderful to meet you at the Spring Fling. I just emailed you the picture I took right after your big win.

    Rotten timing, indeed, with the editor, but you have such amazing things in your future, I would just look at it as a detour in your journey toward your ultimate goals.

    I saw the RTTA finalists...looks like you are a finalist in yet another contest. Good on ya, girl! Good luck with that, and I am looking forward to hanging out with you again at nationals.


  14. Congrats, Heather, on your win! I loved reading about you seeing other GH finalists. That is so cool for you.

    You've received good advice from all the others - and, yeah, the editor asked to see something else, which is a big thing!!! Years back, an editor said she'd just accepted a manuscript similar to my education manuscript and couldn't accept it. Two submissions later, I sold it to a publisher who did a great job with it. I received a royalty check a month ago and the book was published twelve years ago!

    Here's to more great news for you! You're on your way!