WNP Welcomes Guest Blogger - Gena ShowalterThe Wet Noodle Posse is pleased to welcome our latest guest speaker, New York Times and USA Today Bestseller, Gena Showalter. Look for her book, Savor Me Slowly, in bookstores at the end of December 2007.
I wrote for about two years. When it comes to the past, I'm time challenged. So by two years I could mean two and a half years or even five. Finished around 5 or 6 books. Again, Im number challenged. Could have been four books, could have been twelve. Nearly all of them were in different genres of romance, sometimes even a combination of two or three. Or six. (As I tumble down a shame spiral thinking of the horrid things I once wrote -- Heaven's Fury anyone? -- I will tell you that I was trying to find my voice.) Each time I finished a book, I queried agents. Got a lot of rejections (don't ask me how many). But then, I wrote The Pleasure Slave.
From day one, it felt different than any of my other books. There was magic in it. I loved the characters, the plot, everything. Writing it, I felt like I was queen of the world. When I queried agents and many of them actually asked to read it. . . wow! Very surreal. Then, I was even offered representation. By two agents. (or three?) The agent I chose shopped that book around and had a nibble but ultimately, it was a no go. I was bummed but wrote yet another book. We shopped it. No nibbles. Or so it seemed. . .
Fast forward two years. (or one?) The amazing Tracy Farrell of Harlequin called my agent and asked if a particular client of hers would like to be part of a new single title line at HQN. That client was stretched to the max, but my agent said, "Ive got the author for you" and sent her my book The Stone Prince (the one I wrote after Pleasure Slave).
A few weeks later, boom. After years of nothing, finally something. Except, when the call came in it wasnt actually the call. Not yet anyway. My agent called me, said shed gotten a fax from Tracy. Apparently, the phones were messed up at HQN and no calls could be made. They could receive calls, however, and Tracy asked that Deidre call her. But Deidre had just returned from vacation, and by the time she got the fax Tracy had just left for vacation. The fax went on to say that Tracy had read my book, loved it, and wanted to discuss it. My mind raced. What did discuss mean? Did she want me to rework it? Did she want to buy it? Waiting until Tracy returned was the hardest thing Ive ever done. I was on the edge of my seat for two (you know what I'm gonna say here, right?) weeks!
Finally, the call came in and it was indeed the call. Tracy wanted to buy my book. Talk about a dream come true. Four (or five or six) years in the making. I should have called my husband first to share the good news, but I didnt. I called my critique partners, then my mom, then my husband. However, not one of them answered. I kept calling. Hours later, my mom was the first to answer, then my husband. My critique partners called throughout the rest of the day. I couldn't stop smiling. To celebrate, my husband and I went out to eat. I adore seafood, so I splurged on a lobster (or two). I also went shopping to buy myself a cool "writer" outfit: dress slacks, shirt, and jacket in classic black. Not that Ive ever worn them. Anyone who's seen me at conferences can vouch for my jeans and/or butt-eating dresses. (there's a story about that dress, but it's for another topic) Oh, and yes, Ive worn jeans and a dress at the same time. It must be a number thing.
That year, I sold seven books (only one previously written). I've since had around fifteen releases with many more on the way, hit New York Times and USA Today, appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, and sold the rights of a novella to Sony Television.
You can visit my website at http://www.genashowalter.com and my blog at http://www.genashowalter.blogspot.com
Labels: Guest Blogger