Friday, October 17, 2008
Please Welcome today's guest, Erotic Author, Cari Quinn!
To Be or Not To Be...Published
Thanks so much, Dayana, for allowing me to blog today. It's been a great month of posts so far and October still has two weeks left!
Most authors come to another author's blog to talk about their latest release, but I don't have a release yet. I'm still waiting for "The Call" or "The Email" or however that special moment should arrive. Not only that, I can't claim a whole slew of rejections to prove how hard I'm working to change that fact because I've yet to submit anywhere. That's right - two and a half years since I started "writing seriously" and I still haven't swallowed my nerve enough to submit.
I've entered two contests, though: the romance industry's biggie for the unpublished masses, the Golden Heart, and the Virginia Romance Writers' Fool For Love contest, which I won in the Short Contemporary category with my manuscript, Virgin Territory. Winning my first (and only) chapter contest was a terrific experience in a lot of ways. For not much money, I got two detailed critiques from published authors, then a third when my manuscript ended up needing a discrepancy judge because of the wide variance between my scores. I got some positive feedback, and some not so positive. But it taught me something any writer who has battled in the trenches knows. Writing ain't for the faint of heart. It's just not. If you can't stand the idea of your "baby" being dissected by strangers, it's going to hit you pretty hard to know not everyone will get your jokes, or think your hero's as wonderful as you know he is. It hit me hard after I got the judges' scores back. I even stopped writing for a few days. But I started again - hey, nothing can keep me from writing too long, because it's in my blood - and I'm still going.
Actually, I think that contest was the perfect microcosm of a book's reception by the public. Sometimes people get your voice and your characters. Your book resonates with them and they eagerly anticipate your next release. Someone else can read the same book and have an entirely different response. And that's okay. I heard a piece of advice once that a writer wants to have a voice that incites great love and yes, maybe even strong dislike, because that voice means you're different and being different is what will get you sold.
That's MY theory, anyhoo, and I'm sticking to it.
I'm still learning. Still struggling. Still enjoying writing the kind of stories I like to read. Still waiting for that moment when my Call or Email comes, so that I can start fretting about a whole new set of problems: contracts, actual deadlines, pleasing my editor, thrilling my fans...
Having fans. Whew. There's a heady thought.
Next week, I'll be submitting my baby to my dream publisher. Okay, one of my babies to one of my dream publishers (I have a lot of dreams!) But regardless of what happens, I'll have joined the ranks of those fearless enough to put their work out there, and I'm proud of that. I just started a new blog-cariquinn.blogspot-where I'll be posting book reviews and chronicling my journey to publication. Hope you'll stop by to say hi. I love to meet fellow writers and readers.
Before I go, I want to give a shout out to someone else who won a contest recently: The Wild Rose Press's bestselling author of the Scarlet rosette Seduced In Seoul, Helen Hardt. She took first place in the Colorado Romance Writers' Heart of the Rockies contest in the erotic category and second AND third place in the short contemporary category. Congratulations, Helen! She'll be blogging here on Monday, October 20th.
Thanks again for having me, Dayana. It's been a blast! And thank you to YOU for reading.