Hi Peeps,

It's me again with some good news. Sapphire accepted my manuscript! Yay! I'm soon to be a published author. Of course, words can't do my feelings justice, but I'm very excited! Chris notified me via email August 1st and sent me a contract to review. I spent several days reviewing it, just as I had the other. I felt much more comfortable with the terms of this contract, so I accepted it, and have since been welcomed aboard and assigned an editor. The process of getting published wasn't as painful as I had expected, but we will see about the editing process, LOL. I'll keep you posted. 
Okay, Peeps...here goes. For those of you who are following my blog I know you're just DYING to find out what's going on with my manuscript. So, while I was at the GCLS Texas Conference I found out that Regal Crest was interested in publishing my manuscript. About a week later I received the contract in the mail. I had learned a few things at the GCLS about what to look for in a contract so I had given this a lot of thought. To make a long story short, I decided against it. 
Last night and the night before I prepared my manuscript according to Sapphire's submission requirements. There was a lot to do: write an author bio, a cover letter including specific information, I already had a synopsis written, but they also wanted a story summary. After attending to those details, checking and double checking everything I sent it off today. Now we wait...again, lol. I will keep you posted.
I can't even begin to say what a great time I had at this years GCLS Conference. All I can say is that the Cons are magical, purely magical. I laughed, I danced, I learned, and most importantly I met the greatest people. Last year I was a Con Virgin and I had the greatest time of my life. This year I was worried about not being a virgin bc when you're a Con Virgin Mercedes takes good care of you. You are well looked after and...well...I guess I need that because I'm sort of bashful. My worries, however, were all for naught. This Con experience out did last years 10 fold, if that is even possible. Last year I would have sworn it wasn't.

With that said let's move on to the trip home. First off, I hate to fly. I don't like to be encased like a sardine into a huge, heavy, metal thing that's 40,000 feet in the air...not my idea of fun. Even drugged up on Dramamine I'm chomping at the bit (although under the Dram influence I don't know where that bit is or if it's even mine), so when I'm rushing across an airport, lugging heavy baggage (so I can save $50), because I'm afraid I'm going to miss my flight, because it's only a 40 minute layover, to find out we are on a 2 hour delay, imagine my distress. For those of you who know me, come on...I know you can imagine it. 

Luckily the woman I sat next to in the terminal was friendly.
Woman: Are you flying to Rochester?
Me: Yes.
Woman: We're on a 2 hour delay.
Me: Are you fucking kidding?  [LOL. No I didn't say that, but I may have said "shit."]

Eventually, she remarked that she had to use the bathroom so I offered to watch her bags. 
Woman: You don't mind?
Me: As long as there isn't a bomb in them. [Yes. I really said that.]
Woman: (nervous laughter) No, there's no bomb.

She was back rather quickly with a purpose.
Woman: Our gate's been changed.
Me: Are you kidding?
Woman: No.
Me: You would think they could have announced it.
Woman: Maybe they did. It's so garbled you can't understand a shittin' thing they say.

So now we haul-ass across the airport to another gate. My arm is about to fall off from lugging my heavy bag and I'm getting a crick in my neck from my backpack, which is stuffed to the hilt.

When I finally touched down in Rochester I was tempted to drop to my knees and kiss the ground. I figured it was smooth sailing from here, but boy was I wrong. First I realized I had no cash to pay the thruway toll so I had to find an ATM. Mind you, it's 1:30am EST and I'd been up since 7am Texas time, so I'm tired.  I found the ATM, found the shuttle (which stunk like pee), eventually found my ticket so the shuttle driver would know what lot I was parked in, and was so relieved when I was dropped at my little Hyundai Accent with the crunched in front right bumper. I never thought I would be so happy to see THAT car. 

Because it's the wee hours of the morning there is no attendant. I'm at the exit ready to pay with my credit card only to realize I don't have my exit ticket. You know, the one that tells how long you've been there so you can pay, the one you NEED to get out. I know for a fact I put it on the dashboard when I left. Did it fall somewhere? Did it blow out the door when I opened it? WTH? So here I am, in front of me is the railroad gate thingie and behind me is another car. I can't say it didn't cross my mind to bust through it and make a quick get-a-way, but I live my life as an upstanding citizen (sigh) so that was (unfortunately) not an option. 

At this point I need to tell the driver behind me that I need to back up, but when I try to open my car door I'm too close to the credit card thing-a-ma-jig and can't get out. I wave my arm out the door and the woman behind me yells "What?"
Me: I can't find my ticket. I need to back up.
She barely, barely backs up so I can barely reverse around her. 

I pull aside, search through every Hess, Tacobell, and Dunkin Donut ticket on my car floor, search my wallet, drive back to my spot to see if it flew out my door when I had it open (the fates were playing with me bc there was a ticket on the ground but it was from Home Depot or something and it wasn't mine) then finally decided that I needed to wait for the next shuttle and tell the driver. 

I did. He was great. After going through the drivers license thing and the credit card thing I drove another hour and 15 minutes, pulled into my driveway, and dropped into bed just before 4am Monday morning. 

All's well that ends well. Now I know what that means.
Leaving for the GCLS tomorrow very early in the AM for the drive to Rochester Airport (ROC). Haven't heard anything from Regal Crest and I don't expect they will mention it at the conference (although I hope they do!). Six weeks and counting!
So, I'm not going to be driving to Texas afterall. After checking prices for rental cars and figuring in the gas, it turned out to be over $700 for a road trip from Central New York to Dallas, Texas. And that's in an economy car! Not happening. I booked a flight for $404 instead.  ****sigh****  Well, at least I was able to borrow a cowboy hat, the boots didn't fit.
I haven't posted in a while so I thought I would today. I still have not heard anything from Regal Crest and the 2013 GCLS is fast approaching. I wanted to drive to Texas but couldn't find anybody to be my wingman, so to speak. So I researched flights and found some pretty reasonable ones...but somehow, for some reason I continuously refused to book one. Now the prices have tripled! And I was told my car wasn't up for such a long drive (tires, breaks, tires... really crappy tires) so it looks like I may be renting a car for a Road Trip...all by my lonesome. Well, after the long winter we had here in the Northeast, working two jobs all winter, I've been itching for an adventure. Can't say I'm not a bit nervous though...
Okay, so it's been a while but life happens and here I am. I spent a few days preparing my manuscript for publication with my final, final edits. Meanwhile I was also mulling over publishers, weighing the pros and cons, and decided on Regal Crest. I loved their website. It was written honestly, clearly, and included a slew of useful information. That said, some of the information included the fact that your manuscript can not have any hard tabs. Therefore I had to find out how to remove mine. Patty Schramm was extremely helpful with that. She sent me information regarding how to set your tabs before you begin writing, and how to remove hard tabs, if needed, and I needed--I really, really needed--info. on how to remove hard tabs. Thanks Patty!

After preparing my manuscript according to Regal Crest requirements I sent it along via email with a cover letter and whatever other information they ask authors to include. That was on May 5th, three weeks ago. I know, I know, I'm bad. It's been a while and I'm just updating my blog. I immediately received an email from Regal Crest stating that they received my submission and I can expect a reply in 6-8 weeks, so I figured I had time, haha. Just an FYI, the 2013 GCLS Conference will be taking place the 7th week from my submission date. It would be super if I heard before that, but one must be patient. So now I wait and keep my fingers crossed.

In the meantime I'm working on two more books. One is an idea I recently came up with, the other is a previous book I wrote years ago, a Young Adult mystery. I suppose I can keep you posted on those as well! TTFN! (I borrowed that phrase from my friend Jane C. whom I met at last years GCLS. Hope she doesn't mind!).
Today I talked with Barrett and Lori L. Lake. Barret and I chatted over Gmail and I asked her advice on publishing and publishers. Barrett is known to cut through all the gobblygook in my head and give me a reality check. As I was talking to her about what different publishers offer, she told me that's not what I should be thinking about; what I should be thinking about is whether or not my manuscript fits their submission guidelines. She is always patient with my questions (and I have many!) and my concerns. Actually, she  must think I'm manic or something because she often ends our conversations by saying "deep breath." 

I had emailed Lori Lake and she offered to call me. She said when talking publishing there is too much to cover to do it via email, and boy was she right. She was a wealth of information! We discussed the major publishers and many of the smaller presses, how books are formatted from paperback to ebook, the price of publishing paper backs, and whether royalties are paid on the cover price or the net price. She shared her wisdom on writing and editing and I found that we were like-minded regarding many of the issues that arise for writers and editors. We had a great talk. She mentioned pros and cons. She was honest and straightforward, and very easy to talk to. 

Over the next few days I will allow this ocean of information to ebb and flow inside the tiny nutshell I call my brain. During that few days I will read over my beta readers notes and finalize my manuscript. Then I will make my final decision.

Stay tuned!

I want to share my experience from book completion to publication for those of you who someday are destined to go through the same (but different) process. So, I finally finished my book, and as it is presently in the hands of my beta reader, I am using this time to research publishers. How am I doing this, you ask? Probably backwards, but that's how I do most things. 

Here are the steps I'm taking: 

Step 1: I surfed the net in search of publishers of lesbian fiction. Lori Lake has an excellent, comprehensive, alphabetical list of GLBT publishing links at LoriLLake.com.

Step 2: After looking over Lori's list, I decided to contact one or more authors whom I met personally at the 2012 GCLS and elsewhere, who have published with the companies I was interested in. If authors were presently under contract with a publisher I did not ask them to speak about their publisher unless I was prompted to do so by the publisher. For example, on the Regal Crest website, Cathy Bryerose, owner of Regal Crest, encourages writers to "contact our authors, especially those who have been with us for a long time. Find out what they have to say and why they continue publishing with Regal Crest." So I did. 
          You might be wondering how I decided which publishers I was interested in. As mentioned earlier, I attended the 2012 GCLS and met people. I signed up to be mentored and was mentored by Affinity. Erin and Julie were very generous with their time. Very generous. They were kind and warm and I liked that. At P-town I met Kelly Smith, publisher and editor-in-chief of Bywater Books, and she too was kind and encouraging. I also met some of the authors who publish with Bywater who were also all very kind and friendly.
          Basically, I am going on gut instinct. Did I feel comfortable while talking with the aforementioned? Were they easy to be with and welcoming? What have I heard about individual publishers? Are they generous with royalties? Do they provide opportunities for publicity? Also, I read their books and because I have a Masters in English and am a certified copy editor I have a sharp eye for detail. Do their books have typos or is their editing first-rate? That is a pet peeve of mine. I get very frustrated when reading a book with numerous typos. I don't want my audience to experience that. And I don't want typos or other mistakes to reflect negatively upon me as an author.

Step 3: Wonder, Wait, and Weigh. So, I continue to Wonder who I should publish with, as I Wait for my beta reader to finish my manuscript and am also Waiting to hear from the authors I have contacted. As I Wait I also Wonder what other authors I should contact. Finally, I have been spending time Weighing the pros and cons of the publishers I find myself interested in. 

With that said, I will continue to update my blog accordingly.