The first story I sold to New Concepts came out in Feb. I remember waiting anxiously for my first review. It was a truly nerve racking experience. 😉
You never realize when you are working away on your stories, trying to sell, about all the stuff that cames after you sign the contract. The promoting, the reviews. It’s all a big learning experience. Writing the story is only part of the adventure. Selling your story sets you on a whole new course with many new things to figure out 😉
Eye of the Storm is actually the first book I ever wrote. I wrote page one exactly four years ago. It took me eight months to write the 320 page paranormal adventure. Most of that time was spent just trying to figure out how to write a damn book 😉 Up until I started Eye of the Storm I had only writtten short stories for fun.
When it was done, I spent three months cleaning it up before I sent it off to Harlequin SIM line. Why HQ Sim? Because when I first started I had stumbled onto the HQ writers board and they had listed all the details on how to submit. I figured it was a good place to start. I sent in a synopsis and query letter.
Did I mention the synopsis took me three weeks to write and one rather large bottle of both aspirin and tequila. There is nothing I hate more in this world then to writing a synopsis. I have alot of writing buddies that love the things. They can sit down and pound out a rocken one in less than a day. Not me. Ever momennt of writing a synopsis is like pulling teeth. It is sheer agony. I don’t know why I have such a hard time with the evil things, but I do and I can’t imagine it ever changing since I have since written three more and each time it was hell.
The synopsis and query went off into the mail and three months later I got back a request for the full. This was great news. I celebrated with my writing buddies. At the time all of us were aspiring. Off the manuscript went, along with the required SASE and correct postage 😉 Eight months went by without a word. I had given up hope when one day I got a letter in the mail. It was a rejection letter. My first. At the time I had no idea there was such things as a good rejection letter. I mean someone tells you, hell no I don’t want to buy your manuscript, in my mind thats just not good news. But live and learn, there are all kinds of rejections letters. The form rejection letter being the worst. I didn’t have a form letter, instead I had one from the Editor telling me she liked the story, but the romance was not the main focus of the story instead it was a subplot. And HQ needed the romance to be the main plot. And then she went on to give me tips about things I needed to work on in the story. For instance she wanted more explantation of the powers, the justification of the way it all worked, didn’t work for her. And she wanted the bad guys stuff beefed up. At the end she told me she would be happy to see more of my work. My friends swore this was good news. 😉 I got to work taking her suggestions and reworking the manuscript so I could send it out to another house.
Out of the blue a Medallion Press editor asked to see the manuscript. That in itself is a very long story. Here is short form – I network alot, talk to alot people and in one instance it actually worked in my favor and someone asked to see my work. So I sent in the partial. Six months went by and no word. I decided to inquire after the partial and was told it had some how fallen into a big black hole. They had no idea where it was. By this time Medallion had a new Senior Editor. She asked me to send her the partial and I did and a month later I got a request for a full. I can’t remember the exact amount of time that passed, but it was about six or eight months when I got a revision letter in the mail.
Here you thought you were going to just see a review. Sorry I tend to ramble when tired and I have another vicous cold on this end. I blame my husband who spends his working days (he is a fireman/emt) going into all the houses of the sickest people in town. He swears he detoxes when he gets home but some how I always end up sick. He never gets sick. Bastard 😉
Hmm, lets do short version. I did revisions and sent them in an then got another set of revisions. I did those revisions. And then I was asked for another set of revisions. For those of you keeping track thats three sets of revisions. Now one of my writing buddies has done in the past –three sets of revisions on three different occasions on three different manuscripts for a publishers who turned the final product down each time. It’s not that unusual to get one, two or even three sets of revisions. It means they like the story, but it’s not quite there for them.
The problem was I didn’t agree with what the editor was saying for the third set of revisions. Did I mention also that it was another new Senior Editor. Senior Editor number three sent me the second and third revision letters.
Everyone around me was telling me I HAD TO GET THEM DONE AND SEND THEM IN. I mean come on was I crazy. Obviously the editor liked the story or she wouldnt’ be working with me on it. If they don’t like your stuff they reject you, sometimes quickly and often harshly. Revisions means there is still hope. But I have to tell you my gut was telling me that this was the wrong move for me. I have always in my life followed my gut instinct. But this time it wasn’t easy because everyone thought I was nuts. Except for Todd. 😉 He’s attitude was do what feels right. That’s what I have always done. Even if at the time it seems like a crazy move. It so far has always worked out for me.
It was an agonizing decision. I was worried I was, for the first time, in my life doing something really stupid by listening to my instincts. After a month of stressing back and forth about it I just decided to do my own thing. I decided not to do the final set of revisions, but instead looked to send the manuscript out again.
My goal had always been to get as many rejection letters as possible for each manuscript. I mean you spend your time and effort into writing the thing, you might as well put as much effort into sending it around.
I was working away at editing the manuscript one more time. There were still a few areas I wasn’t happy with. When I got a request from New Concepts Publishing. I had entered a contest and they had seen the entry and requested it. I had heard nothing, but good things about New Concepts so I sent in the full. And two month later they bought the story. I had two stories in the contest. One story I had written with a friend. They bought that one first – Portrait of Death. Then in April they bought Eye Of the STorm. And it came out in July.
There’s the story. Except for one last part I forgot to mention. The manuscript was called Queen of Chaos right up until I entered it into the contest. Then it had a quick name change and morphed into Eye of the Storm.
Okay as promised, finally here is a review for the story from FAR. It’s my first five anything 😉
Rating 5 Angels from Fallen Angels Review
Eye of the Storm
Some people are born with extraordinary gifts. Those possessing varying mental powers are secretly known as “Talents”.
Despite a legendary father, testing hasn’t shown Katlin Campbell to be a particularly strong Talent. Unfortunately, that will not stop her from being unwittingly pulled into the middle of a huge conspiracy. One that could quickly get her killed.
Ryker Duncan is a man haunted by his past, and it has put him on a mission for vengeance. Thus far it has yielded minimal results. But he’s sure he has found an advantage worth exploiting when he stumbles upon Katlin and learns that she has inadvertently attained possibly invaluable secrets. Now he just has to protect her long enough to extract the information – from the depths of her mind.
On the run, Katlin only has Ryker to rely upon. But can she trust a man that seemingly has no qualms about selling her out? And how will Katlin and Ryker deal with the attraction brewing between them?
One of the best words to describe this paranormal romance is absorbing. Ms. Storm has constructed a plot filled with action, packed with the supernatural, heavy with sexual chemistry, and supplemented with a few surprises that will keep readers on their toes. As such, readers will be hard-pressed to avoid being quickly pulled into this conspiracy right along with Katlin and Ryker.
As far as great heroines with superpowers go, Katlin made for a wonderful addition and she provided a fun balance to the strong and sexy Ryker’s brooding nature. Ms. Storm built the romantic tension between Katlin and Ryker very well so that is was like a force to be reckoned with. Eye of the Storm was quite a fascinating read and I am already anticipating the next installment.
Reviewed by: Jen H., Fallen Angels Review
Samantha Storm – http://www.samanthastorm.com/
Eye of the Storm – Available Now! http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/eyeofthestorm.htm
Murder, Mayhem & Mistletoe – coming Dec. ’06 NCP