Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Writing Journal - Final Entry

Yes, sad but true, in a sense summer is over. Oh, I'm sure we'll still have warm (hot) weather and we're still a few weeks away from Labor Day weekend and then a few more away from Autumn, but for me, I go back to work tomorrow and summer as I've known it is indeed over. *sigh*

In a way I'm ready to get back to a routine, but I've accomplished so much writing-wise this summer, I'll be a little sad to lose that momentum.

But I do have a doozy of a way to close out my journal for the summer.

The other day (about a week and a half ago now) when I brought the mail in, I had an interesting envelope. It was addressed to me and also had my own return address label on it. I knew immediately what it was. My return correspondence from Harlequin. I'd sent in a query with a synopsis back in May and had included this self-addressed envelope with the letter. I didn't open it right away. Honestly, I'd gotten a similar envelope before, and it was a rejection. So, I opened the other mail first, and then finally got around to opening the Harlequin missive. Which I then had to re-read twice to make sure I wasn't seeing things: they had read my synopsis and were interested in seeing the full manuscript!!!!!

A few moments of Happy Dancing ensued, and then the work began. I immediately got to work doing a read-through. And then another. Now this book has been finished and edited for a while now, but with something this big on the line, I wanted to make sure all of my i's were dotted and my t's crossed, to say the least. I also enlisted the help of fellow Chicago-North chapter mates to do a read-through. (A big thanks and lots of hugs to Pamala Knight and Jennifer Stevenson for doing an ASAP read and offering suggestions on the mss.) Then I edited some more, revised some more, edited again, rewrote and added scenes, and then did a final read-through. While all of this was going on I wrote a full-synopsis and another cover letter.

Finally, it was time. I printed out the mss (almost 300 pages worth), got my mailing label ready (I'd pick of the envelope at the post office), typed up the self-addressed envelope for return correspondence, signed the cover letter, and headed off to the post office. My goal was to have it in the mail before going back to work on August 13, and I was so excited to be ahead of my dead-line.

I'd like to report that all went off without a hitch and that as we speak the mss is winging it's way to Canada, but, alas, it isn't so. The post office was out of IRC (International Return Coupons) which is the postage I need to provide for my self-addressed envelope. They wouldn't be getting any in for another few weeks. I didn't want to wait that long, so I tried a different post office. They don't sell the IRCs at all anymore. After a third post office didn't have any either, and getting more and more frustrated by the minute...was this a sign this wasn't mean to be?...I remembered I was living in the 21st century and went home and ordered an IRC on line. It should arrive in 3 to 5 business days. Now why didn't I think of that in the first place?

So, the mss is all bundled up, complete with a custom's form, and ready for a trip to the post office as soon as my Priority Mail arrives next week. Once it's in the mail, the waiting will begin. The letter I got said it takes from three to five months for a response, even for requested materials.

In the meantime, I'm still looking forward to finishing up the final stages for An Unexpected Blessing (galleys, cover, etc.) and beginning promotion on that. And I have a WIP I set aside to get "Family Secrets" ready to send to Harlequin. So, I'm sure I'll have plenty to do to keep my mind of off waiting. Plus, like I said, it's back to work for me, so the real world will provide plenty of distraction and keep me from waiting by the mailbox every day.

All in all, I have to say it's been a productive writing summer. It doesn't get any better than that. So, if you'll keep fingers and toes crossed for me, I'll let you know as soon as I hear back from Harlequin.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



Margot Justes said...

Good luck with Harlequin and congratulations on the request for a full.

Morgan Mandel said...

Sounds like you've had a much more productive summer than I've had, Debra. I'm proud of you!

Good luck with Harlequin. I hope you can find some time to continue your progress during the school year.

Morgan Mandel

Debra St. John said...

Thanks for the good luck wishes, ladies. We'll just have to wait and see what happens...and like I said, I have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime!