Progress Friday 2/6

More organizing today...all those old emails aren't going down without a fight! Also spent some time reviewing an insightful critique from one of my amazing CP's, which triggered yet another Q&A session. With myself. ;) Anyone who knows me knows I circle around to this particular question every few months, and maybe, just maybe, I'm starting to realize the question doesn't go away because the answer hasn't changed.

I've spent the last, hmmm...roughly two years targeting Harlequin. I've only submitted once, but I've completed, more or less, three different projects. Because I'm stubborn, I was determined that nothing would get in the way of me being published by them. Not the fact that I rarely read the line(s) I've targeted. Not the fact that "guidelines," in general, make me itchy, and despite their assertions to the contrary, Harlequin has lots of them. Especially not the fact that if I'm honest about whether I'm writing what I most like to read, the answer is no.

That's the biggie, right there.

The two Blazes I've finished (or will be finished with in the next few weeks - VT, I'm talking about you!) are, hopefully, fun, sexy, romantic stories. I love the characters in both books. I'm proud of them, and I truly hope they find homes at a publisher. But I'm beginning to think that if those stories finding a home at Blaze means more rewrites, more re-structuring of my voice and my characters, that I'm throwing good money after bad.

Yes, I'm mixing metaphors, but I'm tired. ;)

I'm ready to work on new material, and to start sending those two stories on submission. I'm ready to start earning my rejection slips like any author worth their pencils. But I'm not willing to submit one of those stories to the infamous slush, then possibly wait a year to find out my voice still isn't there yet.

Maybe it isn't there yet for that line, but I have other options. And if I continue to try to poke, prod and twist my voice into what I think will finally get me published, regardless of the outcome, I'm shortchanging myself.

Rant over. Happy Friday! :)


Kaye Manro said...

Very good post, Cari! I agree with you about not trying to fit yourself into a mold just to try to get through the doors.

You and I have that in common-- trying to sub to eHqn and no where else. In the past I forgot the many other pubs out there, including e-pubs. As we both know, several of our online writer friends are doing great with e-pubs.

Have you thought about that avenue? Recently I have, and am in the process of writing seveal stories targeted to e-pubs right now.

You should email me so we can talk more on this subject.
(kayemanro at

Well, good luck and think about subbing to e-pubs!

Helen Hardt said...

You know how much I love your voice. Kaye's right; there are lots of avenues available. But deep down, I know we all want to make it in NY. It's such a tough call. The best advice I can give you is to be true to yourself. But being true to yourself can mean so many things, including attempting to meet others' guidelines, if that is what you really want. The choice is an individual one, and when the right answer comes to you, you'll know it.


TaraLeigh said...

Is it alright that I'm doing the happy dance? LOL
I WANT YOUR PARA STORY WITH GABE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Did I mention that I wanted that story?

Guess we have some things to discuss tomorrow now don't we?! WOOT! Yay!!

Cari Quinn said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Kaye, it helps to know other writers struggle with the same questions. I'll email you this week. :)