The thing is, I don’t like stringing people along. I’m typically a rather blunt rip off the bandage type … peeling it off in tiny painful increments just doesn’t work for me. I don’t wade carefully into cold (or hot) waters. I jump in and get it over with, gasping for breath until I become acclimated. So when I found myself in a holding pattern regarding the publication of Mercy, I began avoiding this blog.
I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve begun and abandoned. They all ran along the same theme. “No news yet on Mercy, but I’m working on it … I promise! Will let you know as soon as I know anything.” Variations on a theme. And it’s a true statement, but one can only say it so many times before it begins to ring of emptiness.
In some ways, the struggle to get Mercy published is not unlike the struggle to get Grace, my first novel, published. I’m starting from scratch, and I’ve had to learn the submission process in a world which has been deeply altered. When I first began pushing Grace out into the world, everything was handled by mail. Snail mail. As in, write a query letter, stick it in an envelope, and send it to all the places I highlighted in my ridiculously dog-eared copy of the tome that was The Writer’s Market. Then, after a number of weeks, came the deluge of form letters. “Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, your novel does not quite fit our list.” Occasionally, one would ask for sample chapters, which I would then dutifully print out, package, and mail. After a number of months, another rejection letter would come, though this one would be more personalized, sometimes with a handwritten note of encouragement.
I kept all those rejections from all those years. I treasure them, actually. They are like battle scars, to me, and I sometimes take them out and thumb through them, smiling at the knowledge that I survived each battle to finally win the war.
So, I truly am moving forward with Mercy, though it may not appear that way from your end. The wheels of publishing turn more quickly than ever before, but the world has changed and, with it, our needs for faster gratification. Email replies take days instead of weeks, but it still never seems fast enough. It is sobering to realize I once waited an entire year after sending a completed manuscript to a publisher before I finally contacted them to tell them I had another interested party. The response was quick that time. “Please give me the weekend to read it and I’ll get back to you on Monday.” LOL. A year, and it hadn’t even been read.
I want it all for Mercy, for myself, and for you. I don’t want the book published in just eBook format. I want to see the book on my bookshelf beside the stories of her sisters. I have begun the submission process again, and it may or may not work out for me … right away. But it will happen. I didn’t give up when the process was more arduous and when I didn’t have a bibliography. I won’t give up now.
As always, thank you so much for your emails, messages, tweets, and comments. I treasure every interaction, and do try to respond as time permits. And thank you for your patience. I think I can stop avoiding this blog now. Be beautiful, my friends : )