Friday, June 25, 2010

Guest blog with Jackie Ivie

Yesterday, you read my review of Jackie Ivie's A Knight and White Satin (I hope--if not, you should). Today, Jackie shares the magical experience of getting her books published. Read on...then, come back tomorrow to learn a little more about her in her author interview!

The Writing Life:  The Call, the emotions…and the after-effects

Hi!  Jackie Ivie here – author of several Highland Historical Romances from Kensington Publishing, including the upcoming A Knight and White Satin – October.  (have to get in the promo wherever you can….)

There’s something about the writing thing that nobody can ever take away from you.  Regardless of any less-than-stellar reviews, down-time between contracts, worry over funds and the future, and the over-all ups and downs of a writing career.  And that something is the memories.

I remember “the Call” it like it happened yesterday…no this morning!  There was nothing special about it.  One moment, I was handling my day job.  The next I got a call from my agent telling me my book had an offer!  I can describe it.  There’s a rush.  A light-headedness.  A lack of sound from anywhere in the world while your body absorbs total shock and joy.  It’s like everything stopped so I’d have ample time to set it to memory.  And then the goose bumps started.

I got a call next from my new (and still) editor, Audrey LaFehr.  I love her.  The woman is talented, gracious, beautiful and gives me really gorgeous covers.  You have to see them to believe it.  I’ve won the JABBIC (Judge a Book by Its Cover) contest in Houston twice with my covers!  (Tender is the Knight in 2006 and A Knight Well Spent in 2009).

And then I got a coverflat in the mail.  Without warning.  It was another normal day, and then wham!  I opened the large manila envelope from New York, and my jaw dropped.  My eyes widened.  It’s literally another one of those moments when shivers flow and tears threaten.  There’s a REAL book coming out, with a hunk on the cover totally resembling my hero, a castle (there’s always a castle in my books).  And a back cover blurb that makes me tremble.  (There’s another reason I love my editor)   And the absolute wonder of it?  My name’s on it!  My Name?!  In raised gold foil lettering.  I folded one around an older book.  Rubber-banded it in place.  I took my pseudo-book with me everywhere.  If you ran into me, I had it in my hands.   I called it my talisman.  And it felt like it was.  Warding off all unpleasantness.  This is now a rite of passage.  My hubby even has multi-colored bands I use, making it look more real.  

But I have to admit, it all seemed like training for the most supreme feeling.  Holding the book in my hands.  This is another rite.  I stand and read everything again all over the cover.  I brush my fingers along it, tracing the raised lettering.  Looking at the spine.  My name.  OMG.  There it is.  And then I fluff the pages, hold it to my nose, and inhale.  That’s when the tears can’t be held back.  I stand there and cry.  The book store here in Palmer, Alaska, is used to me.  They call me when they get my book in.  I’m a bit over-dramatic.  I admit it.  But this in one time, everything in the world fades away, and there’s just this moment.  That supreme feeling.  The smell of a real, actual book.  Committed to memory. 

I wish this moment on every single writer.   I do.  It’s that priceless. 

I get to experience it again this October when A Knight and White Satin comes out.  I can’t wait.  But in the meantime…I have that folded coverflat going with me everywhere. 

If you’re a writer, finish the book.  Get it in the best condition you can.  And then query someone who can do something with it.  An agent.  An acquiring editor.  Someone.  It took me 22 years before I got the call.  But it happened. 

And it was totally worth it.   

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