That was the dilemma. Friends, I have a manuscript that’s taken some time to complete sitting in its designated folder awaiting me to attach it to a submissions form and press submit. After taking the great sabbatical, I’ve waited a long time for this moment. A really long time.
All the while I’ve been finishing up this work and polishing it, I’ve been doing my due diligence in searching for the right home for it. The list began with upwards of thirty houses I was interested in, and over the course of the last few months I’ve whittled it down to half a dozen or so. It’s comprised of a couple of smaller presses, a couple of mid-range presses, and a couple of big-name presses. With the list narrowed down, the question became, what do I really want? I learned the first time around, if you can’t answer that question in goal-oriented detail and honestly, you’re going to end up with a boatload of regrets having acquiesced to something you didn’t really desire to begin with.
Again, just the past couple of days, I’ve whittled away at the list based on the answer to the question, what do I really want? As a result, I now have two prospects on my radar and just this morning, I eliminated one of them. The one I eliminated is a mid-big range press, but I took pause at a couple of things I noticed during my research phase, one being they’re a relatively young press. In this day and age, I’ve watched presses bigger and older crumble and close the doors. While they’re eliminated for now, I will keep my eye on them for future possibilities.
My other choice is a small-mid range press, but has a much longer track record and was a pioneer in the digital format. I know people who call this press home. These people seem happy being there. So, while the bigger press boasts of a much larger marketing department, I have to say size isn’t everything (no pun intended!) and known quantities speak for themselves. I also have to ask myself, am I prepared for the expectations a bigger press might impose on me insofar as appearances and such. While I look forward to a few conferences a year, making the rounds internationally isn’t really in the cards for me. My husband just retired and we’re making up for lost time, quite frankly. And, having some experience in marketing because I worked in a press’ marketing department once upon a time, I have no problems whatsoever being a proactive participant in my own promotions processes. There is something to be said for having some control over your own fate in this business.
Some would say, why not sub both and let the cards fall where they may. Why not the six original choices? Honestly, I’ve never been one to sub one or more works to one or more presses at once. I think things get messy that way and if you don’t already know what you want, you won’t know after you get six offers or six rejections. What then? My method is and always will be, pitch the press I want first and have a back up plan in case it is a rejection. Life will go on and if I have to wait a while longer for what I want, so be it. I can be working on the next work and the next one and the one after that in the interim.
I’m giving myself fourteen days or so before I hit submit on that form so as I have time to gain some ground on book two, which is within 20K of being ready for edits…the present book is the beginning of a series. I think it’ll be my birthday gift to myself. That morning, while I partake of my coffee, I’m going to sit down here and take a leap back into the fray and wait in eager anticipation of an acceptance notice.
By now, I’m sure you’d probably like a little more information about the book in question. Before the big sabbatical I had a few titles under my belt, most of which were suspense or military romance of some sort or other. Parallax, book one in the series I’m working on currently, is the culmination of a few characters from a stand-alone title and another series I was moderately successful with in those days. After I closed up shop, those characters kept talking to me, often times actually screaming, to have their stories finished. With a bit of creative mix-and-match, I was able to thread a couple of characters from the stand-alone title with a few others from the series. The result is an action packed, romantic suspense-filled joy ride where everyone gets a happily-ever-after, because that’s the way I roll, folks. And, yes, there’s a bit of heat involved in the relationships. It is hot in the south, after all, in all manner of definition of the word. I digress…
She’s a Marine Captain. He’s a security specialist. Married, but no longer sharing a bed, they do share a daughter and she’s been kidnapped. With Leila’s cover as a black ops agent blown and Trent on the scene to aid in Lucy’s rescue, a cauldron of emotions threatens to boil over as everyone’s dirty little secrets bubble to the surface. Trent and Leila will have to face some hard truths in order to find their daughter, not the least of which involves the love they never lost.
“Opha Mae, what’s happened to our comm and who are the six men currently crawling all over the house and grilling your target?” the choppy, metallic robot voice on the other end demanded.
“That would be my daughter’s father. You know. The one who owns a certain security company you frequent often?” Leila explained in a voice more befitting dressing down a six-year-old rather than a grown man. “He has with him one of his men and a four-man team.”
She conveniently left out the part concerning who that four-man team worked for. She may well be in a pickle. But even having threatened it, no way was she ratting out the whereabouts of some of the most wanted men on the Coterie’s list when they were bent on finding Lucy. Kyle might not be her favorite man on the planet, but at this point she’d take help where she could get it since her own people had left her out to dry on this issue.
“Why are they there?”
“In case it’s escaped your notice in the last two days, my daughter’s missing,” Leila hissed.
“I told you we’d take care of that. Get rid of them.”
“Yeah? Really? I don’t see anyone acting on that directive.” She pulled her head back into the bathroom and shut the door. “You waited too long. Now they’re here. I had to tell her father she was gone and I couldn’t stop him from coming. I can’t make them leave now, nor do I want them to. My mission is already compromised and right now they’re Lucy’s only hope. And if I have to choose between my daughter and my mission, hands down she wins. Every. Single. Time. I was a fool for compromising her safety to begin with. It’d be okay, you said. I needed to appear the vulnerable single mom, you said. You’d keep her safe, you said. Well, here’s a newsflash. It’s not okay, I’m not a vulnerable single mom who needs an overbearing oaf of a husband to get the job done, and big surprise. She’s. Not. Safe!”
“What happened to our bug?”
“They have it. In the next room. You should see some of the equipment they have. In fact, I’d like to submit a requisition form for some stuff half as advanced as some of the crap they brought with them. They’re trying to track your little antiquated device…”
Dead silence hit her ear and Leila snatched the device from the side of her head. Her secure line had gone black. They’d cut her off and killed the line. Of course, from the curses flying around the house, she was pretty sure they’d killed every secure line within a hundred miles of her house. For the moment, her real reasons for being in Saudi Arabia were still a national secret. And while she almost appreciated the too little too late security measure the Coterie had just enacted to ensure Leila didn’t end up in a hole in the ground in the middle of the An-Nafud, they’d also just made finding Lucy a hundred times harder.
Wish me luck, friends, as I prepare to hit the submit button and see where this road leads.