Just A Few Words...

Welcome to my blog, which is designed to give information and inside gossip about The Furry Tale Chronicles, my rom-com series. The first book, If The Shoe Fits, releases with Crimson Romance in April 2013.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Doing Some Grown-up Work

*sigh* It's sad to say, but I've had to abandon my silly side and become more of an adult, even if it's only temporary...

Those of you who follow me elsewhere - Facebook, Twitter, or on my other blog - will know that I had some exciting news at the beginning of the month. My book baby got accepted!! I spazzed a bit over at my Princess of Procrastination blog (not to mention all over Twitter and Facebook *shifty*), so I won't repeat myself here, but suffice to say I am still squealing. I think it's taken a couple of weeks for the initial shock to wear off, but now that it has, I've had to knuckle down.

The first order of the day was regarding the title. Much as I love the play on Cinderella, and the fact that my home town was a part of the original title, I had to agree that Cardiffella wasn't going to work. Unless you know Cardiff, the reference was going to be lost, and readers would just be confused. So I did some brainstorming on Facebook, and after coming up with a few possibilities, I settled on a shortlist. Fortunately, the editors immediately liked my first choice, and as of now, Cardiffella is no more *sniffs*. Despite being a bit teary over it, I am incredibly happy with the new name, and there is a funny little story behind it too.

Bye bye baby... *dabs eye*

As I was thinking of new titles, I added them to my Facebook poll, whether I thought they were good or not. I just wanted to sound them out, you know? Anyway, I'd thought of If The Shoe Fits, but didn't add it to the poll. I think it was mostly because I had a vague notion that it had already been used as a book title before now, though I have no idea why I thought this (you already know how nutty I am, yes?). Then my good friend Tami (also known as The Watery Tart) suggested it to me, and it just tickled me that she had the same idea as me. I did a little research, couldn't find anything obvious in my investigations, and added it to my poll after all.

Eventually I had a shortlist, which I dutifully sent to my editor. Now comes the really funny part. You see, just as I hit 'send' on the email, I had an email alert. Another editor, who was working on my cover art, needed me to send her my ideas for the new title so that she could get a feel for the tone. Over the next few minutes, both editors and myself engaged in crossed emails, and BOTH came back with immediate approvals for If The Shoe Fits. Have I mentioned how fabulous the editors at Crimson are? No? Well they are! Fabulous, that is. Super friendly, super helpful, and all round awesome, actually. And that's a genuine endorsment from me, I'm not saying it because I have to, I'm saying it because I mean it. They've made what could have been a daunting process for a newbie author incredibly easy.

So anyway, I guess it was kind of meant to be. I'm happy, they're happy, and most of the people I polled are happy. Sorted!

Currently I am busy editing. I'm happy to say that there were no major revisions needed. The majority of changes are due to the fact that it's an American publishing house, which means that I've had to format according to American English rather than British English. Aside from typos and a few grammar boobies, the original manuscript is virtually unchanged. I'm currently 50 pages in, so I'm about 25% done, but it is an easy job and I'm aiming to finish by the end of the week, which is a full week ahead of my deadline. Not only am I determined to show that I will be a good client, I am also committed to taking part in a WriMo in March, where I fully intend to get the next book finished, so that I can spend April polishing and revising it. My aim is to submit it to my editor just as If The Shoe Fits releases.

This is where a series title comes in. You may have noticed that as well as the book, the title for this blog has changed too. I've had to be ruthless and get rid of it. *wipes away tear* But again, I'm really happy with the new name. The Furry Tale Chronicles is what I can hopefully call the series, though until I contract a second book, a series title is not up for discussion. Crossing my fingers that things will go to plan, though!

Lastly, and again I'm wiping away a little tear, I won't be able to use the cover art that was so beautifully created for me. Ana did a wonderful job on it, and I will keep it on display not only because I love it so much, but because I'm super grateful to her for finding the time to do it for me. Not to mention Joris (Joris Ammerlaan Design), who is the exceptionally talented graphics whizz who spruced up the original drawing. Between the two of them, they made a fabulous cover design that I will always be fond of.

I'm waiting with bated breath for the new cover to be finished. I have no idea what it will be like, which is part of the excitement, but I'm confident that it will be fabulous!

I think that's enough news for one day. Now I have to get back to my edits...

If The Shoe Fits releases with Crimson Romance April 29th.

PS - Okay, apparently it wasn't enough news for one day. My signed contract just landed on my doormat! Clearly I am still not over the initial shock, and am still in the Spazzing Phase. *squeals*

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Something To Blog About

*dusts off page*

I finally have some news on my book baby, though sadly not as good as I could wish for. The last time I updated you guys was way back in September - all of five months ago!- but to be perfectly honest, there really hasn't been anything to report. Several times I stopped by, opened up a 'New Post' window, then left. After all, what on earth could I say when I was still in the land of Limbo?

The beginning of January arrived, and I'd yet to hear from either of the two publishers that I submitted to, so I figured it was time for a gentle pester. The minimum 16 weeks had passed, you see, and while there are those who say 'no news is good news', I'm more of a believer of the 'no news is wearing on the nerves' train of thought.

Both publishers replied, asking  for a little more patience as my manuscript was currently under review with their editors. Great news, I thought! At least it wouldn't be too much longer until I heard anything. Two weeks late I got my first official rejection, and it sucked, despite having more or less expecting it. Still,I wasn't disheartened.

This week, on Wednesday to be exact, I got my second rejection. Boo-hoo!! I was gutted, obviously, but again I wasn't overly surprised. I was also really encouraged though, because despite getting turned down, my book baby actually did rather well. Although the rejection email was pretty much a form letter, it did tell me that my MS had reached the acquisition team, and that the entire book had been read by a number of people. My understanding of the process is that you need a 'yes' from an editor, and one from a member of the acquisition team. If the team member passed on it, a second member would also read to give it a fair chance. Two agreeing votes are needed to decide the outcome. So, unless I completely misunderstood, I was literally one vote short. Bummer, huh?

Now, despite the disappointment, I was fairly buzzing. I'm new to all this, but I know that getting this far, especially on a debut submission, is really good news. It would have been helpful to know WHY I didn't get my final 'yes', but feedback is rarely provided, so it's just one of those things.

My guess is that my feline fairy godmother is is the culprit. That's going to be a hard sell, and I've always known it. But as a good friend pointed out to me - and I fully agreed with her (she's a Smart Tart, after all) - it is this hard selling point that will probably be the 'win' factor if and when I eventually get a 'yes'.

So I will keep plodding along. In fact, I've already submitted to four more publishers! Unfortunately, I've already received a pass from one of them, but again, it was an encouraging rejection. That particular editor was already working on a series that was similar apparently, so she declined before reading the full MS. Having sent the blurb and first three chapters, though, she also commented that she thought it was a 'fun' idea and that she 'loved my voice', which was AWESOME, as I finally had a teeny tiny bit of feedback.

This leaves me with three queries currently pending, and as soon as I have anything of any interest to report, I shall be back. In the meantime, I need to continue working on the sequel - something that is loosely based on the Beauty & the Beast story. After all, this is a series I am trying to sell, so it stands to reason that I need at least one more book written and polished ready to submit as soon as I get a 'yes' for the debut, right?

*positive thoughts*

Belle, the muse for my Muse character, fainted with shock at the news that her mistress's book got so far!