Friday, February 18, 2011

MAEVE GRAYSON: Rejection can be a good (?) thing

Please help me welcome romance author Maeve Greyson to the blog. Maeve's super exciting news is that she made the finals of the RT/Brava Writing with the Stars contest. Way to go, Maeve. This round of voting is for best sex scene. You can only vote once, and you can vote here.

Here's Maeve, regarding "Rejection can be a good thing": Yes. You heard me and no –I haven’t had anything stronger than coffee today. Read the title again. It says rejection can be a “good” thing. It DOESN’T say you’re going to like it. It’s kind of like a dose of castor oil. Blech! Once you get past the initial shock, some good can come from it.

Two rejections in particular made all the difference in my little universe. The first one came several years ago while I searched for an agent for a paranormal romance that I just KNEW everyone would love. Hmm…apparently, I was the ONLY one that felt that way because everyone I queried politely declined with every standardized form of rubber stamp rejection known to exist. Over a period of several months that stretched into a solid year, I got nowhere fast with my little story. Until FINALLY, what should arrive in my inbox? A GOOD rejection. A kindly agent took the time to tell me that I was wasting my time submitting this story to agents. “Send it to an epub,” she said. “You don’t need an agent for this story.”

What’s that thing you’re always seeing on Twitter? *head desk* or *face palm*? Yep. That pretty much says it all. A small press e-publisher. Why didn’t I think of that before? Now, mind you –my “querying time” was a little over two years ago before the official start of the epub explosion. At that time, the market was just beginning to simmer. It wasn’t at the full rolling boil e-pubbing is now. So I researched publishers and submitted my story to The Wild Rose Press. BEYOND A HIGHLAND WHISPER sold.

BEYOND A HIGHLAND WHISPER is available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online stores. If not for that agent’s “good” rejection, I might’ve given up on this story and shelved it. Who knows?

Another “good” rejection came from an editor during a three-line pitch session. I HATE pitches. I’ve taken the workshops. I’ve read the books. I’ve forced myself to pitch on blogs and chats. I STILL suck at pitches. I prefer the safe distance of a well-written query sent via email or snail-mail. I’m an introvert. I prefer to hit the send button or drop it in the mailbox and then stew for the required amount of time. It gives me the comforting impression of distance. Anyway, while forcing myself to participate in one of those self-imposed torture sessions, the rejection of my sucky pitch really helped. The editor told me I needed to change my title. She said an author has ten seconds or less to grab the reader’s attention and get them to pluck that book off the shelf, read the blurb and decide to buy the book. The title has to grab them to get them to look at the rest. My title was TAROC NA MOR. I thought it sounded wonderfully Scottish and romantic. Once again, I was alone in this school of thought. Apparently, no one but me heard Gerard Butler’s deep Scottish burr rolling my ‘r’s across his tongue. So, I changed the title to ETERNITY’S MARK and it’s now one of the three finalists in the Kensington Brava / RT Book Reviews Writing with the Stars contest. It’s garnered interest in the publishing world. See how a rejection can be good?

I know they’re painful. I stopped counting a long time ago how many rejections I’ve received over the years. But sometimes a door slamming shut in your face blows the glass out of the window across the room and lets in a breath of fresh air. Fresh air can bring a cleared mind and the ability to see a new path that’s been right in front of you all along.

And now I’d like to take a minute to thank Rebecca for having me on her wonderful blog. I really appreciate her hospitality and the visit to her cyber home. By the way, here’s a few spots on the web where I can be found. I’d love it if you popped in and said Hi!

And if you’d like to give a poor shy author a little love and vote for Eternity’s Mark in the FINAL round of Writing With the Stars –please follow the link below, scroll down and look to the left and you’ll see the Writing with the Stars block that will take you to the voting link for the final round. Thank you EVER so much!
http://www.rtbookreviews.com/aspiring-authors

About Maeve: Maeve is a paranormal romance writer from Western Kentucky. The stories she writes are filled with magic and love, where anything might happen to get to that happily ever after. She's been a dreamer all my life but never shared her stories until her mother's failing health demanded she become a heart transplant recipient. Her resulting journey terrified and over-whelmed her. Maeve's stories helped her escape.

Many of Maeve's stories are filled with the mysteries of time-travel and legends, all with a Celtic flair. Scotland and Ireland sing to her soul. In a past life, she's certain she was there.



21 comments:

  1. Thanks again for having me on your blog today, Rebecca! I'm headed off to the day job but I'll peep in throughout the day and pop back in after I get home. Happy Friday everyone!!!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this Maeve. You're right, it can be a good thing-especially when one nice editor tells you what to fix or where to take it. Glad things are working out so very well for you now!
    Michelle

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  3. Wonderful post, and oh soooo true. Good luck with the contest.

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  4. Mauve, loved this post. I went through several-several rejections before, on a whim, pitching Passion of the Soul to Crescent Moon Press. They didn't make me write a synopsis-which I suck at-and just read my story. Editor loved it and offered contract immediately. Sometimes, if you stay persistent, you'll find that one person in the industry bucking the norm. They'll look past the awkward synopsis a newbie hasn't mastered and find a book that they love. Congrats on your sale. And I hope you win, I've voted!!

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  5. Maeve,
    You are SO right about rejections being a good thing. And I'm glad you didn't shelve your first story. There's no telling what would have happened with your writing career if you had. Take every rejection as a learning experience and good things will always come. Best of luck at the RT's Writing with the Stars!!

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  6. Great story and observations, Maeve! And hey, without those rejections, how sweet would any success feel? :-)

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  7. Rejections lead us in new directions, which we always learn from. Great post!

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  8. Maeve, great post. I had many good rejections over the years. Last week I received one from a Harper Collins editor telling me she enjoyed the story and loved my voice but wasn't sure how to market it. Another editor from Kensington told me she wished she was younger and had the gut to publish it. That made my day. So a rejection is not just a rejection.

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  9. Loved your post, Maeve. And of course, you are so right. The only thing I can't stand is a rejection that tells me nothing. If an editor/agent is going to reject a story, then please give me at least one line that will help me improve the story or possibly market it to another publisher. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Congrats on your release, Maeve. Hope you sell lots!

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  11. This was great Maeve. It used to be a title would just 'come' to me like my character's names. I never second guessed them, they all remain on my early writings as original titles. Then while writing my last SSE submission a name refused to gel at all. The entire writing and first round edits it was titled Heroine and Hero (insert character names here). Then I was on my tortured way through round two edits over a year after completing first draft 'Healing Whispers' floated through my mind and stuck. What better title for a horse whisperer come to the rescue?

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  12. Maeve,
    I've been in your boat and do not want to think how many times. :) It is so rare for an agent or editor to take time to give you a critique or valuable advice. You're right, though, it works like a charm to get a person on the right path to publication. Now about those other agents/editors who send you rejections on postage side paper, staple it to your original envelope or simply write "not for me" on your query--there's another blog. :)

    Thanks for the great post,
    Bobbye

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  13. Hey Maeve,
    Wow, lots of people are up early. :)(At least from my Pacific Time perspective).

    Ah, rejections. If it's true they grow character, then I have tons of character. LOL

    Thanks for a great post. GOOD LUCK in the RT/Brava contest. How exciting!!!

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  14. maeve, your post reminds me of how the same character in chinese symbolized crisis and oppportunity.

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  15. Maeve, what a wonderful blog glad your works finally found the right home so you could share your story telling.

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  16. Rejections where you get some feedback are like gold dust. Painful nonetheless but at least you get some direction.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  17. You go girl! You're on your way to being the next great novelist! You're proof that rejection is indeed a good thing!!! Love your story.

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  18. Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedules to pop by and leave a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the post and again, I really appreciate Rebecca allowing me to visit her awesome blog. Have a great weekend everyone!

    :-)

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  19. Love how you re-framed something we all think of as negative into a positive expereince. I'm glad your rejection opened a door for that you might not have explored otherwise. Us readers get to reap the benefits!
    Best of luck with all future books.

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  20. Thanks so much, Lynne! I hope readers enjoy my stories as much as I love writing them.

    :-)

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  21. Maeve, I know I am late, but I just now got around to visiting with you. So sorry...
    Loved the post and I'm like you. I suck at pitches. haha
    I wish you all the best in your career!
    (BTW, I voted for your scene a bit earlier when it was up. - I made sure I was not late for that!)

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