Maybe Next Time…

lambslions

Well, I finally heard from the publisher today.  My manuscript made it through the slush pile and through editing, but the folks in acquisitions decided to pass on it.

I won’t pretend I’m not deeply disappointed.  I’ve been riding this cautiously hopeful wave for months, only to sink right before reaching the shore.  What I want to do most right now is to sit on the porch and watch the grass grow.

I will allow myself a brief period of mourning for what might have been.  I’ll wait until the house is empty and I’ll shed a few tears.  Maybe a lot of tears.  Then I’ll get over it.

In the next couple of days, I’ll change the manuscript back to its original form.  I wasn’t thrilled with the change the editor requested and felt it interrupted the flow of the story.  Changing it was a business decision on my part, not an artistic one.  No doubt, an editor at another publishing house will want different changes anyway.

While I regret the outcome, I appreciate the experience I’ve had.  I received affirmation of my writing skills.  The next time I’m asked to revise a manuscript, I won’t feel quite as panicked as I did the first time, resulting in a headache that didn’t go away until the revision was done.  I can revise on demand.  I also learned that editors aren’t monsters.  I was treated with respect from start to finish.  In spite of the sadness I feel right now, I also feel like I’ve found my professional footing.  This is the business side of writing.  In retrospect, I feel good about the interaction I’ve had with this publisher over the last several months.  In the past, I’ve received a couple of form rejection letters or (for the most part) no response at all.  I guess I would call this progress.  Painful progress.

I believe that in a situation like this, inaction would be a mistake.  I know how easy it would be to just shut down and adopt an “it will never happen for me” attitude.  It will do me no good to sit in a corner, eating worms.  This is probably the point at which many a good writer has given up entirely and silenced their own voice forever.  I’m making a conscious decision not to take that route, though right now I feel like I’m trying to dance in knee-deep mud.

Time to start, once again, looking for publishers and agents accepting unsolicited manuscripts.  Time to finish the sequel to Winthrop Risk, Detective (I’ve decided to keep that series in the self-publishing realm).  Time to open up the purple box and see the story nuggets I’ve buried there.

If I never achieve publication of my picture books, it certainly won’t be because I gave up.  There’s no adventure in surrender.

robinhood

 

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Book Review: “A Dread So Deep” by Anita Rodgers

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Mysteries seem to bring out the worst in people.  I don’t mean in the reader, but in the characters.  Murder.  Deceit.  Infidelity.  Violence.  Otherwise normal-appearing people who are successful businessmen, loving wives, and doting mothers.  Well-manicured lawns that hug stone walkways leading to magazine-cover-perfect homes.  What evil could possibly exist here?

Well, things aren’t always what they seem, are they?

The latest book by mystery writer Anita Rodgers, A Dread So Deep, leads us up to that lovely front door and into the nightmare that is Christine Logan’s life.

Christine Logan is the pretty wife of a successful contractor, Phillip Logan.  A talented artist who teaches painting to children at a local community center, Christine has often had to use her artistic skills to cover her bruises.  Emotionally abandoned by her abusive husband, she recklessly turns to one of her husband’s young employees for comfort.

Recklessness seems to be the one trait the Logans have in common, as Phillip’s choice of mistress proves.

When Christine becomes pregnant with a child Phillip is certain is not his, he orders Christine to have an abortion.

Will Christine give Phillip what he wants, or will she finally defy him and flee with the man she loves?  Will she be trapped with Phillip forever, or will fate intervene?

When Detective Davis and her partner are called in to investigate what looks like an accidental death, the number of possible suspects and motives for murder tells her there is more to discover.  Much more.

With A Dread So Deep, Anita Rodgers has given us a brisk whodunit with plenty of gnarled paths to keep the reader engaged and wondering what’s next.  We’re even treated to a cameo appearance by Scotti Fitzgerald, the plucky and intrepid protagonist of Anita’s Scotti Fitzgerald Mystery series.

So pull up a beach chair and pour yourself a glass of iced tea.  There’s a murder to solve.

About the author:

Anita Rodgers is no stranger to the mystery genre.  Among her other works, she’s the author of the Scotti Fitzgerald Mystery series and The Dead Dog Trilogy.  Her books are available at https://www.amazon.com/Anita-Rodgers/e/B004N8IWY6.

You can also check out her blog at https://writerchick.wordpress.com.