Friday, March 21, 2008

Rejoice, my druids!

Yeah, I seem to have a lot of flower pictures latey. But I just walked out my door to see that there were tiny irises blooming by the walk. Deep purple ones. It hit me right in the head that it's spring.

You might think that is a fairly obvious conclusion. But we've had a miserable winter this year. Cold, wet, icy, snowy, and just dismal well past the time we usually see the first shoots poking through. So the fact that the first time I see the daffodils poking through the mulch at the end of March is inconceivable here(usually it's the end of February, and then we have a big snow at the end of March and kill everything. A usual rule in St. Louis is that if the tulip trees bloom before the middle of March, just kiss those flowers good bye).

The other reason I'm so excited is that I decided long ago I must have been a Druid in a former life. Or many former lives. Several of my less complimentary friends have said I was actually an Irish fairy. The short kind. It doesn't matter. I live for the color green. I wilt and die in the winter when everything is dead. Or I should say I endure. From that first fallen leaf in September to the first tiny iris in Spring, I hold on, because I know spring is coming. I even realized a few years ago that all the artwork I buy has at least a bit of spring green in it. This last year I took that one better. My little writing office is painted entirely in neon spring green. My husband won't come within fifteen feet of it. I love it. It always makes me smile. And I don't fall asleep if I'm in there(a great peril in the winter).

Which is why you'll never see me relocating to Arizona(the only thing you should rake on a lawn is leaves). I can't tolerate anyplace that doesn't have trees taller than I. Believe it or not, deserts make me claustrophobic. I literally can't breathe. I swear I can hear the animals screaming for water--especially if the city has golf courses it's wasting water on. Also no surprise that the most holy place for me on earth is Ireland. And right now the lambs are arriving, and soon the bluebells and wild iris will take over. And it will be....GREEN.

I can breathe now. Wait til I get back to my writing. It's spring!

Eileen/Kathleen, the evil twins

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Continuing Story of Eileen and the Book

When last heard from, my manuscript was languishing in publishing purgatory(that place where you sit for eons thinking on your sins)(in publishing, those are mostly of pride). The good news was that two editors reacted very well to my manuscript--actually it was more than two, but the sales forces got in the way of one. The bad news was that another five houses couldn't figure out what to do with me(not unusual in my career. I tend to write about fifteen months ahead of the curve).

Well then, off I went to Prague to visit already existing publishers and sightsee with my husband. I'll have my report on the historic Prague on my travel page soon. But wheil I was there, I was fortunately connected to Wi-Fi, because I actually got two offers. TWO. That's never happened before in my life. I actually had to make a decision.

It didn't come down to money. It never does with me. Of course, nobody's ever offered me the kind of money that makes your mouth go dry, so I don't know what would happen in a case like that. I would call these offers respectable. Both from successful houses, from editors I respect. And both from editors who said that they loved what they saw on the page, even the history that had confounded a couple of the other houses. What do do? What to do?

I'm not going to get into all my deliberations. Suffice it to say that I'm very grateful to have a very left-brain engineer of a husband, because he sat down with me and did a very credible 'pro and con' list for each house. I contacted authors from each house to ask their experiences(and let me say right now, that in my experience, authors--especially romance authors--are some of the most generous, helpful people in the world. They didn't just offer help, they offered the truth).

The outcome? I got to take my husband out in Prague to a fabulous restaurant to celebrate the sale of my historic trilogy to Grand Central Publishing(formerly Warner books). We've talked a lot back and forth, and God willin' and the creek don't rise, they will be out in succeeding months in 2010. I feel bludgeoned. I feel exhilerated. I feel....of course. Terrified. I'm now on a very tight deadline. But then, my cousin, who once wrote scripts with me assured me that I was no damn good til the two minute warning. So I figure I'm in the perfect position.

I'm still trying to convince myself I'm a historical romance author. It's such a new place for me. But I absolutely adore the period, and I find that there's enough action amid the romance for the heart of any suspense writer.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. I'm also going to add a research page to the Kathleen side of my website. I'm using a lot of the same old research, but I've found some really cool things to add to it. Because to me, historical means historical. Not just dressed in outdated clothes. I just hope I make my history fun.

Kathleen and Eileen, the evil twins