Monday, October 8, 2012

In Which I Get Good News...

Thursday. Last Thursday.

I'll set the scene for you. 

We received an offer on our house the day before, and after 21 showings I was ready for the whole "Let's sell the house!" phase of my life to shift to a "Let's go have our teeth pulled!" phase which  seems less uncomfortable.

 On top of the worry about where we would live if the offer was accepted, and the worry that the offer would fall through, two weeks before I had decided I wanted to self-publish FTCM.  I had a deadline I wanted to launch the book, and I had to get the final comma/grammar check done that Thursday, in order to  start selling by the deadline. 

I was really, really, close. Everything was formatted, and my husband designed this amazing cover for me.

Full size so you can appreciate the gorgeousness.
We were 99% ready to go, and I was so excited.  So that's where I was last Thursday. Final formats for my book interrupted by checking real estate websites to find the dream house. I was in a happy cheerful land of my own making, lazily skipping along to the blissful sounds of my girl Beyonce.

Then I checked my email. I saw, through the great deals and updates for blogs I follow, a return submission from Angry Robot books. After checking out a few emails, I clicked on it, expecting the rejection.

Dear Sheena, I read in a sing song sarcastic voice that seems to make the sting of rejection hurt less. Thank you for submitting a sample from Funny Tragic. 

This is where it got weird.

 I enjoyed what I read, and would like to read more.

Wait, what? I asked, taking a break from my sarcastic inner voice. I sometimes get so into the weird voice, I don't fully catch what I read. I reread the first few sentences again, and then went on.

Please send the full novel to...


I read the entire email once more and then jumped away from my computer. I stood there, looking at the computer screen, frozen like a twitching bunny in front of a semi.

I called my husband, who asked, "What does this mean about self publishing?" I stood there, trying to remember how to speak English. "We do this first." I answered eventually. 

I called my mom and screamed at the phone when she didn't pick up. Then I emailed my Proser buddies, told Facebook, and Hatrack, and basically every person who could possibly care that a publisher enjoyed what they read and wanted to read more. When we found out the counter offer on my house fell through, I was buoyed up by the brilliant balloon that is "I enjoyed what I read and would like to read more." that I don't care if I have to clean the house for 21 more showings. 

I didn't think that it would happen. I had given up hope.  Now this random positive email doesn't mean that they'll publish my book, but it does give me my hope back.

Hope is scary.

I think self publishing is a brilliant way to get a book out to new readers. It's fun to have full control over your book, over the design, the formatting, the approval. And I'm married to a marketing/ graphic designing/ brilliant man who helps me format, and designs beautiful covers for me. It makes sense, for me, to self publish. It seems logical.

But dreams aren't logical. Dreams have their own timing. And no matter how scary, how much logic you can put between you and your dreams, you just have to do it anyway.

Speaking of which, check this link for fraggles, Ben Folds Five brilliance, and the best pep talk I can come up with via the internet.

I'm still dreaming.

What I'm working on now: Ironwood letters. For serious.


  1. Hope is scary, and exhausting, but also a big part of getting up in the morning :) I'm so excited for you, Sheena. Acceptance or not, you're following through with what matters to you and you inspire me!

    Your husband's cover is AMAZING.

  2. I love your husband's cover, but I still hope you hear good news soon! I am so excited for you! I'll have my fingers crossed. :) And good luck with your house.

  3. Congrats again Sheena!! I love your husband's covers too. You guys should start a designing covers business.

    Yeah, hope can be scary. But whether they accept the manuscript or not, you have some validation that you can write, and that has got to feel good.

    Best wishes for your manuscript and you selling your house. :)

  4. You totally deserve this Sheena, and I'm very, very excited for you. ;) AND I'm thrilled to see you're working on Ironwood Letters--nice title, BTW.

  5. Love FTCM, and I'm so glad it's getting a good look over. Congrats! There are lots of paths that will lead to happiness. Keep hoping, even if it's scary. And yes, I agree with the others, the cover your dh did is great.


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