Monday, October 5, 2009

Good News X 4

In the last three weeks I've had loads of wonderful things happening. The first I can't mention until next year, but it involves a contest that is very important to me and things are going very much my way. That's all I have been allowed to say. Top secret stuff this. But I can say it is a huge, big deal for me!

The second was an acceptance from Heartlines for my children's story The Witch on the Hill which will be used in their next collection. The story is about an old woman who lives alone so everyone believes that she is a witch, a common sort of belief here and quite sad. By accident a little girl discovers all of the rumours to be wrong and goes about trying to set things straight. The acceptance alone is a big honour but it comes with a big fat cheque of R10,000 for one story. I think that's about $1000 (US). And the story is short- 1000 words. That is good money this side of the world.

The third exciting thing is I have sent my short story manuscript off to Modjaji Books in South Africa. I knew Colleen Higgs, the owner of the publishing house, was looking for an editor to work on the collection with me and immediately I had a wish that it would be Colleen Crawford-Cousins who I met at this year's Cape Town Book Fair and fell in love with straight away -and my wish came true! She will be my editor! I was overjoyed. I know she'll pick my best stories in the bunch and help me polish them up to a beautiful shine. This will be the first book of mine that will be available also as an ebook so my friends in other place will be able to buy it. I don't know anything about the timeline for this project yet. Modjadji is a small publisher that publishes writing from women in Southern Africa. They have had fantastic success with their first novel Whiplash being shortlisted for the prestigious Sunday Times Prize and their first poetry collection winning the Ingrid Jonker Prize.

The last big news happened last Thursday. Regular readers of this blog might remember my whole big mix-up with my first steps into romance writing. After that, out of the blue I got an email from Kwela, quite a big publisher in South Africa, inviting me to submit a romance novella to their new imprint Sapphire Press. I thought that was quite handy since I had a half written romance novella on my hands. So I quickly finished it and sent it off.

On Thursday I got an email from them saying that they don't have the reader's report yet, but three staff members read the book and "loved" it and they"definitely want to publish it" and "we all agree that you have a natural storytelling talent" (!!!). How's that?

This writing job is so unlike any other profession. You have weeks of desperation when you convince yourself you are crap personified and a poser and why don't you just hang it all up and get a "REAL" job, and then you have wonderful things like this happen and you reconsider, and you think about all of the ways that writing fulfills you, and you are content. It's a manic depressive life, and funny enough, that might be the very reason I love it so much.

18 comments:

bonita said...

hats, horns, confetti x 4!!!
perhaps things ARE looking up!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Many congrats on all of this wonderful stuff, Lauri. Wow. And you are so right - this writing life is either crappo or amazing. Little in between!
Long may this phase last.
v

Jude Dibia said...

Well done, well done, Lauri! Really good news... now, but your teaser on the competition thing is not fair... spill everything! Congrats all the way!

SueG said...

Fantastic! I'm so so pleased for you!!

Tania Hershman said...

Wow! All fantastic , fabulous news! I look forward to my review copy of your short story collection, what an amazing blog post, I hope you are jumping up and down!

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

Thanks guys for all of your wonderful kind words!

You know how this news comes. You are just off to do something else, perhaps cook lunch or actually do some writing and you think let me check my email- and POP. There it is. I can't help but feel like it's a kind of gambling, suddenly you get the three cherries. It's very strange for me. I'm always happy of course, over the moon actually, but also a twinge of sadness that I'm no longer waiting to find out. I know that sounds crazy but I like that waiting. My masochistic side perhaps.

Now almost all of my 'waitings' have passed I must quickly enter some contests or send out submissions so I can be back in wait mode. :) or its it :(

I will tell you the scoop about the contest when I can though it is a bit of a long wait I'm afraid.

Automatic Prince said...

Congratulations!! **clapping at home**
I'm really happy for you :-)

Browngirl said...

How wonderful for you! Congrats!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

How wonderful for you! These are indeed the things that remind us why we are writers. Hope it all just gets better and better.

Elspeth

Elizabeth Bradley said...

How exciting, Lauri! So much for considering yourself a "poser". I certainly do hope the book you're putting together will be available here in The States. I'd love to read it! And the story about the witch that's not a witch at all sounds really good.

Lyn said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you. I hope you celebrate the success when it comes. Feast or famine ... it seems like that is how life goes.

GutsyWriter said...

And they say the publishing world is no longer the same. You've proved them wrong. I'm very happy for you and I'm amazed how you seem to write textbooks, romance, and so many different genres. Excellent. Keep us posted.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

GutsyWriter- It doesn't seem odd for me to write a romance novel today, a YA book tomorrow and a children's book the day after with textbook writing and a TV script thrown in during my spare moments. I view myself as a writer. I love to write. And my writing like my person in general is a jack of all trades and master of none. In my life I must do all sorts of things why shouldn't I do the same in my writing? I'm not a specialist and doubt I ever will be.

Selma said...

Well, if anyone deserves it, it's you. I wish you more and more and more good news like that.

I'm curious about the romance novella. Do you have to hedge around 'bedroom' scenes or can you talk about sex? I'm just curious. I remember reading Mills & Boons when I was 14 and there was no sex at all - barely a kiss. Then the other day a friend of mine said the new romance novels were quite saucy. I was shocked.

Did the publisher send you an outline of what you could and couldn't talk about beforehand?

Sorry for being so nosey.

I am thrilled to bits for you!

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

Selma- Romance might be the most subdivided genre out there. There are those very racey type of books which is not the type I've written. In this case Sapphire Press is a brand new imprint of Kwela, a big-ish trade publisher in South Africa. They have quite a detialed outline of how they want their books to be. The outline is very Mills and Boons-ish. You keep them (the eventual lovers) away from each other and build the tension when they meet but never consumate things and then all ends well with them finally overcoming their obstacles and they get to be together.

GutsyWriter said...

Lauri,
I do think it takes tremendous talent to write different genres.

I tend to like memoirs and non-fiction the most, and that's also what I read, so perhaps, I'm just fixated and stuck.

daoine said...

Wow! Awesome news, all of it! Congratulations my dear.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

Thanks Elsa. I can't find where you talked about that torn paper thing and compatibility. Yes I have the updated Internet Explorer. I don't know why it does this and it took me forever to figure out.