Wednesday, August 5, 2009

2 Bad Things = 1 Good Thing, and, Maybe, 1 other Good Thing

So some who read this blog might remember some time ago when I decided to take a trip into romance writing. It all went pear shaped when I discovered that I was indeed not black. How that is related to writing romance is a long and winding road, but suffice it to say I had completed a substantial amount of work on my first romance novel and was quite bummed to hear it was for nought. I had a title, a chapter plan, a plot map, character bibles, and the first chapter all finished. That's a lot of work to throw to the side and say "lesson learned". (Bad thing No. 1)

A year or so ago when I had a bit of success with my short stories, I got the crazy idea that it might be time to have a collection of them published. When I first started writing six years ago, I sent one of my wallflower novels to Kwela Publishers in South Africa. They sent me the most encouraging, nice rejection and I promised myself if ever I write something I'd like published in Southern Africa for the trade market, I would send it to them. So I sent the short story collection and they sent back a rejection with a quite brutal reader's report. (Bad thing No. 2)

Last Friday, after a pretty yucky week, at 3:59 pm, when the week was just about to be finished and thrown in the Crap Week Bucket, I got an email from ditsala ya me at Kwela. They wanted to know if I might like to write a romance novel for them. I asked why they thought of me and I got the reply that since I sent my short stories, I had been put on a list of writers to keep track of. Unlike the numerous unsavory lists where my name usually appears, I think I like this list. (Good thing No. 1)

So, Monday I sat down highly motivated and have since written 11,000 plus words in three days. I hope to finish the rough draft in a month, month and a half at most. Then- clean it up and polish to a bright shine and hopefully- voila!- I send it off, get an acceptance ,and I become a romance writer. (Good thing No. 2 , maybe)

Lessons learned?
1. Rejection is sometimes a really, really great thing.
2. Don't toss any writing away- it may just find a home.
3. A crap week is not a crap week until the Kwela bird doesn't sing.


bonita said...

Way to go, Lauri! Working at home, writers are not privy to publishers' water cooler conversations. Which is to say that more gets passed around an office than just swine flu!

Sue Guiney said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! You go, girl! xo

Tania Hershman said...

Hey, that's so great! I love how your 2 Bad Things, which must have felt awful at the time, turned so nicely into 2 Great Things - a perfect example of how we never, ever know what's round the corner, or whose "ones to watch" list we are on!!! Congratulations..!

Lauri said...

Bonita- I'm happy to miss the swine flu though!

Thanks Sue!

You're so right Tania, we just never know what waits for us; perhaps the loveliest thing about life really.

Cheryl Ntumy said...

Hi! My name is Cheryl Ntumy. The fellows at Economics Express, a local business paper, want to start a series of interviews with local authors and I suggested you for the first one. If you're interested, please email me at Thanks! (Congrats on all your writing achievements, by the way!)

Lauri said...

Oooo... Mma Ntumy how lovely. I have emailed you. Thanks for thinking of me.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Did I see the word Flu. I am so through with the Flu!

Anyway, what great news! I'm so thrilled for you. Funny how things work out sometimes.

Helen Ginger said...

Yay, Lauri! That's marvelous. What great news. You can't see me (can you?), but I'm smiling for you.

Straight From Hel

Lauri said...

Elizabeth- Glad you're feel better. Now I think I'm getting flu-argh!

Helen- Thanks for the smile.

Unknown said...

I love the wittyness of this piece, Lauri! And you summed up the heart of it quite nicely at the end.

Anonymous said...

Well, this is really good news. I am thrilled for you and I will be really interested to hear about your romance writing. Awesome!

Lauri said...

Jude and Selma- thanks. I'll keep you posted about how it goes.