How To Quit Writing and End Up On The Bestseller Lists!

In my read, read and read some more Romance research program, I’m currently half way through Shirley Jump’s Vegas Pregnancy Surprise. Shirley’s writing is lovely and so easy and enjoyable to read and I did what I often do when I stumble upon a book I like, I checked out the author’s web site.

There I found an article that I just couldn’t not read ”HOW TO QUIT WRITING AND END UP ON THE BESTSELLER LIST’‘.
I couldn’t have read this article at a better time. As you all know I got a painful R this week. Like we all do after such an email, I asked myself the usual questions. What am I doing? How long can I keep at this writing gig without making a success of it? Should I give up and take up quilting?
I came to the conclusion after much stewing that I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel. I still LOVE reading Romance and I still really, really, really love writing. I still desperately want to see my name on a published book! But this article by Shirley Jump in which she tells about how she DID give up and then got The Call was really inspiring and really something I needed to read this week!
Just curious? Anyone ever tried to give up writing? How long did you last?

I get around!! And Feel the LOVE!

LOL!!! R’s are almost as sweet as The Call when I get invited to all these wonderful places to guest blog!

Today I’m waxing lyrical over at iheartpresents – it’s almost the same blog as I did at the gorgeous Seven Sassy Sisters so don’t feel you have to visit, but I HAD to mention it!!
Have had the most gorgeous messages from members of the romance community – both published and aspiring – all so encouraging and supportive about my recent R!!
I tell ya… it’s all you wonderful people, saying that you can’t wait to buy my book, that give me the desire and motivation to continue!
The Romance Community really does ROCK!!!!

Good-bye Cam and Peppa!

Well… I asked for speed in my last email and I got it. A speedy R delivered to my inbox tonight.

As far as R’s go it was nice. The editor said that my full had been passed onto Bryony Green (senior ed for Modern Heat) but that she’d regrettably decided to pass on the mss. There was no mention of underdeveloped conflicts or not enough emotion. I was praised on my ‘wonderfully accessible and engaging voice’ and told that there was a lovely bond between my characters and the sensuality WAS there just NOT ENOUGH.
Interesting enough the ed suggested I may like to try my voice on for the Romance line and see how it fits. Interesting because over the past few years I’ve had times where I’ve really wondered if I’m fitted to Modern Heat. I think my voice is young, sassy and flirty enough but I’m not sure I’m really confident with that push-the-boundaries level of sensuality. Love reading it but always wondered if I actually did it justice in my own writing. Well… apparently not.
I’m not gonna say I’m not disappointed. Of course I’m gutted. But on the bright side, I have passed many landmarks during this sub. I got revisions on the story and I know it got passed up the ladder, so I figure I must be doing something right.
Onwards and upwards hey? Once I work out where the heck that is…


Have finished writing a new partial for Modern Heat. Am stoked, I really like this story and even the synopsis is shaping up to be not too terrible.

My dilemma is that now I’m impatient to sub it – lol – and I can’t because I’ve already got something under consideration there!!
Anyway Happy Friday to you all.
Hope you’re all feeling as happy as me and that this isn’t the high before a low!!! Surely they wouldn’t send an R on a Friday and ruin my weekend??

Second Guessing!

SIX WEEKS. That’s how long I’ve been waiting since pushing send on my full mss to M&B.

That’s nothing you say. Some people wait two years to hear back on a full. So, logically I know I should sit back, start a new book (which I have) and forget about the old one. But the thing is the editor I’ve been working at is SUPER SPEEDY! She’s getting quite a reputation – lol.
I heard back on a week after sending my partial, ten days after sending her the first 33k and the longest anyone I know has heard back from her on a full is five weeks. This was my benchmark until a friend said they’d heard of someone who heard back after SIX weeks.
But six weeks it now is for me and still nothing. I alternate between a number of best-case and worst-case scenarios.
Perhaps its a definite R but because she’s such a lovely ed, she’s working out the best way to let me down gently.
Perhaps they’re just really, really busy at the moment in Richmond.
Perhaps she’s drafting up another revision letter.
Or joy of joys, perhaps she’s passed it up the ladder for further approval. (of course I know that even if this is the case, the other eds might not like it).
But it’s driving me batty. Email checking is a constant obsession. I can barely eat dinner without getting up to go and check. If a child wakes me up in the night (which is a frequent occurrence in my house), I log on and check my mail. Hubby’s so used to it now, he’s given up asking me what the hell I’m doing with the laptop in bed at 3am in the morning. It’s even affecting my writing cos after every sentence I write, I check my email – NOT good for the word count!
So… I’m guessing I’m not alone? Please tell me there are others out there who second guess what waits mean!?

How much can you get away with in Single Title?

My last full manuscript was rejected and one of the reason cited in the rejection letter was that the heroine was a little unlikeable.

Here’s an extract from that letter:

When we first meet Libby she is rummaging around in Matt’s rubbish trying to find something, anything, about him for her article. This is rather desperate behaviour and not really something we would expect of a professional young woman.

Also, her desperation to secure her dream job leads her to terribly devious things; hiring Matt without his knowledge, attempting to record him without his knowledge or consent and then perhaps the worst of all, using Dan’s private investigation results. We were slightly alarmed that Libby even agreed to meet Dan and discover more about Matt and further that she would use the information in her article. It makes no difference that she decides to delete the finished file; she still goes behind Matt’s back in the most deceitful way.

After much huffing and puffing and screaming at the computer that she was fabulous not unlikeable, I finally came to accept their point. (Note accept, not necessarily like). But I did learn one major thing about heroines in category from this rejection.

They have to have enough flaws that we can relate to them but in many ways they have to have the moral high ground and not have certain characteristics that may be realistic in real life but not sympathetic in a fictional character.

Right now I’m distracting myself from the full sub by trying something different – my single title rural romance type thing. Anyway I’ve just discovered today – cos I’m flying by the seat of my pants here – that the heroine very likely had a one night stand (maybe she was drunk) a couple of month’s before she was due to marry the hero.

Of course my first thought was WHAT A COW, SHE CAN’T POSSIBLY HAVE LOVED THE HERO… but she was eighteen and we all make mistakes right? I’m thinking I can probably get away with her having this monumental mistake and secret in her past but would love to hear your opinions.

Can a hero and or heroine get away with more unsympathetic actions/past in ST than they can in category??

Do you or don’t you?

Okay… so my post titles are getting more and more original. NOT!

Basically I’m having a slump week. Don’t know if it’s because I’ve got to the stage where I can no longer NTAI my full sub without starting to feel depressed – thinking that its codswallop and there’s no way they’ll even ask me for revisions never mind buy – or PMT!!! Either way, it’s not good for my writing.
There is one other reason – it could be the book I’m reading, which I’m enjoying but is one of those books about women in their mid-thirties looking at their life and not really being happy with what they see. It’s not how the heroine imagined her life would be when she was fresh-faced and twenty. I’m pretty happy with my life – I have a loving hubby, three gorgeous sons, a part time job I like, a hobby I adore and the best friends a girl could hope for – but do books put ideas into our heads? Sometimes I wonder.
Anyway what I really wanted to know is do you read in your genre while you are in the writing stages of a book? I’m mostly targeting Mills & Boon Modern Heat and I try to read all the books that come out in this line (I’m very behind but I try). I’ve always read them at the same time I’m writing my own MH but I’m wondering if this is the right thing to do, or do I get swayed?
Would love to hear your thoughts on reading within your genre while writing!!

Just wondering…

While at the dayjob (or one of them) at the library today, I was putting back books on the shelf and it got me thinking about a genre I’ve always liked, don’t read enough of and would love to write but don’t think I have the KNOW-HOW!

That’s right folks – I’m Rachael Johns, I’m a write-a-holic and one day I’d really love to pen a crime fiction!!! Or a mystery!

So I got wondering… do any of you lovely blog ladies have a genre you’d like to try but haven’t had the guts to yet and wonder if you ever will? I’d love to hear 🙂