Branding

So I got a rejection yesterday on a partial I’d submitted to Harlequin American. This book has made the rounds, considering it’s a series romance. It finalled in Valentines over Vegas in 2002 and was requested by Zareen Jaffries of Silhouette Special Edition. The summer of 2003, she asked for revisions. The fall of 2003, she left Silhouette and I got a form rejection from her replacement. So I queried Susan Litman in the spring of 2004. She also sent me revisions. I did the revisions (and they were not easy) and she rejected it. So I queried Harlequin American. They requested a partial and now have rejected it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and here’s why.

In the meantime, I have become much more narrow in my focus. I want to be an Intimate Moments author. I have so many action/adventure and romantic suspense stories in my head that if I do nothing but write new material, I will be working on these ideas till the end of 2006. (Yes, I have a plan, a chart and everything. Disgusting, isn’t it?) My hope, my dream, is to write for Intimate Moments. Most of the books I buy on impulse are IMs, most of my keepers are IMs. That is where I want to be. I want to be their action girl. Part of the reason the revisions on Where There’s Smoke were so tough was because it was a straight romance. No mystery, no trek through the forest or the jungle, no deep sea diving. No bad guy. Just romance. I don’t know if I could do another straight romance at this point in my career.

But I know there are writers out there who are trying out several different markets. I know some who write women’s fiction and romance, some who write romance and young adult, some who write Bombshells and women’s fiction. I can understand having so many different stories inside but do you ever fear you’ll be locked into writing that kind of story once you’re published?

Oh, and I cut 30 pages of my ms yesterday. Ouch.

So since I had to do that and got an R, I want this picture. Doesn’t he just look like he’s saying, “Come over here, Mary, I’ll make it all better?”

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28 comments:

Bonnie Ferguson said...

Well that's exactly what he's saying Mary }:) (((((Mary))))) on the rejection. But if Intimate Moments is where you want to be then that's what you should be aiming for. And you know it's really quite exciting that you know where you want your focus. Watch things start moving swiftly for you now. I'm so ready to celebrate with you. How long has your full been there? Sending you good vibes that you hear great news soon :)

Bonnie

MaryF said...

Thanks, Bonnie. Hot Shot has been in NY 54 weeks and Surface has been there 3 weeks.

Trish Milburn said...

Oh my, what a yummy picture of Gerard. I think I'm having a moment. :)

More hugs on the R. But it definitely sounds like you know where you're going. And I don't think plans and charts are disgusting. I LOVE them. They're your friend. :)

As for the writing several different genres, I'm one of those people. I don't fear getting stuck in any of them because I could see myself with lots of ideas for any of them. But you won't be seeing me write any Desires for Ellora's Cave material anytime because I simply don't have any ideas for those. That's okay because lots of other people do.

Kelly Parra said...

Sorry about the R, Mary. They're tough to take, no matter how you get them.

I'm with you on straight romance. I just can't write them. I need something mixed in--usually the suspense factor.

Good luck with the IM goal!

Jill Monroe said...

Big hugs on the R, Mary. I'm so sorry. They never get better, but I'm thrilled about your new plan - sounds awesome and productive.

Michelle said...

Mary--you are so close, you know that, right? And good for you, finding where you want to be.

Now go after it! Go, Mary, Go!

Amie Stuart said...

(((((Mary)))))

Yeah I worry I might end up writing myself into a corner at some point, but I think my CL has enough hot stuff in it that I'll be okay--I can genre slide--but w/YA who knows! Of course, if I don't finish it, I'll never find out. LOL

MaryF said...

Thanks, , Kelly, Jill, Michelle and Trish.

That's one of my favorite Gerard pics, but it doesn't print well ;) I thought I could MAYBE come up with another straight romance, but I wouldn't have as much fun as writing my adventures.

Michelle, I don't know about being close. That's what they started telling me 2 years ago. I stopped believing it the end of last year :)

Cece, being able to genre slide is good - good luck fnishing your book!

Silma said...

Sorry about all the R-letters. Goes to show that what's good for one editor isn't good for another. How fickle is this business? *lol*

As for the type of writer, I don't corner myself into just one type of writing. I just write from contemporaries to paranormals. Publishers don't like them? Well, there's always e-publishing. *g*

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Yowza! I love me some Gerard Butler. He's so sexy, I wonder why he isn't a bigger star. It's good that you know that you want to focus on SIM. One of our chapter members knew that she wanted to be a Desire author, and specifically targeted that line, and now she's published 2 books with them, with 3 more contracted. So keep writing! As for me, I don't worry about it, I write romantic comedy, chick-lit, paranormal and multicultural.

MaryF said...

Thanks, Elizabeth and Silma. I really wish I knew if focusing on SIM is best. I think about all those rom-com and sweet writers, now without a home. Silma, I did think about going to an epub with Smoke, but this is a straight romance, and all the epubs I see want paranormal or erotica.

Paula said...

Mary,

I understand what you mean about not wanting to get pigeonholed in a genre that isn't what you want to write most of the time. I'm afraid that if I ever sell, it's going to be to Intimate Moments, since the editor who seems to be most interested in my writing keeps asking me to gear everything to that line, when I have several story ideas I think are better suited to Intrigue.

I think I could probably write for both lines, depending on the given book, but would H/S let me do that? I'm pretty sure they'd discourage that kind of double-dipping.

It's a dilemma.

Paula

MaryF said...

Paula, interesting that you want to be writing Intrigues and they keep pushing you to IM. Why is that, I wonder? Are your books more emotional? Why would you prefer Intrigue over IM? You're right, I'm sure, that they won't let you write for both lines. Intrigue and Desire, maybe. Intrigue and IM, I don't think so.

Joanna K. Moore said...

Mar, I'm still waiting to find out IF what I write fits what HI is looking for...either a phone call or a letter of rejection is in my future. The only thing I really enjoy writing is contemporary paranormal mystery. Writing paranormal for me is like writing inspirationals for others...it comes right out of my soul. If you look at my keepers shelf, there's paranormal romance and there's a ton of cozy mysteries, most of them very chick-litty...no Ms. Marple for me. I'd like to be Kelly Armstrong when I grow up. I'd like TOR Romance to beg me for my ms. (Har har har...I can fantasize well, can't I?) I also have women's fiction on my shelf...I loved Angry Housewives Eating BonBons. These are the only things I can see myself writing, because they're the only things I find myself enjoying. I agree, if I was assigned to write a straight romance, I don't know if I could do it. It would end up very Bombshelly (I love the paranormals from Bombshell!!!!!). This is just the way things are. Will anyone buy these things from me? Only time will tell. But you gotta be what you are, Mar, in order to have happiness in your work. I'm all for being real!

Happy Solstice, all.

JoAnn

Joanna K. Moore said...

PS----well, Mr. Butler...ahem...boy, I love your pics, Mar...

J

MaryF said...

JoAnn, you're another, like Trish, that I can see doing several things. Intrigue needs to snap up that ms, baby.

Glad you like my Gerry pics. This is one of my personal favorites.

I'm growling because I got a Chadwicks order and everything fit GREAT but the zipper on the pants is broken :( I sure needed those pants for my vacation, too.

Trish Milburn said...

JoAnn, cool that you like paranormal Bombshells. As it happens, I just revised a paranormal manuscript for Bombshell. I'm hoping Natashya likes it. Bummer on the Chadwick's zipper, Mary. I've been playing with my blog settings, so let's see if my photo shows up this time.

Trish Milburn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trish Milburn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trish Milburn said...

Sorry about the deleted posts, Mary. I was trying to fix my blurry picture. I looked like one of those blurred out photos on COPS. :)

MaryF said...

Trish, I told JoAnn about your Bombshell without telling her ABOUT your Bombshell, ya know? Got her all intrigued. Your picture looks great!

J.F. Cossey said...

Mary: I love that you wrote this. I too have seen other authors branch out into different markets, and I personally don't get it. I DO understand why they do it, they're thinking in practical terms (and that ain't bad), but I am such a fantasy fan that I couldn't see myself writing for another genre like Bombshell, for instance (just picking one out of thin air, not targeting the line). I write on a passion basis, which may not be entirely practical, and yet it's the only reason I bother writing, really, so to me if that other genre doesn't hold the level of passion, there's no point for me. {{{on the rejection!!}}} But may I say how much and thoroughly I admire you, because despite this, you are perservering... most would give up, but not you. And you shouldn't!! There's a reason your MS's keep making the rounds... it's just a matter of time and the right editor/agent, and it's not going to be long.

MaryF said...

Jessie, in addition to being practical, I think some people just have a lot of different kinds of stories to tell. Me, my stories have to have action. That's where my passion lies, and like you, if I don't have passion for it - why do it?

Amie Stuart said...

Joann!!!! I don't write what I love to read!!!!!! LOL I mean I love wf/chick lit but my long time true love is paranornal but I have no paranormal stories in me--I dont think I have the skills to write one (but I never say never *GGG*)...and suspense (ala Lisa Gardner) again something I LOVE to read but not something I see me writing, in part because it's one of the few genres I read where I don't critique the writing! ACK!

MaryF said...

Interesting, Cece, about your favorite genre being one you don't write so you don't ruin it by critiquing. I never thought of doing that.

RomanceWriter said...

I know what you mean about writing a straight romance. I amd trying to write a Harlequin Intrigue.I like the fact that it mixes action,romance, and a crazy freak who is stalking the heroine. I would have no clue how to write 75,000 words wiithout some kind of action backdrop.
Sara

MaryF said...

Sara, I KNOW. Maybe that's why when so many authors move to single title, they move to romantic suspense. 400 pages is a lot to fill.

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