Thursday, June 19, 2008

Romantic Suspense proposal

Captain's Log, Supplemental

Some news on the writing front:

I had put together a romantic suspense proposal for Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line. I would love to write for Steeple Hill (in addition to Z). The editors totally rock and I’ve been reading their books for like forever.

I had written one suspense (not romantic suspense) manuscript years ago before I contracted with Zondervan (the manuscript is languishing under the bed), but since then I’ve written chick lit and humorous women’s fiction, and that’s the voice I’ve developed in the past few years.

I suspected my voice in the romantic suspense proposal wasn’t quite the same tone as other Love Inspired Suspense novels, but I wasn’t sure exactly what to fix. I sent the proposal in anyway (which, in hindsight, I really shouldn’t have done—I was too impatient and should have gotten more feedback first).

God totally gave me grace because the editor came back with, “We like the story but your voice isn’t quite right for the line. Can you revise and resubmit?”

Those words are gold for any writer. It’s also a test—can I revise to fit what they need?

So I did what I should have done originally—I went to writer friends who read lots of Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense novels.

Two of them actually write for those lines (Cheryl Wyatt writes for Love Inspired, Margaret Daley writes for both Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense). A third friend (Danica Favorite-MacDonald) is a writer targeting Love Inspired.

These three women are completely awesome.

Danica gave me this light-bulb moment of what exactly was wrong with my voice and how exactly to fix it. I had to get out of the chick lit mindset I have been in for the past three years and try to find again that suspense mindset I’d had when I wrote that first suspense story. I had to find my little “suspense cave” and burrow in it, to completely overhaul my writing voice. Danica also pointed out some places where my characters had the more typical “chick lit” attitudes, thoughts, and reactions.

Cheryl found a bunch of inconsistencies in the story that, when I fixed them, would add more suspense and conflict to the story.

Margaret is freakin’ brilliant. She gave me ideas for restructuring the scenes to add more suspense and up the tension.

So now I’ve sent the revised chapters to the Steeple Hill editor. The chapters are almost completely different from what I’d sent to her—and I’m heartily embarrassed I sent the original version in the first place.

Lesson to all you writers—GET MORE FEEDBACK BEFORE YOU SUBMIT!

Anyway, I’m praying they’ll contract this book. I know it’s in God’s hands, though, and I can honestly say I’m totally okay with that.

Anyway, I’m in the midst of a couple freelance editing projects (to be honest, they were really good distractions for me to focus on when I was frustrated at my lack of ability to fix my chapters. They saved a lot of hair being pulled out). And after I’m done with those, I’ll be working on another (new) Love Inspired proposal.

I think that another reason I’m doing Love Inspired proposals is to give me a legitimate excuse to read Love Inspired novels! LOL I had stopped reading them when I was writing chick lit because I had other chick lit novels I had to read instead. But now that I’m doing romance, I can read romance novels again. I love them—they’re short, sweet, and entertaining.


  1. Good luck on resubmitting your proposal! Friends sure are great, aren't they?! Glad yours were able to help you with your script.

  2. WOO HOO! Praying they will snatch it up.
    On a totally different note - thanks for making my day/week/month by reading and commenting on my blog. Trying to figure out how to frame it...

  3. Hope you get even better feedback--a contract?--this time.

    Would love to see Camy Tang on an LI Suspense cover.

  4. How exciting - but what a great exercise to have to rewrite with a different voice. The editors must have seen it what is "in you" and the story to ask for you do rewrites! Best of luck with your submission!

  5. Good luck to you! I write for Silhouette Romantic Suspense and a revise and resubmit offer is a big deal. Love the covers on your chick lits. Very cute.

  6. Thanks, guys!

    Tricia, you crack me up! But please don't frame it. LOL ;)

    Mary, it was a really great exercise. I feel like it was one of those things that somehow makes me a better writer, to do something so different.

    Jill, thanks for visiting my blog! And I'm so glad you like my covers!


  7. Well, congrats to you....but I'll miss your chick lit something fierce! Can't you write a chick lit romantic suspense?? :)

  8. i forgot to wish you the best for your proposal