Happy new year everyone! I’m trying to enjoy myself the best way I know how. My new project is going very well. I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up starting the second chapter very soon. I’m still working on Bandit but I’m starting to have second thoughts about turning it into a YA novel. I might turn it into a paranormal romance and sent it off that way since I’m falling in love with my story. For the longest time, I’ve always loved romance. Even when I was doing my YA novel ‘Bandit’, A little voice inside my head told me to change it into a paranormal romance but I ignored it until now. Who knows? Maybe romance is the path I was destined to choose in these tough economic times. I’ve been reading romance novels ever since I was a little kid and always dreamed of writing one but thought I could never do it.
Well, this time is going to be different.
Maybe it’s time that I stop fighting this voice in my head and being so afraid to take a risk. The book that I’m working on is actually a rewrite of a manuscript I sent out back in September 2007 to Silhouette Desire called ‘An Unlikely Reunion’ When I first sent it out, they gave me a form letter stating something like this.
Thank you for the opportunity to review your current project. Unfortunately, your story does not suit our current needs.
We apologize for using a form letter, but we handle a heavy volume of submissions and, due to time constraints, are not able to respond to each one personally. Please rest assured that everything that crosses our desks gets full consideration .
I wish you the very best luck placing your book elsewhere. And should you feel you have a manuscript suitable for Silhouette Books in the future, I strongly hope you’ll feel free to query me again.
Thank you for thinking of Silhouette
Assistant Editor P.S. That really wasn’t her signature, I just used it to explain what the letter looked like.
To this day, I still kept this letter because of how inspirational it was to me. Sure, it was just a form letter but at that time, I had also got another rejection letter from a teacher in that same year that kind of dampened my spirits. Years later, I entered into a contest for the Harlequin Medical line and kept the rejection letter from them as well. It was called ’A nurse’s Plea’ and I sent it in back in August of 2010.
Here is another form letter they sent.
Dear Ms. Gibson,
Thank you for submitting A Nurse’s Plea for our consideration
While we appreciate the care and attention that has gone into the preparation of your submission, regrettably we feel that your story and characters are not sufficiently developed for publication in any of our publishing programmes.
Here are our top tips to bear in mind for your next submission:
1. Ensure that your story and conflict are Character-Driven.
2. Focus on the internal emotional conflict of your characters
3. Use secondary characters to add richness and depth to your central romance but don’t let them take over!
4. Target your work to a particular series - this means you need to read current books in the series you are aiming for and understand what that series delivers to the reader.
We are pleased to have had the opportunity to see your work, and thank you for thinking of Harlequin Mills & Boon.
I’ve kept them both because these letters gave me inspiration to keep writing in whatever genre I was writing in. Now that I’m rewriting this book, I think that after years of writing some books that really didn’t satisfy me that way that I wanted them to, I think I’ve finally found what I want to do when it comes to my writing career: I want to write romance novels. So for my new year resolution, I’m going to stop being afraid of what I want and go for it.
P.S. The next journal entry will probably be on why I think they rejected me. Stay tuned.