Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Two firsts...

First blog post (hooray!) ... and first rejection (boo! hiss!).

This is my second attempt at a blog. My first one, years ago, was very short lived - mainly because I just wasn't at a point in my writing career (and I've decided that yes, I will consider this a career, not a hobby) where I was even close to submitting. And so had very little to talk about.

Now, I am very proud to have one finished book behind me. Another hooray! Sadly it was the book that was rejected, but after having had two days to think about it, I'm feeling quite upbeat. There are lots of good things for me to take from the experience:
  1. I actually finished writing a book. A WHOLE BOOK! 49,149 words that I wrote.
  2. The book (the full manuscript) was requested by Harlequin Mills & Boon
  3. I learnt so much writing it. I wrote the first chapter with no idea about internal conflict, or plotting, or saggy middles, or anything. At least now I know about these things, even if they (particularly internal conflict) need some work
  4. I learnt so much writing it, that I understand the reasons why the book was rejected. I had already suspected some of them (h/h spent too much time apart, using too many plot devices, heroines internal confict is not quite right)
  5. I got some fantastic feedback in my two page rejection letter, particularly about my voice. That gives me a lot of confidence.
  6. And best of all, I have a request to send my next three chapters + synopsis direct to an editor at HMB.

So all in all, this rejection is not the end of the world. Onwards and upwards!

During my six month (argh!) waiting to hear back on my full, I've been reading many many blogs that I have found incredibly helpful. But I've just been lurking - I think I had some weird idea that talking too much about my writing would jinx things. Well, given not talking about my writing still ended in an R, I've decided to leap into the wonderful romance blogging community. If you'll have me!

I have no idea how anyone will find me, but if you do - hello!

Now, off to read my notes from Laurie Schnebly Campbell's fantastic Plotting via Motivation workshop before getting back into Book 2.


  1. Hey m'dear - yay I found ya! And I LOVE the new look. You should be proud of your R, it was an AWESOME one and now you are one more rung up the ladder!!

    Are you doing Laurie's Masterclass? I'm doing it the second half of this month! Hang on... that's really soon :)

  2. Hey! No, not doing the masterclass, I lurked (but printed out all the notes) of the first class, so probably need to do all the homework first before attempting a masterclass :)

    Thanks for visiting!

  3. I found you! Welcome back to the lovely world of internet romance bloggers. Wow - a full request on your *First* ms is awesome! Fingers crossed for the 2nd ms request. Caroline x

  4. Wow, congrats on the request, Leah! And welcome back to blogland. Such a great source of support. Bummer about the R but they are a huge learning opportunity as you so rightly point out. And hey, knowing where your voice fits is half the battle!

  5. Well hello Ms Ashton. Never fear, people will find you. 'If you build it, they will come'. Congratulations on a valuable, thorough rejection. And on your perseverence in getting there. And on having written a whole book!

    Onward, yes.
    Upward, definitely.

  6. Hi Leah.. well done... at least you had the guts to send your mss in, and now you can get on with the next that will lead to bigger and better things!


  7. Hello - well done on completing a full MS and for a full request! Commiserations on the R but your attitude is great - onwards and upwards!

  8. Congrats on your blog :)

    Well done on completing your mss :) .....shame it was rejected.

    Wishing you all the best!

  9. Wow, people did find me!

    Jackie & Janette (and Rach, but she already knows) - I've been reading your blogs for ages. Thank you for having them and sharing your experiences - I love them! Janette, were you at the Perth Roadshow last year? I think I may have spoken to you at lunch?

    Caroline - I've added your blog to my Google Reader - yay, another blog to read!

    Thanks all for the welcome!

  10. Hi Leah! Well I envy you your TWO paged rejection letter. Getting an editor to write any type of personal R is an achievement in itself, but TWO pages! I'm quite happy to open your mail for you...

  11. Yep that was me at lunch! Hoping to get there this year again, but we'll see.