Friday, February 25, 2011

The importance of carrying on...

I was watching the movie, Salt last weekend. Angelina Jolie fighting full out--a joy to watch and I thought: Gad, she must be soooo exhausted. (The character, I mean, although Angelina was probably whacked out too.) But slowing down is out of the question--she'll be killed. The nail-biting tension of most suspense/thriller movies comes from that place of knowing the character cannot give up, never, not even for a moment.

Ah, the life of a writer--so similar to an Angelina Jolie action movie. The bad guys we're fighting are demons of doubt, bad news, and a mean-spirited inner critic. And we must never, never, ever give up. We must get up, dust ourselves off and turn to the page. Over and over and over again.

Natalie Goldberg says it best in Writing Down the Bones:

"Okay. Your kids are climbing into the cereal box. You have $1.25 left in your checking account. Your husband can't find his shoes, your car won't start, you know you have lived a life of unfulfilled dreams. There is the threat of nuclear is twenty degrees below zero outside...and you don't have even have three plates that match to serve dinner on....You lost your favorite pen and the cat peed on your current notebook.

Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write."

In fact, Natalie Goldberg says everything about writing best. Stop reading blogs. Read Natalie Goldberg.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Fat Lady Sings

My name is Nadine and it has been 3 months and 8 days since my last post.

I was waiting until everything was signed and finalized before I said anything, and that day is today. McArthur and Company has signed me for a two book contract. ICED UNDER and THE GREY LADY will be released by McArthur&Co this Fall 2011.

I'm honoured to be published by one of Canada's largest publishers. They have an amazing list of authors and I will be among them. I cried when I got the news. I'm not ashamed to say it. I bawled like a 9 year old girl meeting Justin Bieber. I wish I had it in me to pepper this post with exclamation marks. You'll have to trust me. I'm excited.

For those interested in submission-to-contract timelines (aren't we all?) here's how it broke down in my case:

Feb 2010: Queried 4 agents via snail mail re: The Grey Lady.
April: Received 1 request for the full, 2 nice rejections, 1 no response.
July: Queried 4 more agents via email. Received 3 requests for full, 1 no response.
August: Signed with U.K. agent Diane Banks Associates Literary Agency
Nov: McArthur and Company makes an offer. We accept.
Feb 2011: Contracts are signed and sent Priority Post.

One year.

But worth it. Worth it to secure a talented agent and to have the publisher I've always wanted, right from the beginning. Worth every nail-biting minute of it.

I am a writer. The fat lady has sung.