Writing Wrongs

December 05, 2005

So the packet from the contest arrived this Saturday, the one that had comments, and supposedly, a request from the editor for India Charlie. And it did, in a sense. First, the comments were very nice. And the editor judge wrote right on the manuscript pages in places. For a contest? This is almost unheard of, since editors are busy, busy people. I was flattered she took the time (and yes, my thank you is signed and seal, waiting to be delivered).

She said that she loved the characterization and the details and under the question: What did you like/dislike about the entry? She wrote: I like everything, the plot, the characters. This is ready to publish. Consider XYZ Pubs.

Thatís some extremely gratifying feedback, especially since I feel sometimes like Iíve been beat about the head and shoulders over this book But . . . I hadnít considered XYZ Pubs (Iím keeping it generic so I can talk a bit more freely, not that I plan to badmouth anyone or anything). The main reason is, as part of their guidelines they state theyíll look at any story as long as the story's central focus is romance.

Here, of course, is where we run into a problem. Is there a love story in India Charlie? Yes. Is it the main focus? I donít know. Lots of people seem to want it to be the main focus. Could I rewrite the story without the love interest? I could, but Iíd have to tear the book apart. At the moment of crisis, Isabelle must choose between love and respect. So yeah, the relationship she has with Frank is very important to the story, but main focus? Sigh. I donít know.

So. Here I am, with this odd request of sorts. More of a recommendation, I guess. The editor is part of the big publisher that owns XYZ Pubs, so an editor there would know who she is. That isnít the problem. The problem is I wouldnít have thought to query this particular imprint on my own.

On the upside, thatís all XYZ Pubs wants initially from an unpublished writer. A query with a SASE--and an opening paragraph mentioning the kind editor above--is really all I need to worry about at this point. If it comes to something more, well, Iíll worry about that later.

So, when is a request not a request? When itís like this.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 11:27 a.m.