Monday, February 4, 2013
And the Countdown Continues
Nine days until ABNA announces those advancing to Round Two. This is the part of the contest that worries me the most, because Round One is judged solely on the pitch. I made my pitch as strong as I could, and I don't know how I could have made it any better ... but I don't think it does justice to my work.
If I make it to Round Two, my excerpt will be read. My excerpt is Chapter One, and is just over 3,000 words. I think A Summer in Ocracoke has an excellent beginning, and if I can just make it to Round Two, I think I have a pretty good shot at going further.
I recently sent the manuscript (as an ebook) to a total stranger. He writes a blog I read, and I emailed him out of the blue to ask him if he would read it for inaccuracies regarding a specific thing. He is an author of non-fiction, and I know he loves to read ... but this is a man who does not choose to read romance novels. I expected him to tell me no or not even bother to reply back. To my pleasant surprise, he did reply back ... he said yes ... and then wrote back that he enjoyed it! He read it very quickly, and told me it was very engaging ... that he kept turning the pages to see what happened next.
He went to the trouble to note typo's and other errors throughout. When he uploaded the book from his Nook to his computer, the notes were stripped away ... so he sent me his Nook so that I could change the errors he found. I was flabbergasted ... that's the only word I can use to describe it ... flabbergasted. As a thank you, I'm tucking a small gift certificate in the package when I ship it back. He doesn't expect anything for reading it, but I think he's gone above and beyond the call of duty, and I wanted to thank him somehow.
It is very exciting to have my work read ... and enjoyed ... by someone who does not know me and does not care for the romance genre. I think it helps that I don't write ooey-gooey, over the top stories, with fabulously wealthy protagonists who jet-set around the world and live off their trust fund. Nor do I write erotic, descriptive love scenes (something I've been told I should do!) ... but I don't ... and never will. Unless you're writing something like Fifty Shades of Grey, I don't really see the point.
One of the sexiest movies I've ever seen was Phenomenon ... yet there were no love scenes ... the camera's cut away at just the right time. You knew what was happening, but didn't watch it. To me, that's sexier. It's not the sex that's sexy ... it's the emotions that lead up to it and follow it that are the story. Fifty Shades of Grey is a book about sex ... A Summer in Ocracoke is a book about love.
I write about ordinary people ... with ordinary lives ... that share an incredible love. And I think that is sexy.
So ... nine days to see if I'm lucky enough to be read by a judge who can see the value of my work ... who didn't just have a fight or find a run in their pantyhose or get stuck in traffic on the way to work or come home to find their dog got sick on the carpet.
The only thing I can equate this to is when I was a kid, waiting for the last nine days of school before summer vacation. Like then, I just have to wait ... nine ... long ... days.