Archive for February, 2012

Snug and signed

February 25, 2012

While I continue to chastise myself over the speed at which I write and the ability I have (or have not) to focus on the tasks at hand, somehow things keep moving ahead at a decent clip.

Case in point: The proposal for Kiss and Tell has now been sent out to a handful of publishing houses!

Yes. Dr. Whelihan and I signed an agent’s contract with Victoria Skurnick at Levine Greenberg Literary Agency in New York. Victoria’s a pro with decades of experience, and wasted no time dithering (as I am constantly wont to do). She and I emailed back and forth a few times while I tweaked the Kiss and Tell proposal to her liking and in no time she had forwarded it to several houses, along with an introductory letter that made our team sound sexy, smart and sell-able. Gotta love it.

It’s been just one day since the call went out and we’ve received a response already: a very polite turn-down from an editor who assured us the idea was appealing, but that it wasn’t the right fit for her publisher. I realize a turn-down is supposed to make you feel all rejected and stuff, but instead I’m encouraged. The editor read the information quickly, was clearly engaged by it, responded in a positive way and even signed off with a comment about how sure she was we’d land a publisher in no time. So excuse me for being excited! I can’t help it. We’re another step closer to the brass ring of a good contract with a publishing house.

By the way, I do realize it’s a brass ring. Horror tales abound from writers who’ve seen their precious work treated poorly by publishers. The promise of national marketing is the carrot held out to get you to sign on, despite a paltry advance. But follow-through on those promises to get your book wide exposure is far from a given. Disappointed writers with legitimate reason to feel resentful are everywhere.

Still, we decided against self publishing at this juncture. So far, Victoria makes us feel confident and optimistic. And though Maureen and I both know how to sell this book locally, we have to get a publishing house to really push it if we hope to jump to a broader platform.

Putting the polishing touches on the final proposal hasn’t deterred me from my sessions with the 50-something women. I have completed six in-depth interviews and have another four scheduled for early next week.

I’ll stop at 10 interviews, even though I yearn to interview all 290 women in this decade who completed a survey. I’m 57. This is my decade. Though their stories don’t mirror mine, I feel a kinship with each woman. She feels familiar to me almost as soon as we sit down to talk.

And the stories! Ah, the stories. They are priceless.

I promise I’m putting them down with all the ability I can muster. And I can hardly wait for you to read the book!

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