Tuesday, July 10, 2007

When the planets align

A friend of mine once told me that in order to get a book published all the planets had to align. His way of saying it was hard, I suppose. So after much thinking, I decided it would be best if I talked about my path to publication instead of my book. But for this I’ll start at the very beginning—let’s step back in time a few years.

When I started writing I gave myself a four-novel deadline. If I couldn’t get published after having written four books…well, then it was back to work for me. At the time the idea for THE PRINCES OF THE GOLDEN CAGE came to me, I had just finished writing my first novel—which I consider as my practice book—and had completed the outline for a second one. Sadly I knew that both stories would be difficult to market. I wanted my next story to appeal to a lot of people while being captivating for me at the same time. So with my deadline in mind, I set that outline aside and decided to write something else. I wracked my brain for a new concept, but nothing I could find in my mental rolodex of stories and plots thrilled me. I knew I needed something new, something exciting and totally different from what I had written so far or read anywhere.

After I came up with the idea for PRINCES, (I will detail how this story came to me in a later post.) wrote and polished the novel to the best of my ability, I started querying agents. Although when I wrote the book I knew it had potential, but once I finished it I wasn’t so sure of this anymore. (I always lose perspective at this point, and doubt everything.) So I was very surprised when no less than seven agents of the twelve I queried asked for a partial. Of those seven, five demanded a full manuscript, and finally three offered to represent me. I was shocked. And honestly, for a little while, I didn’t know what to do. I had hoped to attract the attention of an agent. Even in my wildest dreams, I never conceived I would have to choose between three.

After talking with each agent—one of them had ideas for the book that made me cringe by the way—I chose Jenny Rappaport, for several reasons… At the time, she was with Creative Media, an excellent agency. Jenny was filling the void left by Nadia Cornier’s departure. But that’s not the main reason I’ve picked her. It was her enthusiasm, her passion, and also the fact that she loved and understood my work that guided my decision—and I never regretted it. Jenny is also a keen promoter, which in this business is a big plus. When a couple months later Jenny joined the L. Perkins Agency, everything fell into place. It was the right agent with the right agency. In other words, the planets had aligned. And sure enough, less than two weeks later, Jenny called me with the news that Night Shade Books, a wonderful publishing house form California, were not only interested in buying THE PRINCES OF THE GOLDEN CAGE, they wanted a sequel. I can’t recall having been so happy in my life before, okay, maybe on my wedding day. Still, the emotion I felt then, and that I continue to experience every time I think that the first instalment in the PRINCE AMIR MYSTERY SERIES is about to come out, is a deep feeling of fulfillment. In this life, very few people can see their dream come true. I am among the lucky ones…and I know it.

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