Monday, October 22, 2012

Repurposing for Success


I don’t like the word cannibalism though I’ve used it often in reference to my writing. Now, I prefer to say, I’ve repurposed my novel, my chapters, my short stories.
I have so many books that don’t work for various reasons: weak conflict, flat plot, boring characters. Though I argue with all these assessments, I can’t force anyone to publish these particular pieces and don’t have the courage to epublish them myself. I guess in the back of my head, I wonder if these editors, agents, critique partners might be right. So … I’m repurposing. Did you know if you change the name of a character it really does help you change that character’s personality? True. While an Adrianna might be quiet, reserved--a Jackie is more aggressive. At least she is in my story.

The option book I submitted to Silhouette Romance after The Groom Wore Blue Suede Shoes came out was rejected. I’ve always liked my characters and portions of the plot, so I’m repurposing it. The first chapter was revised, combined with a portion of another chapter, and turned into a short story--little more than eight thousand words. I submitted it to Cajunflare Publishing owned by LoriLeger of Louisiana for her Christmas anthology. It was accepted and from what I understand, will be available on November 1st.
I met Lori more than a year ago before she leaped into her publishing venture. I had no idea at the time--and she didn’t either--that she would become what I call a regional (or small press) publisher. Being the insecure writer that I am, when invited to submit to her Christmas anthology, I made her promise if my story wasn’t worthy of seeing the light of day, she would reject it. And of course, she promised. Did I trust her? No! I was thrilled to learn a seasoned editor/author was also contributing to the anthology and volunteered her editing skills. Needless to say, when I submitted my story, I told the editor that I didn’t want to be published for the sake of being published--to please, please tell me if my story wasn’t worthy. Ever sent that kind of query to an editor? I told you in a previous post that I’m a sicko!

The editor deemed my story, A Child Was Born, worthy of publication. She didn’t hold back on the editing and marked every POV switch and lazy verb so I feel better about being included in Hearts, Hearths and Holidays, available in ebook and print form.  I’m excited and very nervous. I’ll show you the cover as soon as I get it.
In the meantime, what are you doing? Cranking up for NaNo? Me too! Getting ready for the holidays? Me too! Trying to decide who to vote for? Got that one nailed! Or just cruising along singing your song? Tell me about it.

7 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Congrats on these stories getting accepted. It sounds like you're even harder on yourself than I am on myself. I didn't think that was possible. :)

Sylvia Ney said...

Congratulations on the publication! I look forward to hearing more about it and reading when it becomes available.

Sylvia
http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Linda Todd said...

Hi Jess
Congratulations on the publishing success. Let us know when it's out.
Linda
PS Hope to see you at the conference.

LD Masterson said...

Congratulations on the short story.

And I wish someone would explain to be how you can gear up for the holidays AND do NaNo. I always see it as an either/or and go for the holidays (even though I'd love to try NaNo someday).

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Charles - I'm pretty rough when it comes to my work. Wish I was nicer to ME.

Sylvia - I'll be hollering!

Linda - you will definitely see me at the conference. :) Looking forward to it.

LD - I start NaNo with a bang but the week of Thanksgiving I have to give it up. But just getting started is great -- I have at least the beginning of a new piece. Try it!

Lynn said...

Yay for you and all your publishing success! Remind me when it's out!

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Hi Lynn! When I have my first copy in my hot little hands, and look it over, I'll be shouting. :)