The Continuing Story of Eileen and the Book

When last heard from, my manuscript was languishing in publishing purgatory(that place where you sit for eons thinking on your sins)(in publishing, those are mostly of pride). The good news was that two editors reacted very well to my manuscript–actually it was more than two, but the sales forces got in the way of one. The bad news was that another five houses couldn’t figure out what to do with me(not unusual in my career. I tend to write about fifteen months ahead of the curve).

Well then, off I went to Prague to visit already existing publishers and sightsee with my husband. I’ll have my report on the historic Prague on my travel page soon. But wheil I was there, I was fortunately connected to Wi-Fi, because I actually got two offers. TWO. That’s never happened before in my life. I actually had to make a decision.

It didn’t come down to money. It never does with me. Of course, nobody’s ever offered me the kind of money that makes your mouth go dry, so I don’t know what would happen in a case like that. I would call these offers respectable. Both from successful houses, from editors I respect. And both from editors who said that they loved what they saw on the page, even the history that had confounded a couple of the other houses. What do do? What to do?

I’m not going to get into all my deliberations. Suffice it to say that I’m very grateful to have a very left-brain engineer of a husband, because he sat down with me and did a very credible ‘pro and con’ list for each house. I contacted authors from each house to ask their experiences(and let me say right now, that in my experience, authors–especially romance authors–are some of the most generous, helpful people in the world. They didn’t just offer help, they offered the truth).

The outcome? I got to take my husband out in Prague to a fabulous restaurant to celebrate the sale of my historic trilogy to Grand Central Publishing(formerly Warner books). We’ve talked a lot back and forth, and God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, they will be out in succeeding months in 2010. I feel bludgeoned. I feel exhilerated. I feel….of course. Terrified. I’m now on a very tight deadline. But then, my cousin, who once wrote scripts with me assured me that I was no damn good til the two minute warning. So I figure I’m in the perfect position.

I’m still trying to convince myself I’m a historical romance author. It’s such a new place for me. But I absolutely adore the period, and I find that there’s enough action amid the romance for the heart of any suspense writer.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I’m also going to add a research page to the Kathleen side of my website. I’m using a lot of the same old research, but I’ve found some really cool things to add to it. Because to me, historical means historical. Not just dressed in outdated clothes. I just hope I make my history fun.

Kathleen and Eileen, the evil twins

16 thoughts on “The Continuing Story of Eileen and the Book”

  1. Congrats on the sale! I wanted to tell you that i read The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes and have never laughed so hard in my life! I loved it!

  2. gina says:

    I just finished reading Head Games. Oh my god!!! What a shock ending. I absolutely love that book. I had trouble putting it down. I found myself waking up around 5 am and gravitating towards the book. I am sad that it is over, but happy I may now get some sleep! Keep up the great work!

  3. Gina–You said the very thing an author wants to hear. Thank you! (I wish I could say I was sorry). Hopefully it won’t be long before I can write another thriller.

  4. JournoMich says:

    I am in the early stages of writing and just waxed frustrated on my own blog…While doing research for that, I came across one of your old blogs and linked to it! You can see that here:

    Now that I've found your blog, I'm interested in reading more about you and your books! Hope you approve of my quoting you.

  5. Aremaree says:

    I am currently reading "A Man to Die For" and am bonding with Casey McDonough. Finally a heroine I totally understand! I 'GET" Catherine McDonough and I like it! Grew up very Roman Catholic in the 50's & 60's and am laughing and crying all the way with Casey! My best friend growing up could be Poppi with minor variations! Hope to see more of Casey. Love it! RL

  6. Armaree–I'm so glad. I have to admit that my best friend growing up was also Poppi. Her name was Annie, and I almost always have her in some book, no matter what I call her.

  7. Michele–quote away. That's the best thing about having a publishing community. We can commiserate with somebody else who's been through the same thing.

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