I have my own Mission... and it's coming in June... with Escape Publishing!
The Virginity Mission.
Yes, that's my mission.
And because it cracks the 40 000 word barrier, I now become a Published Author in RWAus and get to give my Call Story.
My Call Story
I forget when I started writing this story but in August 2011 I received the first lot of comments back from one of my trusty readers. It was called "Rainforest" because I suck at titles.
In November 2011 it became "The Virginity Mission" and was submitted... and rejected with a form rejection.
In early 2012 I re-worked it because I'd learned more (lots of emotion missing from story). I entered it in some contests and got some mixed results (as usual) and reworked it some more. Threw it into another submission... and another form rejection.
In June 2012 I made another re-working. Another submission... another form rejection.
In late August 2012 I tried another submission... and another from rejection.
All these rejections were the silent, non-helpful kind. No one answered my questions - Does my writing suck? Is it the story? Am I missing things (like emotion), or putting in too much (like repetition)? Is it not fitting the genre? Is it just hopeless? Should it go in the bin?
Through all these rejections my trusty readers kept telling me it was a good story, they liked it, it should be published.
But who do you believe? Your friends (who were strangers before they became your trusty readers but are now friends and does that mean they're still objective enough to judge?) or the silent rejections (that could mean anything at all)?
Then in January 2013 I submitted again. One of the trusty readers had been hammering me about trying it with Escape Publishing - who were publishing things that didn't fit true genres. Since this story is a virginity story, it's pretty sweet for erotic, and it has some adventure in it so the hero and heroine aren't together for some of the story. A mess really. It had no hope of being published... but I sent it because what the heck, another rejection won't kill me.
A week or so later, they wanted the full. OMG! This was a bit hopeful. I sent the full.
I waited. I waited. I checked my emails every day (multiple times a day). I was hopeful but I kept telling myself they wouldn't want it. No one else had.
And then on the 12th Feb at 8 pm in the middle of doing something else I checked my email and my stomach dived. It was her! With sweaty palms, a knot in my gut and my breath held, I clicked it open.
I'm delighted to accept it for publication.
OMG! I could hardly breathe to tell my hubby. They wanted my story.
I've made it. The goal I set in 2008 is attained. And I've done it the way I wanted - get in with some short stories, learn the ropes and then get a larger story published.
And my new goals - a larger story next time, more stories to follow, and a career doing this fantastic thing called writing!
And there's no way I could have made this without help from a lot of people! The Romance Writers of Australia is incredible and I've learned everything through that group - almost everything! I did a Romance Intensive course with the amazing Anne Gracie and brilliant Bronwyn Jameson. I did lots of online courses with various people, received lots of contest feedback from here and overseas. I did the first 5DI where I indulged for a week in writing with Sophia James who gave me the courage to believe in myself and my stories. I participated in the Hot Down Under project where lots of girls helped, but Mel Teshco and Tracey O'Hara were the movers and shakers, and Jess Dee showed me repetition (lots and lots and lots!). I have amazing Crit Partners - some from the beginning of my journey, more I've met along the way - and all have helped shape my writing. I have great friends, family and a very patient husband.
To have a Virginity story as my first "published" piece, is kind of fitting! :)