Fancy Pants

Jeffe called me fancy via IM yesterday.

I know, I didn’t get it either, until I read her blog. In it, she states that “if you’ve gotten your act together, you get to be “fancy.” If not, well, at least you’re wholesome and charming.” By that, I’m assuming she means that I do, in fact, have my act together. At least as far as the pubbing world goes. (Goddess knows my housekeeping act couldn’t be in more of a shambles than if a herd of flatulent elephants were to come bowling through the living room. Hell, it might actually be an improvement. Have fun thinking about that, Jeffe, on your way here tomorrow. Yes, we *are* going out for dinner.)

But that’s really not all that accurate either, I don’t think.  I certainly don’t feel as I know enough to be handing out advice about getting published to anyone. (Or getting an agent, etc.) And I have been receiving quite a few emails on the subject, so I know people are interested in the specifics.

 The best I can do is tell people how *I* managed it, or what I do when I write, for example. I can’t give anyone definitive answers on exactly the best way to go about doing things – because really, every scenario is different. What one agent hates, another might love. Some editors are sticklers for rules, some let you slide. It could be that your query letter falls into the agent’s email box two minutes after she shattered her favorite coffee mug and she doesn’t even look at your pages.

I don’t know. Whatever people say about the proper way to go about doing things, a lot of it is just timing, honestly. Having a book that can be sold, that an editor will love, that doesn’t need tons of revisions – some of this is in your control, and some of it isn’t. All you can do is make sure you do the best you can with what you have.

But even after getting a deal, there are doubts. The Kindle I got a few weeks has been great – I’ve been reading a ton of books that I hadn’t had the time to look at, but the downside is that I’m reading a lot more Urban Fantasy type things. And I’ve suddenly come to realize that my story doesn’t feel quite as fresh as it did before. Some of these other books are very similar to mine in many ways, and I can admit that makes me a tad nervous. (Although I’ve yet to see a small, bacon-loving unicorn that rolls around in women’s underwear yet, so that’s a plus. Right? RIGHT???)

But at this point I’ve come to realize that I need to trust in my editor (who should be getting me my revisions in the next week or so…*trembles*), and also in the sense of my writing voice – it’s gotten me this far, and there’s no reason it won’t take me the rest of the way.

And there’s nothing particularly fancy about that.

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9 Responses to Fancy Pants

  1. Scopique says:

    I think that's all that needs be said, though. There's never a "magic bullet" for any situation, and even _I_ roll my eyes when some aspiring author asks a published author for advice for aspiring writers. Read, write, work for it, don't 0.5 ass it, don't give up and don't back down. That can be applied to anything, anywhere, any time.

    But relating YOUR experience does have value to others. Some people can tweeze apart a scenario and extract a tip or trick that he or she never thought of previously, which I think is what people are hoping to get when they ask for your "words of wisdom"   😀

  2. Danica says:

    Oh dear, I was joking about asking you goofy questions the other day. really, all I want to do is be part of your entourage. I've always wanted to be in an entourage and I'd figure I'd get some practice in at Nationals with you. I'll need references though so when Gerard Butler is requesting additions to his entourage, I have something solid to show him.

    But I think you make a valid point. Not every author's experience is the same. Some rocket to stardom overnight, some take decades to get there and like you said, everyone's journey is different. It's easy to sit on the aspiring author's bench and rattle off questions to a published author asking them how they got where they are, but the only way for unpubs to know for sure is to write and take risks.

  3. mynfel says:

    *hugs*

    You can ask me whatever you want – honestly. Anyone can and I'll answer the best I can. And goofy questions are *always* fun. LOL. This wasn't meant to be a complaining sort of post at all, just that I think everyone has the potential to get to where they need to be -but it doesn't always come by following directions like on a recipe box.

    Like you said, if you're tired of getting splinters in your ass, maybe it's time to try something new…? 🙂

  4. Jeffe says:

    You'll ALWAYS be fancy to me, darling! And I love elephants.

    I think you have a good perspective on this. You're so generous in sharing your experience and that's good for people to hear. And you recognize that serendipity was part of it. I mind the authors who hit it quickly and then offer the advice that all you need is a polished book and go query. I think it's easy to assume that writers not picked up yet are sending work that isn't good enough. While that may be sometimes true, it's also true that they may not have hit that magical right person at the right time.

    People like to believe they become "Fancy" because of their overwhelming merit. While the merit is a necessary ingredient, a lot of luck plays into getting that pretty house on the hill, too.

  5. mynfel says:

    And I'm always good for sharing. I guess I just find it odd that sometimes you see a lot of newly pubbed authors spewing out all this info like they know everything.

    They don't. They know what they went through, and that's about it. 

  6. Kendris says:

    There will *always* be only one Phin…and we love him!

  7. Danielle says:

    Very insightful–and accurate!–post, Allison! Soooo many factors go in to getting a book pubbed and each and every situation is different. It's about working your butt off to get your baby (AKA your book haha) in the right hands at the right time and never giving up. So, for that, you ARE fancy :-p 

    Oh and here *hands Allison a set of harmony balls and a glass of vino* Relax! I've built a no trembling allowed zone around my notes 😉 LOL 

  8. mynfel says:

    Hee. No worries. I'm just poking fun at myself. I do that a lot, you know. 😉

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