I have to give a HUGE whoop & holler to my publisher, The Wild Rose Press.
There is a group that many of us writers know about. It's called Predators and Editors - and is a wealth of information (of the "warts & all" variety) for anyone who is looking for an agent, publisher, and/or editor. And this week, it was announced that The Wild Rose Press WON a coveted P&E award as BEST PUBLISHER!!!
Let's face it. Our books are our babies. We spend every waking moment thinking about them, planning for them, figuring out the traits of our characters, naming them (something that was described in detail last week on www.mamawriters.com) - and when it comes time to let them leave the nest & fly, this is one of the first places a new writer should look.
When I was looking for All or Nothing's home - I searched P&E looking for agents. Then I went through (okay, scoured) the Writer's Market, Publisher's Lunch, etc. in search of an agent. I had a few nibbles, but to be quite frank, the story was rough and needed some polish. It then sat on my desk, as I needed to find my hook. I wrote and rewrote the first few chapters again and again. Worked with the Temecula Writer's Group (HUGS) until it sparkled. But the agent route had left me cold. I joined Query Tracker. I put together some lists and almost started searching for an agent, again. Found one close, but I didn't have the proper initials in my name...(her current criteria for finding new authors?!)
But, at my "day job" I kept seeing new listings for titles of the same genre as All or Nothing. From, you guessed it! SO, I researched them on P&E and what did I find? "Predators & Editors is hearing good things about this publisher." Hmm. Go straight to a publisher? So, I read their submissions criteria, wrote a fantastic (writer's group approved) query letter, followed their guidelines to the LETTER, and submitted.
Within a week, they'd notified me my query was being sent to the Senior Editor of the Inspirational Romance line. Within a day or two, the Senior Editor requested the full MS. Within another week, I heard from my editor. If I was willing to roll up my sleeves and go to work, they were willing to send me a contract. WHAT!? A contract? Just like that? Suspicious and excited, I checked the circles. Searched message loops. Nothing I heard was negative, only positive. Could it be true?
I took the biggest leap of faith of my writing life, and agreed. I had a contract. All or Nothing had a home. I had an editor. My writer's group cheered me on! And suddenly, I felt like I could do anything. My editor gave me some pointers, and I went back to work. All of her guidance was gentle, leading, and encouraging. My screw ups became our projects. And my words suddenly gleamed with her polish. My fledgling story soon had the beautiful cover you can see, by Kimberlee Mendoza, with my name emblazoned on the cover. All writers know this in itself is a dream come true.
Creative fervor had me entering one of their contests, and thus, By Another Name was born - a winner in The Easter Lilies contest. Now - I'm working on two other submissions requests. Could I seek homes for these titles elsewhere? perhaps. But I tell you what I know about The Wild Rose Press. Rhonda and RJ care. When someone says something negative about them, she rolls up her sleeves to defend her editors, her cover artists, and her authors. They are family - spread out in a virtual office across the globe. Saying I'm glad to be planted in this garden is a given. I've learned more about writing in the past year than I ever have before.
Congragulations, The Wild Rose Press authors, as well as Rhonda & RJ! You deserve this, and all the accolades that go along with it.