Sunday, January 20, 2008
The First Test
The other day I posted about submitting my newest proposal. It is officially called THE THREE GRACES, a Regency historical romantic adventure(good heavens. How many labels can a person put on one book? Be happy I didn't include time-traveling or vampires. You could have been here all day). The heroines of this series are Mrs. Olivia Grace, a widowed companion, Miss Grace Fairchild, the daughter of a Guards colonel, and Her Grace, Catherine, Dowager Duchess of Murther. All three meet on the eve of the battle of Waterloo, and end up ensnared in a plot to overthrow the British throne. This is the first time except for my proposal that I've actually put that into words. It is something I've never done before, and I have to admit, I'm having the time of my life(nothing like beating up a hero to relieve your stress).
I wrote about the stage of proposing when the project was still pristine. The perfect moment in a book when it is still perfect and the next #1 on the New York Times . The next stage, inevitably, is to show it to a professional. If you have one, your agent. Well, I did that. And I have to admit, I did it with trepidation. I don't think I have to tell you that these are uncertain times for publishing. Everybody sees the numbers changing and nobody is quite sure how to stop the slide. What is selling? What is the next thing? What does the audience want? So giving your brand new, beautiful baby to an agent is akin to handing it over to Andy Rooney and hoping he's in a good mood.
I handed it over. I went to New York last week to talk to my agent. I think I held my breath through the entire plane flight and three acts of Cyrano de Bergerac(Kevin Kline. Be still my heart). I faced my agent over mineral water and prayed she would at least like the heroines' names. And I'm not sure what this means, but she didn't think we needed to change anything in the book. She liked it as it was.
I should be delighted, right? Please. Don't you know authors better? I'm looking over my shoulder, wondering what I missed. After all, she's sent the thing in to publishers, and I'm sure there's something both of us have forgotten to include. Another hero. An alien who exchanges Napoleon for Stephen Colbert. More sex(in romance that's never a mistake). And I'm ignoring it all while I write on the first book, because if I really thought of the fact that this brand new twist in my career is in the hands of editors who might like me but haven't ever seen me write historical romance and don't know whether or not they can really support such a thing(or more importantly, pay for it), I'd end up immobilized in a bathtub with a quart of Haagen Daz and wrinkled toes.
Now, I wait And write. And hope that what I'm working so hard on now doesn't get thrown away late. Cause I have to tell you, I think it's great. At least I'm having a great time with it. I'll let you know if anybody else does.
eileen/kathleen, the evil twins