Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's Just an Honor to be Nominated...Yeah, Riiiight!

Naughty Author Chick of the Week, huh?

I mean, no...that wasn't necessary...really...I can't

Forget that! Yay me!! Gimmee that title! LOL!

Last week I received a contract offer on my new manuscript, and after going, Oh my God! Oh my God! for a couple of hours I finally calmed down to, I can't believe it! I can't believe it! So four days later I'm finally a believer but still so excited. Let me tell you why...

When I turned this manuscript in about three months ago it was a masterpiece! A piece de resis..uh, a peace de reasist...shoot, it was perfect! It contained all the elements of a best selling novel. Suspense. Romance. Twisted killer. Shocking ending. Hot sex. What more could anyone want in a book right? Right.


Revise and resubmit. R & R. And I don't mean in a relaxation-sunshine-and-sands kind of way. More like an I'm-a-flaming-failure-and-my-editor-doesn't-like-my-flash-in-the-pan-a** way. Okay, yes. I had a moment. And it didn't help that she had a laundry list of what I needed to revise if I chose to resubmit the book. I felt like someone gagged me with a spoon and a rusty butter knife. Alright, so I'm a drama queen but at that moment I wanted to just curl up and cry! All that rolled through my head like a stinking subliminal message was she didn't like it! I poured my heart and soul into that manuscript and she didn't like it. I called myself everything from a one-hit wonder to a no talent has-been...after one book! See, I had sold my first book right away and I expected the second--since it was much better, in my humble opinion--to do the same. And I was devastated that when she rejected the story, she rejected me.

My next step? (After the junk food binge that is...)

I pulled on my big girl panties, took the reality slap like a champ and started revising. I recognized that I could decide to take my ball and go home like a spoiled brat or I could dig in and become a true author. First I had to realize and accept that she did not reject me or my story. My editor actually listed several things she liked and helped me out by itemizing what didn't work. Going in I knew what I needed to rework, shore up and get rid of. Most importantly, though, none of her suggestions took away from the heart of the story. I sheared down over half the word count, eliminated a few characters and kinked up my hero. By the time I hit send to my editor I had an even better book. It was cleaner, faster-paced, sexier and solid. My "masterpiece" had evolved into a kick a** novel!

When I received that offer it was more than a contract. It was a raised fist! A whoo-hoo! A you-go-girl!! Because I became a true author with this book. I grew up. And me and my big girl drawers are feeling just fine!


Michelle Polaris said...

You hit on one key of a writer's journey, Naima. Perserverence and diving into a story to realize that if we step back, we can discover with quite a surprise (joyous after the tears are over maybe) that we can grow it to be even stronger. I'm so happy you kept with it, babe. Way to go!

Wynter Daniels said...

Yeah! Congratulations on nailing it! I had a similar experience a few years ago and like you, I had to woman up and realize an R&R letter was leaps and bounds above a rejection because it wasn't a no. It was a "this is so good that I took the time to show you how to make it better."

Savannah Stuart said...

Yay!! We've all been there, girl! I'm glad you took the time to R&R b/c I've been (impatiently) waiting for your next release. Can't wait to hear what this story is about :)

Dita Parker said...

Major congrats on the contract, Naima!!

Keep dancing, keep writing, and keep pushing through.

Jina Bacarr said...

Congrats, Naima! You wrote:
"Most importantly, though, none of her suggestions took away from the heart of the story."

Yes! Your editor recognized the heartfelt emotion and passion you brought to the story--that is something only you can bring to the table.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Michelle!
Thank you!! After the tears--I might have shed a few...rivers...LOL!--I was joyous with the how the story ended up. My father told me this is where you show what kind of writer you're going to be. And I have to admit that by stepping back, analyzing my ms and my editor's suggestions, the book is stronger. I hit "send" going, yeah, this is the one! LOL!
Thanks again, Michelle!

Naima Simone said...

Wow, Wynter!
I'm so going to type that quote up and post it over my desk! I love that! Since I'm in the mood for admitting? I was a little ashamed and embarrassed to admit to people that I received an R&R. Like I was a failure and the only author to ever receive one! Then when I came clean with my friend, another EC author, she made me feel so awesome by reassuring me that we all receive them, including her. That you just get 'em done and send the ms back in. I say all that because I forgot for a moment that writers are a community where if anybody understands what you're feeling, experiencing and going through, it's them. So thank you, Wynter!!

Naima Simone said...

Aaw, Savannah, you make me blush and feel so awesome at the same time! Thank you!! And I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out. I sooo loved writing the hero and heroine...especially since I pictured Brandon Lee when I wrote it! Hee-hee! I'll post a blurb and pictures of my inspiration on my next blog!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Dita!!
Thank you for the congrats and I intend to do all three! Especially if there's some 80's music on...LOL!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Jina!
And I have to admit that's what I really value and appreciate about my editor! She can be blunt, never unkind and has a sense of humor. And though she'll change, add or rearrange things she never tries to change the heart of the story. Because she seems like she has the same investment in my book as I do, I trust her to guide me in producing the best romance--with tons of hot sex--I can!

Cara McKenna said...

Ah, I needed that, Naima. I'm mired in revisions now (just as soon as this coffee's finished) and it's nice to be reminded this isn't just my own personal hell. There's room for us all! Though hopefully not all at once.

Naima Simone said...

Ah, Cara, I feel you! I'm sending you all kind of encouragement and "dig in there, girlfriend" vibes! Just keep focused on the contract that waits you on the other side of those revisions. Knowing the writer you are, that contract is guaranteed!

Dalton Diaz said...

I'll admit to being there, too. Not only that, it took me 2 R&R's for one book to finally figure out what was wrong. The hero can't do something so bad that it's irrideemable. Oops. That's not a lesson you want pointed out twice.