Wednesday, 22 October 2008

My Big Fat News

Which should have been titled - Why my Head has been Spinning lately.

A while back Bassman posted about an offer a publishing company had on the go. They were offering publishing deals to new writers - a chance to get your foot in the door, so to speak. They wanted completed manuscripts to be sent in to them before Oct 31.

I looked at it their offer and thought about a manuscript I've had gathering dust for almost two decades. To be honest the "gathering dust" isn't literal anymore. I threw out the paper version ( printed on a dot matrix printer - doesn't that take you back? lol ) a few years ago in one of our house moves.

Like I said... I thought about it, but the thought was just too scary. The biggy scary questions in my head included: "What if it's a rubbish story?", "What if it bombs and proves that I'm a useless writer?", "What if no-one buys the book?"... plus a thousand other permutations on those lines, all negative!

I scared myself so much I felt quite ill - so I left the whole idea, but then about three weeks back I was somewhere on the internet (My brain's fried - I was reading something, but can't remember if it was here, a forum, an email or... ) and I had a lightbulb moment. I thought a new question - I thought "Why can't I just have more fun in my life?" and that led to Sol, my guide, pointing out that the easiest way to have more fun was to...


So thay's what I did - I decided to not take it so seriously - I popped off an email giving them my book title, word count, synopsis etc. A day later (two Saturdays back) they replied and said "Sure, here's the contract - send us your book."

I was excitement, followed by mad bouncing and yelling, followed by celebrating, but ultimately leading to extreme panic and slight nausea as the reality sunk in.

I realised I had to send in a manuscript that I hadn't looked at in about seven years. And back seven years ago I'd only had it out to do some editing as that was when I'd transferred it from a DOS file to a Word document. When I'd done that the punctuation had turned into Russian. Although I thought I'd cleaned it all up once I took a closer look (two Saturdays back) I realised a lot of my punctuation had completely vanished!

I didn't want to leave it till the end of the month (in case they changed their minds or it turned out to be a dream lol ), so for the past twelve or so days I have been working flat out checking grammar, spelling, punctuation etc. In doing so I've also rewritten portions - my writing style has changed since I wrote this in December 1992!

It's been hard at times to hold onto the "lighten up and don't take this seriously" command, but every time I did get anxious I'd freeze up and every time I start just doing it for fun the words flow again. I even felt relaxed enough to take the weekend off to design a cover. They said they would provide one, but were happy if authors provided their own. I checked some of their published book covers online and didn't like them much, so figured I'd try to do my own. Once again - the moment I tried too hard it was a disaster - the moment I relaxed it flowed.

Yesterday the manuscript and book cover were posted off (at the unintentional, but rather fun time of 12:34 pm). I've had my receipt saying thank you and if everything goes to plan my book will be out for Christmas (online sales).

I still feel fairly dazed. I am having moments of terror/doubt, but I am trying to squash every time they rise up - a bit like a mental version of that arcade game where you whack the mole/gopher with a hammer. *grin*

Now is the hardest part, I suspect - waiting. I will be back to tell more once I know more.


74WIXYgrad said...

Looks as though you were writing from your passions. I think, rather I know, you will do very well.

Premalatha said...

Hey, Congrats. I am so happy. It feels like I am the one who got the deal. wow. what a great news. :-)

Unknown said...

Ah, the sweet breath of editing! I just love going over the things I've produced and trying to find the best way to represent the ideas at work. Often I sit at my computer and look over the poems and papers I've written just to see if I could make a more effective use of the English language.
Good luck with your manuscript.

PV said...

Well good luck, and congrats, whatever the outcome. Just to have tried is something to celebrate!

Blur Ting said...

Wow, that's big fat news indeed! I'm so happy for you Michelle. We've always enjoyed your writing. Now more people can enjoy it!

Michelle said...

Cliff and prema

Thank you my friends. :-)

Somehow I'm not surprised to hear that you enjoy editing. Your writing reminds me of an artist working with... clay I think. Something from the earth, rich, alive and shaped by your own hands - so to speak.

Very true - the biggest success is TRYING. ;-)

Thank you! :-)

Jean-Jacques said...

That's fantastic Michelle! Let us know when it goes on-line (and where to order from ;-))

Michelle said...

Hi J-J

I'll let everyone know as soon as I know. ;-))

Amel said...

WOW!!!! I missed this post as I was away...glad I managed to read it now!

CONGRATSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! And I'll be waiting for the update on the sale of this book he he...

Michelle said...

Thanks Amel! :-) I'll definitely let everyone know as soon as I hear any news. ;-)