Hi. I’m Linda Shelby, the author of A Splinter in Time, a historical romance/time travel to be published in September 2016. I’m told that a novelist should have a web page, so here I am, trying to figure out this whole blogging thing.
Since the novel is not yet published, I have decided for now this blog will be the journey to publication.
That should give me plenty to diddle around with before any readers (other than my critique group) show up.
Splinter’s road to publication began in May 2015 at the OWCI writer’s conference at Embassy Suites in Oklahoma City. I entered A Splinter in Time in the contest’s historical romance category, which was judged by New York agent, Michelle Johnson. I didn’t win, but she gave me some excellent feedback on her judging sheet.
I also scheduled a pitch session with Wild Rose Press editor, Ally Robertson. Knowing I would draw a complete blank the moment I sat down with her, I brought a one-page synopsis (about 300 words) of the story with me and asked her if she would read it. She said, no, but that I could. So I read the synopsis and she said the story sounded interesting, but she questioned the necessity of a prologue. Agents and editors famously do not like prologues, so it is a little scary to confess you have added one.
I told her that I wanted the reader to go into chapter one knowing that the two women characters had been friends since they were children, and that one was black and the other white. She listened without comment and asked me to send her the novel.
After the conference, I worked furiously on the suggestions that Michelle Johnson had made on the contest sheet. Then I sent the novel to Ally Robertson. Now let me tell you that agents and editors also famously hate receiving queries addressed to the wrong name. I’ve sat through many conference sessions and listened to them say when they receive a query with the wrong name it goes straight into the trash.
You guessed it. My query to Ally Robertson was addressed to Ms. Johnson. I saw my mistake as I hit the SEND button. My heart pounded so hard I thought I might have a heart attack. Now I had two strikes against me – the dreaded prologue and the wrong name.
I quickly fired off a letter of apology explaining the contest feedback sheet from Michelle Johnson, but not expecting anything more than a rejection letter on my novel in return. Here is the reply from the gracious Ms. Robertson.
First of all, please call me Ally (instead of Ms. Johnson ;)). Just kidding! Don’t think another thing about it, really. It’s not a big deal at all. I am always juggling so many balls and rushing around so much, I’m likely to call my own kids Ms. Johnson.
Whew. At last, I was on my way.