Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hi, I'm Kalayna

First blog entries are always strange.

My name is Kalayna-Nicole Price and I am currently a writer working on becoming an author. In preparation of things to come (or really things I hope will happen) I am setting up a blog. Sounds presumptuous, huh? *sigh*

Earlier this week, well late Friday really, I was contacted by Holly McClure with Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency. But I guess that's not the beginning of the story (hopefully it's the middle or maybe the middle of the beginning.)

Okay, several months ago I signed up for a five page manuscript review at a conference. It was my first conference and I'll be honest, I wasn't too sure what to expect but I took my newly completed manuscript and showed up all bright eyed and hopeful of getting good advice. I don't know why I was expecting something like a critique group, my only comfort was that there were others who thought the same thing. Holly was the agent present, and while she gave everyone good advice as a whole on submitting manuscripts and things to look out for, it was not a critique group. I was delighted to receive good comments on my writing and surprised to be asked to send the first three chapters to her agency.

I knew the novel wasn't ready for an agent, at the time I was just trying to figure out how my writing measured up, but I tried to polish up the first part of the manuscript as well as I could. (it was not yet broken into chapters.) When I received a response back that Holly liked what she had read and would like the entire manuscript I knew I had a problem. It wasn't ready...and I knew it. No one but me had even read it.

I went into an editing frenzy, but eventually if you read the same thing over and over it all starts sounding boring. After probably ten more edits and completely rewriting the climax of the book, I decided it was ready for other people to read it, but I still wasn't sure it was publishable. I sent it to two of my friends who are avid readers and waited. During that time I edited it a few more times and cut an entire chapter out of the beginning because I felt it slowed down the plot. Once I met with my readers, they gave me good constructive criticism, but neither agreed with my recent cut of the second chapter. Another edit to take their ideas into consideration, but I was torn over what to do about that chapter. I took a couple days to brood over it, but by that point it had been several months since Holly asked to see the manuscript and I was afraid that time was running out, if she hadn't lost interest already. Finally I sent it off sans second chapter.
That was Monday the 11th.

Tuesday I paced around my house and wished I would have included the chapter.

Friday I received an email from Holly saying she wanted to represent the novel and that she even had a publisher she thought it would be perfect for.

Today I sent out three copies of the manuscript so that she can pitch it to several editors.

Thus we come to the middle of the beginning of the story. As a writer I know from personal experience that not every story goes somewhere. I have a hardrive full of great ideas that died after 1o or 30k words. But this story, my story of becoming published, I'm hoping it's one of those that the muse favors and will just take off.

I remain cautiously optimistic.

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