Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Journey to Publication ~ Knight Of Runes


I'm just sitting here looking at the cover of my debut novel, Knight of Runes, scheduled for release, November 14 by Carina Press. Okay, so you may think I'm sitting and staring at it because he's a really hot guy. Only for a little while. I have one in residence, hot to me that is. The picture of Lord Arik may not be real but I realized that my novel is. 
I started this project March, 2009 with an innocent excitement to help a friend write her book. It quickly escalated into creating a series of romance novels. We each had stories in our head and made plans to connect them. After a few months of hard work and several tens of thousands words on each of our stories, we found that our idea of tying them together wouldn't work. The stories would work well independently so we decided to critique each other's stories and finish our books individually. 
Her life was filled with a beautiful daughter getting ready for high school graduation, college tours, New York marathon training, and a job that took her all over the country (and sometimes the world). My situation is very different. My three extraordinary children are independent and on their own. I use my treadmill as an extension of my closet, and my job is an ninety minute commute to New York City. 
I had the time and I had the story so, I went full out. I researched the renaissance, manor life, herbs, poisons, karate moves, survival training, field medical procedures, druids, magic, warding, myths, and knights. Then I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. By August, I had 105,000 words and a completed story. Now what? I looked for a support group and found Romance Writers of America. I spent the next fourteen months learning about craft, research, publishing, and career building. I pitched to agents and editors and kept on polishing my manuscript, my pitch, and my synopsis.
In October, 2010, I participated in an online pitch sponsored by Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal (FFnP), an online RWA special interest chapter. Carina Press requested my full manuscript. I gave it one more polish after taking Eliza Knight's, Edit Your Book in a Month, and sent it off January 2011. February 3rd, I got a call from Carina Press. They wanted to publish my story.  
After making her repeat her name, I must have heard it wrong, it sounded like she said Angela James, it finally sunk in. This was THE CALL. All that practicing in the shower going over and over what I would say, how sophisticated I would sound and the brilliant questions I would ask, must have floated down the drain. I sounded anything but coherent and witty.
For days I thought, Angela must be mistaken or she must be calling everyone that pitched. So many agents and editors told me that time travel romance wouldn't sell. I was certain Carina Press would change their minds. When the contract came I had to admit that it was real.  
My family, day job colleagues, and friends (writers and non-writers), all celebrated with me as the project moved into its next phase, ready for production. With my editor, Denise Nielsen, we've worked through the edits,  cover fact sheet, and back cover blurb.
So, I sat and looked at the cover and realized that all that hard work, the disappointments, and even the doubts were so worth it. I look at the cover, a symbol of reality to me, and get goosebumps. The excitement bubbles up all over again. And that hot guy, the one in residence, told me he knew it all along. 

46 comments:

  1. Ruth, I enjoyed reading your journey. And no they didn't offer contracts to everyone who got a request that day. (raising hand) I should have taken that editing class you mentioned too. lol

    So many readers love time travels, and I have no idea why publishers are shy to buy them.

    Congrats on the book and a great cover!

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  2. This is so exciting. Very cool cover.

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  3. @Dawn Chartier

    Eliza's Edit Your Book in a Month is great. I recommend it highly. I really thought everyone got a call. I was surprised at Nationals when Angela said they published only 8% of the pitches they receive.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm glad you like the cover. I think he's really hot!

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  4. Beautiful cover Ruth and lovely story about how you came to writing :)

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  5. @Lita

    Yes, it is a cool cover. I've been staring at it for two days.

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

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  6. @Rachael Johns

    Thanks Rachael. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and the cover.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your journey to publication with us. I loved reading about it. Congratulations and good luck!

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  8. @Diana Quincy

    Thank you for your good wishes. It has been a wonderful and exciting journey with lots of hard work and many lessons along the way.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  9. Fabulous cover!! Congrats! I loved reading about your journey to publication. Maybe we should call you the accidental author! LOL Kidding. Wishing you the best of luck and enormous sales.

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  10. @Roz Lee

    I know! Isn't the cover fantastic. Accidental or just dumb luck, either way it was definitely hard work. I don't know what kept me from writing all these years. Stories are a part of me. They pop into my head all the time. Now I just wish I could remember some of them. LOL.

    Thank you for your good wishes. And about enormous sales, from your mouth to the readers ears!

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  11. STILL loving that cover!!! I am so thrilled for you Ruth. I think for me, when I see the cover, the truth really sinks in too. And like you said, all the hard work, the disappointments, the highs, the lows, everything is all worth it in the end. We slave over our babies because we're passionate about them, and launching them into the world is bittersweet :) And totally freaking awesome!!! I knew the moment you sent in the first paragraph excerpt of your book when you took my class that you had a winner. WOOHOO!!! YOU DID IT!!! Now hurry up and write the 2nd one! lol

    XOXO,
    Eliza

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  12. @Eliza Knight

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and working with me to make my story come alive. You are so right about the hard work, disappointments, and elations. I wouldn't change it for the world.

    Thanks for your support and you're right - I'm off to write the next book.

    Hugs!

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  13. @Trish

    *Heavy breathless sigh* Yea, gorgeous and sexy.

    I'm glad you like it. I'm off to take a cold shower!

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  14. Very beautiful & hawt cover. I loved your journey. Can't wait to read this!

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  15. @Rachel Firasek

    I'm still fanning myself! I'm glad you liked my journey. I'll keep you posted about the release date.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  16. Ruth, I got goosebumps with you.
    Love hearing about your journey. I'm working on it and your success gives me hope.

    Thanks for sharing it and love your cover. Yum!

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  17. What a great story, Ruth. You have every right to feel proud and jumping for joy. You've certainly worked hard for your dream and how nice to have support at home, too. Congratulations of such a hunky cover. It's definitely HOT!!!

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  18. Congratulations, Ruth. I'm very happy for you. Love the cover.

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  19. Congratulations on your new book!

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  20. @Sandy L. Rowland

    Thanks so much Sandy. I keep pinching myself. I'm glad you find inspiration in my journey. I can't wait to share your success as you have participated in mine.

    ... Ruth

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  21. @Paisley Kirkpatrick

    Thanks for your congratulations. I'm glad you enjoyed hearing about my journey.

    The cover is hot. Carina Press outdid themselves.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  22. @Jamie Babette

    Thank you so much for your good wishes and I'm glad you liked the cover. I have to fan myself just thinking about it.

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  23. @Jewel's Gems

    Thanks so much for your good wishes and for stopping by my blog. I hope to see you here again.

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  24. Congratulations Ruth! Love the cover. It's refreshing to hear a happy ending to a long journey. Hope this is the beginning of a long writing career.

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  25. @Karen

    Thanks so much for your good wishes and support. You have encouraged me every step of the way. I'm looking forward to the RWNYC mini conference in August and the writing retreat in Ocean Grove New Jersey in October.

    Thanks again,

    ... Ruth

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  26. I knew the first time you submitted a sample in Eliza Knight's class that you had something amazing. Your concept was different, your writing eloquent and engaging. This is only the beginning, and I'm glad I got a peek when it was still "incubating." I've saved everyone's submissions. It would be fun to post & see what we kept and what we trashed. The cover is wonderful. Yes, he's a fine example of "guycandy." Way to go!

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  27. Congratulations! Great cover. Can't wait to read it.

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  28. @J. Coleman

    Thank you Joelene for your confidence in me when mine was waffling. Your support is very important to me.

    What a great idea about the submissions! It would be wonderful to see what we kept and what got tossed.

    Yeah, the cover is ... it's just great.

    Thanks for your comment. I really love them.

    ... Ruth

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  29. @Native NYer

    Thanks for reading the blog and leaving a comment. I'm glad you like the cover and I will certainly keep you posted about the release.

    ... Ruth

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  30. A wonderful story with a happy ending! Congrats Ruth. And we share a great editor in Denise.

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  31. Great story and a yummy cover. I'm sure November can't here fast enough for you. Enjoy the high.

    AJ

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  32. @Coleen Kwan

    Thanks for your good wishes. Yes, Denise is just awesome!

    ... Ruth

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  33. @Autumn Jordon

    Yes, it is a yummy cover. It's only 113 days, but whose counting? You're so right about the high. It's wonderful.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    ... Ruth

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  34. Ruth, I'm so happy for you. The cover is wonderful. Very sexy. Something how getting the cover adds a final touch of reality to the whole process.

    Like you, taking Eliza's Edit Your Book in a Month was the best thing I could have done, not only for my writing, but for the friendships I've formed from that group.

    Congrats! And continue to enjoy the journey.

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  35. @Christina Wolfer

    I couldn't agree with you more! Eliza's class was a turning point for me. She has become a good friend and terrific sounding board.

    You're also right about the cover. I've been working through my edits with my editor but the reality of publishing my story really hit home when I saw the cover with my name. It's really going to happen in 112 days, but who's counting!

    Thanks for leaving a comment and, more importantly, for your support and those of our other Writing Divas!

    With warm regards always,

    ... Ruth

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  36. Great story and great cover. I know how you feel -- when I saw my cover for the first time I started to cry. It makes everything real.

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  37. Love the cover and congrats again!

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  38. I am so proud of you, and happy for you!! Yes, the cover is amazing, but so is your focus and determination to make your dream a reality. Your willingness to share your journey reminds me that all is possible! Thank you. (And I can't wait to read your book!!)

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  39. Congratulations, Ruth!

    I love hearing about a writer's road to publication. Your cover is amazing!

    I agree with you, there is nothing like seeing the proof that all your hard work paid off.

    I'm going to have to check out the edit your book in a month class it usually takes me much longer.
    ; )

    Shawna

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  40. I know this story... and it makes me smile every time I hear you tell it. And I absolutely love your cover!!! Congrats again!

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  41. @Sandy -

    You're right. The cover made it real. I'm glad you felt the same way when you saw your first cover.

    Thanks for leaving a comment.

    ... Ruth

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  42. @Caridad Pineiro

    Thanks for the comment and stopping by. Congrats on your excerpts for The Lost on Romance Reviews!

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  43. @Luci Weston

    Thanks so much for your encouragement and kind words. You helped too. Your encouragement has been awesome.

    ... Ruth

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  44. @Shawna Thomas

    Thank you for your kind words. Eliza's class is wonderful. The writers in our group became so close that we started our own support loop and cheer each other on.

    I'm glad you enjoyed my journey. It was hard but so worth it.

    ... Ruth

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  45. @Marlo

    He is hot isn't it! I'm glad you don't mind hearing my journey again.

    ... Ruth

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