I love to drive fast. Iím one of those people whose foot is made out of lead
when it comes to acceleration. My husband constantly tells me to slow down, that
Iím going over the speed limit. At my day job (where Iím a scientist), sometimes
I rush through an experiment just because I want to know what the answer is -- I
donít want to wait. I love the instant gratification of the drive-through, and
the wind whipping through my hair as I speed down the highway. For me, life has
always been about being in the fast lane.
So you are probably all wondering why on Earth I would ever want to become a
For those of you who are non-writers, let me tell you a little secret:
publishing is slow. Even in the world of ebooks, you have to wait for a response
on your submission, wait for edits, wait for second round of edits, and then
wait for your release. Thatís if youíre lucky. Quite often your manuscript will
get rejected, so you will have to revise and resubmit it somewhere else where
the process starts all over again. Nothing about this industry is fast. Nothing.
Unfortunately to do something I love -- write -- I had to learn to become a
patient person and, like most things in life, I had to learn it the hard way.
Let me explain.
I first wrote Dark
Deception two years ago. Back then, it was ~10,000 words long, or about 40
pages. I thought that this book was going to be the next big thing. (Donít we
all think that about our stories when we first write them?) I submitted it to
publisher #1, confident that within 24 hours I would get a contract. Needless to
say, that didnít happen.
Nothing arrived in my email inbox the next day, or the day after. Three months
of hair pulling and I finally got my response from publisher #1 about my
fantastic story: a form rejection. Some people would give up at this point, but
I was convinced I had the next best seller. I rewrote the story, this time
expanding it to 25,000 words, or about 100 pages. Then I wrote a new cover
letter and synopsis and submitted it to publisher #2. This time I was a little
more patient, but no less confident.
I received another form rejection letter four months later.
Each time I received a rejection, I felt as if I was driving my brand new shiny
sports car into a ditch. How could this be happening to me? Where was I going
wrong? I was resolved to find out. I re-read my manuscript, fleshed out more of
the world building and characters, then gave a final edit of my new and shiny
35,000 word manuscript. After a little research, I decided to submit it to
publisher #3. My confidence was shaken, but I was hopeful that this time I would
have a positive response. After all, I had put so much work into this story, and
I was being so patient, surely I deserved more than a form rejection, right? I
received a revision letter three months later.
It wasnít an acceptance, but it wasnít an outright rejection, either. After
reading the revisions, I began to see how I could bring this story to a whole
new level. Doors opened in my mind as I slaved over that manuscript, taking it
from 35,000 words up to ~40,000 words. After 6 weeks, I resubmitted it.
Is anyone keeping score? It has been over a year since I first wrote Dark Deception, and it grew
from 40 pages to 160 pages. This was the third publisher who looked at my
manuscript. After all of this, I had to receive a free pass, right? A "get
out of jail free" card or something? Nope, no contract yet. Instead I
received another revision letter.
So I went back to the drawing board. I revised until my fingers bled, determined
that this time, I would get that elusive contract. Two months later, when I
resubmitted the manuscript, I was confident that this time — finally
— the story would be accepted.
I got another rejection. I have to confess, this was probably the hardest
rejection letter I ever read. It was heartbreaking. In it, the editor put a halt
to the revisions. The story just wasnít going to work for them. They didnít want
to see it again.
Now Iím thinking, "Youíve got to be kidding me." At this point, any
sane person would give up, right? After a half a bottle of wine (now I know why
so many famous literary types drank in excess) I decided that I wasnít sane. I
loved these characters and I loved this story. My stubborn streak rose up and
took hold. The next day (after I sobered up) I took the revised manuscript and
sent it to publisher #4.
It got rejected.
Talk about a downer. At that point, I had to sit down and have a serious talk
with myself. Why did I keep resubmitting the same old dusty manuscript? Was I
just a masochist? Surely, I would be better off working on a new project...
The truth was that I loved the Dark Deceptionworld so much that I just
couldnít let it go. Not yet. So I re-read the story and did more revisions, this
time fleshing out the world building and characters even more and taking my
story up over 50,000 words. I didnít have high hopes, but I had to try one last
time. I owed it to Enrique and Maria (my main characters) to give this story
everything I had. After a deep breath, I sent the revised manuscript out to
I got a revision letter.
My first thought was "Not again!" I wasnít sure if I had the strength
to go through yet another round of revisions. But after a glass of wine (maybe
two...okay three), I buckled down and got to work. I sweated day and night and
after one week, managed to do all of the revisions required. I resubmitted and
crossed my fingers.
Two months later, Dark
Deception was contracted with Red Sage publishing. Let me tell you that
there is nothing — nothing — that was sweeter than the day I was
told that they wanted to publish my story. All of my hard work had finally paid
off. What a great feeling. I have published other stories since I first wrote Dark Deception, but Iím
closest to Enrique and Maria, probably because I had to work so hard to bring
them to life.
So Iím asking all of you writers — do you have a labor of love? And for
the readers, is there something in your life that you had to work hard to
achieve — something that makes you proud? Tell me about it!
One commenter will win a free copy of my newest release (and labor of love) Dark Deception.
Iíve included a little about the story below. I hope you love it as much as I
After being plunged into a chaotic and deceitful society, Maria Guerrero finds
comfort in the arms Enrique Torres, a man she believes is innocent of her world.
She keeps him ignorant about her inner monster, and the blood oath she took to
save her brother's life. Instead she prefers to use their sexual play as an
escape from her supernatural world. When her secrets catch up with her however,
Maria is forced to confess her sins. Will Enrique find it in his heart to
forgive her deception? He must, before her vampire master demands her to pay him
his due. With the help of a disillusioned fey warrior, she convinces Enrique
that vampires are real, and danger lurks around every corner.
Enrique canít allow himself to fall for Maria charms, or heíll risk revealing
secrets of his own -- secrets which would not only scare her, but put his
mission in jeopardy. He hopes that by forming a physical connection with the
young vampire, heíll lower her defenses and earn her trust, for sheís the only
one who could help him bring peace to the Immortal Realm. As they play out their
sexual fantasies, her true identity is uncovered. On impulse gives her his
trust, only to be repaid with her betrayal. Now he wants revenge... but what
will be the cost? As the Immortal Realm descends into chaos, Enrique and Maria
must choose whether to trust each other again, or fall victims to the dark
deceptions that rule their world.
After over a decade in the scientific world, Suzanne needed a creative
outlet. She tried scrap booking, cooking, crocheting, painting, and piano, none
of which held her interest for very long. Then one of her friends suggested
writing. Thrilled with the idea of creating her own worlds, she opened up her
lap top and never looked back.
When Suzanneís not
writing, she can be found playing with her two daughters, testing her husbandís
latest kitchen creations, or curled up with her favorite romance novel in her
central Massachusetts home.
Hi Suzanne, It is definitely true that chasing a publishing career is a lengthy process requiring buckets of patience. Oddly enough, I consider myself an inpatient person, as well. But I try very hard to think only about the part of it I control. My work. Sounds like you did the same. Good luck with your release! It sounds wonderful. (Carly Carson 8:48am September 1, 2010)
I think the hardest thing I ever had to work for was my husband's recovery after a stroke. And there really wasn't a lot I could control... Patience was a real issue for BOTH of us.
But every time I thought hope was lost, I would escape into a good book and after a few hours, I could start over with a new, more hopeful outlook on the real world. (Sonja Warmath 11:07am September 1, 2010)
The past couple years have been a struggle...jobs, the economy. It's a daily battle just to keep above water & keep the pessimism @ bay. It's easy to be negative. That's why I do my best to be positive & grateful for what I do have because I do feel fortunate. It's not easy but it's worth it. (Ivy Truitt 11:16am September 1, 2010)
sounds like a good book to read (Ann Unger 11:32am September 1, 2010)
I always wanted to be a graphic artist as a teen. I was very good at art, everyone said so. But my life took a major turn and I became a Mum with eleven kids...hehe!!! My hubby said those are my masterpieces.
Anyways, I dabbled in art all my life, but nothing serious until now, I finally have been working steadily in oils. I have about ten pretty good landscapes here and my kids and friends are all hoping to get one for Christmas!! Hehe!!
Thanks for your inspiring post.
Valerie firstname.lastname@example.org in Germany (Valerie Bongards 12:33pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Carly!it's very true that the only thing you can control in this business is your work. I try to focus on that as well. It can be a real challenge sometimes though, eh? thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! (Suzanne Rock 12:53pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Sonja! Sounds like you had a real struggle withyour husband. I'm glad it had a positive outcome, though. It's true - books provide a wonderful escape. It's one of my favorite things about them. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! (Suzanne Rock 12:54pm September 1, 2010)
This book sounds really,really good!!! :) (Wendy Flynn 12:57pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Ivy - It's true, I think everyone is struggling right now with the economy. It can be really hard to make ends meet sometimes. I like your attitude - staying positive can really help you get through some of the difficult times. Thanks for commenting!
Hi Ann! Thanks for your kind words about Dark Deception. It's a story that will always be near and dear to my heat -- probably because I had to work so hard to get it published. Thanks so much for stopping by! (Suzanne Rock 12:57pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Valerie! Ooh - a graphic artist. That sounds fascinating! i took a watercolor class a while ago and loved it. I have no talent for painting, mind you, lol. It was fun to try, though. I bet your landscapes are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing. (Suzanne Rock 12:58pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Wendy! Thanks so much for your kind words -- and for stopping by! (Suzanne Rock 12:59pm September 1, 2010)
a very good synopsis and i want to read it (Debbi Shaw 1:37pm September 1, 2010)
Labor of Love, glad you never gave up on it! I have a few craft projects that are taking time, but I will finish them someday! Congrats on your book! (Colleen Conklin 1:50pm September 1, 2010)
This sounds like a "rockin" hot book. (Sherry Russell 3:48pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Debbi - Thanks so much for your kind words about Dark Deception -- and for leaving a comment! ;) (Suzanne Rock 3:54pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Colleen - I hate to tell you how many half-finished craft projects I have around the house, lol. there just doesn't seem to be enough hours int he day... Thanks so much for stopping by! (Suzanne Rock 3:55pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Sherry! LOL about "rockin." Thanks for stopping by the blog! :) (Suzanne Rock 3:56pm September 1, 2010)
Congratulations on your release, Suzanne! (Barbara Hancock 4:14pm September 1, 2010)
Suzanne, your story is amazing and inspiring. I know you're proud of your hard work. Your persistence has paid off. The publishing industry is hard, but you've produced a beautiful story. Congrats~ (Em Petrova 4:31pm September 1, 2010)
Congratulations on your new release. Excerpt sounds great and the cover is HOT! (Shunda Smith 5:46pm September 1, 2010)
Suzanne -- what an amazing story! It's been a long road for you -- I wish you the best with Dark Deception. My own labor of love is being a writer and mom at the same time -- twin goals that don't always mesh together as well as I'd like! Thank you for the inspiration. :-) (Grace Conley 6:27pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Barbara - thanks so much for your kind words - and for stopping by!
Hi Em!Thanks so much for the congrats (and congrats to you, too). You're right - the publishing industry is hard. Thanks so much for stopping by! (Suzanne Rock 6:35pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Shunda! I love the cover, too. I was truly blessed with such a great depiction of Enrique and Maria. Thanks for the nice words!
Hi Grace! Thanks for the well wishes. It's tough being a writer and mom at the same time. Sometimes it seems like there isn't enough hours in a day. Hang in there, though. As your little ones get older, it gets better. ;) Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by and comment. ;) (Suzanne Rock 6:37pm September 1, 2010)
Suzanne, What a fabulous story! Thanks so much for sharing your ups and downs with us and being so honest about how you felt. This business is tough and we have to love it to bits and beyond to want to keep on going and pushing through the pain of "thanks, but no thanks!". Mego-kudos for not only finishing your manuscript, but continuing to polish it and revise it and believe in it. And I'm so thrilled you found the right home for your story! (Maree Anderson 6:40pm September 1, 2010)
Good luck with your new book! (Diane Sadler 7:07pm September 1, 2010)
Suzanne! wonderful post...every writer needs your tenacious belief! I'm thrilled Dark Deception found a home. You are going to make many readers happy! congrats to a Siren and may there be many more sales to come! (Juliana Stone 8:40pm September 1, 2010)
My labor of love is my family and three Jack Russells, they are my world. (Darci Paice-Bailey 8:52pm September 1, 2010)
I don't really have any labors of love currently -except maybe the internet. Good for you to presever. (Vikki Parman 9:13pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Maree! You're right, this business is tough. The journey of this manuscript from conception to publication gave me such an education on how publishing works, and taught me so much about the craft of writing. It really was a gift. Thanks for the kudos -- and for stopping by! (Suzanne Rock 9:33pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Diane - thanks for the good luck! Thanks also for taking the time to stop by and read about my journey! (Suzanne Rock 9:33pm September 1, 2010)
I am not working on anything special, but have to admire your persistance! Good luck with your new book. Have a great holiday weekend! (Brenda Rupp 9:34pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Juliana!Thanks so much for your kind words - and for taking the time to post. You know that you were a big part of the process -- never letting me give up. I'll always remember that. (Suzanne Rock 9:35pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Darci - you have three Jack Russells? How cute! We used to have 2 dogs - Doxies. It's amazing how pets can wiggle their way into our hearts. They can truly enrich our lives.
Hi Vikki! That's OK if you don't have any labors of love. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment anyway. ;) Glad to hear that you liked the post. (Suzanne Rock 9:38pm September 1, 2010)
Hi Brenda! That's OK if you aren't working on anything special right now. Thanks for your kind words -- and for taking the time to comment! Hope you have a great weekend too! (Suzanne Rock 9:39pm September 1, 2010)
Your cover is HOT HOT HOT sounds and looks like a great book. Just the kind I like. (Vickie Hightower 10:45pm September 1, 2010)
I am have worked hard after having a spinal cord injury. I can now take the 6 steps using a walker and get in the pool to swim. I have to hold on to a noodle but im swiming. (Robin Priddy 12:43pm September 2, 2010)
I don't have a labor of love. I am pleased you persevered. (Mary Preston 3:14am September 2, 2010)
My book was my dissertation! My advisor had left and gone to another institution and the remaining committee members were not friends of his. Individually they would approve what I was doing, but when the entire committee met they had so many 'reservations' that it was like starting over. Perserverence is what saved the day. Since then I have seen many good researchers who are ABD (All But Disertation) and I know what happened. Sometimes you have to put your first love aside and do what 'THEY' want. Once "THEY' are happy, then your true love can come to fruition. (Karin Tillotson 6:00am September 2, 2010)
thanks so much. I *love* my cover, too. Kanaxa is a wonderful artist. Thanks so much for your nice words! (Suzanne Rock 8:46am September 2, 2010)
Hi Robin! ((HUGS)) on your injury. It sounds like you are making progress, though. sometimes it can be hard to have a positive outlook. I think that it's great that you are swimming! thanks for stopping by. (Suzanne Rock 8:47am September 2, 2010)
Hi Mary! It's OK that you don't have a labor of love. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! :D
Hi Karin! What a story about your dissertation. Like I mentioned in the post, I work in the science field and have heard stories similar to yours. I'm so glad that your story had a happy ending though. You should be proud! thanks so much for stopping by and sharing... (Suzanne Rock 8:49am September 2, 2010)
Congratulations on getting your book published!! I know that you must be on cloud nine!! My labor of love is every afghan, sweater, or baby item that I knit. My hand and arm has been severely injured for years, and I've recently picked up my needles again. Although the process is painful to do, and I have to take frequent breaks, I have made several items for friends and family, along with myself. I've also helped start a knitting group, which has been so much fun, and I've made some great friends. So you never know where your labor of love will take you!! (Peggy Roberson 9:50am September 2, 2010)
Thanks for keeping on going after the first rejection, not everyone has the same opinion, taste or outlook. Comparing a manuscript to driving takes me down the road of curves, sharp turns and ultimate destinations. I tend to get lost easily and add extra drive-by time to give breathing space. (Alyson Widen 6:14pm September 2, 2010)
Whatever a rejection is about is a difficult thing, but acceptance brings strength. Blessings, Marjorie (Marjorie Carmony 6:21pm September 2, 2010)
Hi Wanda - thanks so much for your kind words - and for stopping by!
Hi Peggy - Thanks for the congrats. :) I don't knit, but I crochet, so I have some idea of what you are talking about. I bet your hand made items are gorgeous! And i think it's fantastic that you started a knitting group. What a great way to meet others with the same interest! Thanks for stopping by. ;) (Suzanne Rock 9:46pm September 2, 2010)
Hi Alyson - It's true that not everyone has the same opinion, and it's easy to get lost and discouraged. We just have to keep plugging along, don't we? It's my hope that by posting this story, I inspire another writer to keep writing and submitting. I firmly believe that the only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is that the published writer never gave up! Thanks for stopping by...
Hi Marjorie! Very true. I think we can all have the potential to grow stronger from our rejections, if we allow it. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! (Suzanne Rock 9:49pm September 2, 2010)
Suzanne, I know how you feel. I remembered when my fifth grade teacher gave the class an assignment to write our autobiography. One would think this would be an easy assignment. Instead I ended up re-writing my autobiography ten times before my fifth grade teacher accepted the final draft. I did learned one thing and that is writing is such hard work. (Kai Wong 11:51pm September 2, 2010)
I have a lead foot also. I have to say it is fun to drive fast. (Julie Swaney 10:32pm September 3, 2010)