So the call came... but it was only ALMOST the call... (this is all about my audition for the Cozy gig, in case you're lost already)
“This is Tami.” (some of you might not know, but in the day time I have an extra name..erm.. I mean two—Tami is a grunt who does menial labor, and Tamera publishes scientific manuscripts and signs legal documents—I was in grunt mode)
“I'm looking for Hart Johnson?”
“Speaking!” (Instantly alert—there are only so many people OFF line who call me that.)
“This is EXXPT.” (that is code for the agent's as yet to be disclosed name *cough *)
“I wish I had really good news,” (heart stops) “but it's not bad.” (heart starts again) “The good news is she really likes your voice,” (heart speeds) “but she thinks maybe the details flow too fast, there is too much, so she wants to see revisions.” (heart resumes normal pace)
You see THIS is territory I am familiar with.
“Accepted as is.” (happens if your name is Linus Pauling or Albert Einstein. Possibly Oppenheimer...)
“Accepted with revisions.” --this means they tell you the exact changes they want and if you make them, you're in. (happens once in a leap-yeared blue moon)--oddly, I've experienced this twice in my 10 publications, but I am only first author on one, and THAT isn't one of them.
“Revise and Resubmit,” (meaning it has enough merit we will look at again it if you address the problems listed)--top... maybe half... maybe only a third... I might be slanted by working with people high in their fields... might only be 20%--these are typically eventually publishable, but sometimes take several rounds and several journals.
“Rejected” (the rest) –contrary to how it reads, these find publication about half the time, too. You just have to aim lower.
I think y'all are smart enough to see how my professional life has prepared me for this SINGLE ASPECT of trying to publish a book. I can take criticism, specific or general, and do a pretty good job telling what it is that's wanted. And I am REALLY HOPING that is going to work for me here.
On the down side 'revise and resubmit' delays the ultimate decision by a couple weeks, but honestly, it works pretty well with timing. I have a conference coming up... I hope to get it back to MY AGENT by the time I go, give her those few days to give feedback, turn it back around and have it to the editor in the 3-week window requested.
Tonight I will read it. Nothing else.
Tomorrow night I will read it marking what needs expanding (my intention is to put MORE action and relationship stuff, to slow things down a little), what needs eliminating (mostly descriptions of characters that can come later, people who need delay of mention (I have a party and suspect that needs to be streamlined)).
THEN I will begin page by page with what I've marked and delete and write as needed for revision.
I don't have any non-necessary people—I was careful on that, as it was ENOUGH to get all the necessary in there, but there ARE some who can be delayed. I THINK my aesthetic description was fine—it wasn't hugely heavy, and these are themed books, but I will watch for it.
Whatever the case, I feel confident I can do it AT LEAST enough that MY AGENT sees I've met the spirit of the request... The EDITOR is a less known quantity and may have something in mind that is hit and miss, but the way I figure it, if the agent believes in what we submit—that I've met what was requested, even if it isn't exactly what the editor MEANT, then I've preserved the relationship enough for a serious read of something later. Unknown is... you know... unknown... this is a negative where the editor is concerned—I can't read her mind. But this works FOR ME with the agent, for whom I am no longer unknown and am 1) being cheerful and cooperative about making requested changes, 2) meeting my deadlines 3) providing writing in a likable voice. I'm hoping when I send her LEGACY (cuz y'all voted and it won) that she will at the VERY least give it a read because she knows I'm easy to work with.
That's my story and I'm sticking with it.
So in Portland I worked with the world's NICEST guy, though I'm glad he was not my partner, son, child, or... employee... as part of WHY he was so nice was his daily pot use, which made him excessively mellow and excessively underambitious... but underambitious boy still managed to attend an organizational meeting for Portland's Reggae on the River. Do you know ALL seven people who showed up were left handed? How the HECK do you figure that happened (it is a statistical impossibility, or nearly, that this happened by chance). What part of your brain is it that determines 'you will be left handed and adore Reggae music' (I mean I like it, but not enough to organize a freaking festival—apparently for THAT, you have to be left handed.)