Saturday, February 25, 2012

Where I've Been

A while ago I posted about a semi-blogging hiatus and mentioned writerly things afoot.  I also said that when I returned I hoped to have news.  Well, I don't really have the news I wanted to have (yet!) but I have some things I'd like to share.  Wanna hear?

Okay, so here's where I've been.  Some of it's been writerly, some has not.  But all of it has kept me very busy:

  1. My MBA class was a bit more demanding than I would like.  I have one more week though (and just one more paper!) before I am done with it and have my MBA with a marketing emphasis. W00T!!! It's been a long time coming, I'm telling you.
  2. Lent began last Wednesday.  I work in a Catholic Church (one of my many jobs) and Easter is the busiest time of year - worse than Christmas.  Lent is the time that musicians prepare for Easter.  There's only a handful of days in the next 40 days, in fact, that I am not at some type of music rehearsal. As the music director of eight choirs for Easter, I had to be totally prepared for Lent.  Organizing music, ordering it, making sure I had the right binders for everyone, etc. really took a chunk of time this year.  But now rehearsals have started and I am getting into the routine of it all. I only mention these first two things because they impact how difficult it was to deal with the next items:
  3. Now here's what you want to know: On February 1st, I received a request to revise from a MAJOR AGENT.  I mean, like, DREAM AGENT.  I was floored.  And the revision notes totally resonated with me.  I immediately embraced them and saw how much better my story would be with those changes.  I started working on them right away. But then...
  4. The very next day, I got an offer from a small press for a 3 book deal.  I was floored.  I hadn't even submitted to them originally.  They requested my manuscript via an online contest I had entered.  And then, really??  A 3 book deal???  WOWSERS!!!  
All of this put me in a crazy position.  I still had four fulls out with agents and I really connected with MAJOR AGENT's notes.  By the time I got the 3 book deal, I no longer liked my book as it was.  But here I was stuck between a sure thing and a not-so-sure but potentially better thing.  The small press is new, but it has had some buzz and one of the agents with my full said she believed it is real up and coming. (That same agent offered me an R&R as well, by the way.)  And after my revisions were completed, I knew that MAJOR AGENT might not take me.  But she has sent me quite a few emails in the last few weeks and has always been very open and honest and wonderful and how could I not want to work with her????

So I did the hardest thing I've ever done in my writer life.  I turned down the publishing contract.  And I have spent the last few weeks pounding out the revisions.  If MAJOR AGENT doesn't sign me on, I still have the other R&R.  And I only started querying in January.  I feel confident I made the right choice and my story is only stronger for it.  

Now my revisions are done and I am returning to you, my bloggey buddies.  I've missed being part of the blogger world and am so glad to be back. 

What's been going on with you?

42 comments:

Sarah Pearson said...

Wow, what a quandry, but a great one! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Freya Morris said...

Woah! Congratulations. how exciting! I'm dying to know more about your book.

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Oh, wow! Such excitement! I think you're doing the right thing, though, going with a path where you feel best about your story. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As for what I've been doing? Getting rejections - mostly from my agent so my mss are not even getting past the gate! Best of luck with yours! :)

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Congratulations. I'm so glad you took a blogging break. All of the writing stuff on top of the day job stuff. Wow! I'll be thinking happy thoughts for the agent route. It sounds like you have a few backups and that's nice. Such lovely news for a Saturday. Thanks for sharing it.

Susan Gourley said...

What a terrific decision to be forced into. Hope it works out the way you want.

Jemi Fraser said...

I got a few chills reading this! How exciting!!! I think you've made a good choice - if those notes really resonate with you, it sounds like you'll be a good team if it works out that way. If it doesn't, your story will be still stronger and you'll have more confidence wtih you. Good luck!!!

Janet Johnson said...

Wow, that is some big news! So awesome! And making your story what you want it to be, that's important, so go you! :)

Susan Oloier said...

That is major news! But, wow, what a hard decision to make. I believe it is always best to go with your intuition, which it seems you did.

Julie Hedlund said...

Wow Laura! This is all such great news! I am in awe of your courage. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to turn down a "bird in the hand," but it looks like you've got the best interest of your career and your writing figured out. Congratulations!

Jamie Ayres said...

Wowsers is right:) Good for you . . . keep us posted! I have 2 fulls and 1 partial out with editors at Harlequin Teen, Sourcebooks, and TOR so I'm keeping my fingers crossed, too. HOpefully this will be our year~cheers

Callie Leuck said...

Great news, Laura!! You're probably making the right decision, going with what feels best to you. Glad to have you back :)

www.jennifermeaton.com said...

Wow. Those are some amazing problems to have, and that must have been the hardest choce of your life. Isn't it great how it can all of the sudden just "happen"

Congrats, and good luck.

Donna Martin said...

Congratulations on receiving such wonderful news! I'm just sorry it put you in a position to have to choose between two seemingly good options. And I can't wait, because if I looked at my calendar correctly, you are going to be critiquing my blog on Monday and I'm eager to see how things look from your creative viewpoint...;0)

Dianne Salerni said...

Wow. Kudos for you on making a really hard choice -- and perhaps the more ambitious choice. I think you did the right thing, shooting for the one that would be harder work, but possibly result in the greater reward. Good luck to you and keep us posted!

Joanna Marple said...

Wow, this is so, so, so exciting, Laura.... it is all good and I love you following your gut and having faith in this story and these revisions. I am keeping fingers crossed for you! Go girl!

Well done also on almost completing that MBA!

I have had some temptations this week, via a published illustrator, to send out a manuscript to publishers/agents, but talked it through with my mentor and I am staying on a slow, steady learning track to be at a really good place when I start submitting.

Carrie said...

That is awesome news on the writing front. I think you made the right choice but that would be a tough decision. Good luck with your revisions.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Yay! I was just thinking about sending you a FB message to see how things were going. For what it's worth, you totally did what i would've done. Even if major agent doesn't sign, my bet is that someone will.

Miranda Hardy said...

Wow, you do have a lot going on. I hope your decision is the best possible. Sounds like you have great opportunities ahead.

Sharon Bayliss said...

That is so exciting! Congrats! In my humble opinion, I think you made the right choice. Your beloved manuscript has the right to be the best it can be with the R&R.

Claire Hennessy said...

Wow, congratulations! How fantastic. But isn't that typical, just like buses ... you wait sodding ages for one to come along and then three turn up all at the same time! You gotta go with your gut and sounds like you've done that. Best of luck :)

Laura Barnes said...

Ha ha, I sent you an email confirming tomorrow before I saw your comment. See you then! And thanks for the support. It's a wonderful dilemna to be in, I must say :)

Laura Barnes said...

Thank you!! I don't mind this quandry at all. :)

Laura Barnes said...

I know!! Right??

Ugh. Rejections suck. Did you think that would be over with once you got an agent? Once you had one book published? two? It never ends, does it?

Laura Barnes said...

Thank you! And I hope, I hope, I hope it really is lovely news! I'm still afraid I'll end up empty handed in the end. But its the right choice. And I am glad I took the break, too. Though it felt weird to not be involved with everyone. Glad to be back.

Laura Barnes said...

Me too. :) I could learn to live with these types of terrific decisions.

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks!!! I'm trying not to think about it too much, but I do think major agent would be a good fit. My story is definitely better for it. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks! It's been crazy, that's for sure. I appreciate the support :)

Laura Barnes said...

Truthfully, I think I realized more of what a big decision it was after I made it. Coping mechanism, I suppose. Thanks for the support!

Laura Barnes said...

I think the thing that made it easiest was remembering what my original goals were. What did I want from this novel? It was to get an agent, not a book deal. That helped make my decision, even though that contract was awfully tempting!

Thanks for the comment :)

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks, Jamie! I saw your good news on FB. Good luck to you!!! What a great compliment to you on your writing!

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks, Callie! Glad to be back. And the decisions feels right. I vow to have no regrets. :)

Laura Barnes said...

It does happen so quickly. And now I'm checking my email every five minutes looking for a response from major agent. I. Must. Stop.

Thanks for the congrats!

Laura Barnes said...

I know myself. If I chose the other route I would always wonder what could have been. I have to see it through. Thanks for supporting me. It helps make me feel better about my decision!

Laura Barnes said...

Aren't those temptations so, so,so tempting? I am particularly attracted to fast and furious. The slow and steady is very difficult for me. Congratulations on making that wise choice.

Thanks for sharing my exciting news! I hope it turns even more exciting soon. For both of us! :)

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks for the support! I have sent the revisions off. Now I'm just holding my breath...:)

Laura Barnes said...

Oh, thanks Falen! I probably should have updated on QT or FB, but I didn't feel like I had any news to update with. And I really still don't. Except to say that I turned the other down and have pushed send on my revisions email. I'm feeling good about it. Thanks for thinking of me :)

Laura Barnes said...

Thanks, Miranda! I love the crazy busy life. Truly. But it sure is just that: crazy. :)

Laura Barnes said...

Thank you! I appreciate the support. It makes it easier to live with my choice :)

Laura Barnes said...

Ugh, so true. Or like how there was never a boy interested in you and then you had several. Oh, wait. That never happened to me. LOL!

Thanks for the congrats!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

I certainly thought it would get easier by the time I had published 10 books. It hasn't. It's gotten harder. But I wasn't born stubborn for nothing :)

Freya Morris said...

WOW! Congrats. Desperate to know more about your book now!

Southpaw said...

Oh wow! Tough but really exciting. Well, congrats all around.

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