This morning as I waited for my computer to boot up, I picked up a folder from my bookshelf, curious and wanting to pass the time. Turned out, the folder was actually my rejection collection – a history of my failures in the nineties.
And in case there are any aspiring writers cruising past my blog, I thought I'd record those rejections here, in the hope that you don’t slit your wrists just yet, but keep on trying…
This is why I say we all need to serve an apprenticeship…
1. Jan 12 1994 – Mills and Boon rejection for Impossible Dream – you tended to develop the minor characters and background details at the expense of the hero and heroine…
2. May 4th 1994 – Mills and Boon rejection for Love’s Sentinel – the feeling was that the grounds for conflict between the hero and the heroine weren’t sufficiently developed to generate the extra edge of emotional tension and urgency our readers expect.
3. September 22nd 1994 – Mills and Boon rejection for Aflame – no helpful advice, just a flat no thanks.
4. November 7th 1994 – a letter from Robert Hale thanking me for my enquiry and informing me that they will no longer be publishing Rainbow Romances.
5. November 28th 1994 – Silhouette Books rejected Impossible Dream. (Unfortunately silhouette Books do not traditionally publish stories with a musical backdrop)
6. August 25th 1995 – Mills and Boon rejection for Apprentice Parents – lacked the extra degree of emotional punch and excitement for which we look.
7. The Emma Darcy Award 1995 – I’m advised that I was one of 19 entries that made it through to the second reading.
8. November 1996 – Mills and Boon – a letter advising me that having read my synopsis they would now like to read my first three chapters and a synopsis of the rest of the book.
9. April 19th 1997 – Woman’s Day – short story rejection.
10. April 16th 1997 – letter from RWA with a critique of my unsuccessful entry in the Valentine’s Day competition.
11. May 17th 1997 – notification of lack of success in Emma Darcy competition
12. June 12th 1997 – Success at last!! Acceptance of a short story from Woman’s Day.
13. August 18th 1997 – another success! 3rd place in The Opening Chapter and Synopsis competition.
14. August 19th 1997 – getting closer. A Mills and Boon editor liked the first three chapters of Dearly Deceived and requested the rest of the story. She also gave me three pages of revision notes. I would seriously recommend that you try to rework your story with the above comments in mind. You bet!
15. March 13th 1998: The Call! – the phone call from Richmond that changed my life. My husband in the kitchen, where we're preparing tea, handing me the phone, eyes round with excitement: 'It's for you and she's got an English accent!'