I initially wrote the first chapter of Army Daddy for S.Y.T.Y.C.W 2012 and although it didn't place I knew it was a story I had to write till the very end. For some reason the whole story grabbed me and chatted happily away in my head until I had it all down.
It sat on my computer for a while and a friend of mine who writes pocket novels for My Weekly gave me the low down on them and said what great people they were to work with. So with this in mind I sent off a query and the first three chapters, to be honest with you I was being a chicken by not sending in the full. I have sent another query but again chickened out on sending the full manuscript.
I received a reply and was asked by the editor to make a few changes to my Army Daddy synopsis. The editor Maggie gave me invaluable feedback on the new synopsis and with this in mind I tore my manuscript to pieces, deleting 35k words out of it. I can hear you all gasping at the amount that went in the recycle bin, but in order to make the small changes it was the only way I could do it and then copied and pasted the rest back in. It took me two weeks to make the changes and put it all back together.
The waiting began again to see if the full was good enough to be chosen as a pocket novel another few changes were then asked of me. I can take criticism when it comes to my work because it only helps you to strengthen your story and make it ten times better than what it was.
I waited again and this time it was killing me, an overbearing sense of dread had taken over and I now thought it would be rejected on the spot. For days I waited for the rejection email to come and politely tell me that my story wasn't suitable for publication. But then an email came asking me where my manuscript was. I thought this was strange and so sent about four from different email address including my husband's. Finally after my blonde moment (yes i am actually a blonde :) ) passed I relaised that I had sent it in the wrong format, so my precious MS wouldn't have gone anywhere but the spam folder. oops not a great way to endear yourself to the editor.
Luckily Maggie was patient and send me an email saying she had now received it and all was ok, so I waited a bit longer, still unable to shake of the rejection feeling. I even told my friend who already has had several published that she hadn't taken it even though nothing had actually been said. I had just jumped to a conclusion without any reason.
Then as my husband and I were walking the dog through our local park, we decided to stop for a cup of tea. I checked my emails on my phone as I waited and there sat the dreaded email, OK so I had been waiting for it but I didn't want to know what it said. Closing my emails again I put the phone in my pocket, It didn't stay there long as I knew that at some point I would need to look at what it said.
The email said quite the opposite of what I had expected, it was an acceptance. I couldn't believe it when I tried to read the email to my husband a few minutes later, it was hard for me to get the words out to say anything. I sounded more like a mouse, he took the phone off me and read it for himself. He was just as excited as I was.
It will be out in the summer and I can't wait to see it in WHSMITH and the supermarkets.
I'm not sure my new query will be accepted because of the heroine's back story which I am unfortunately all too familiar with, but if it isn't I will keep on trying.