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February 18, 2005: Change of Life
Change of Life.
No, not that kind. I’m only forty, after all, even though I thought being forty meant being almost dead back when I was 18 years old. I also thought I’d be over any and all insecurities by the time I was forty. Silly me.
No, a change of writing life. My agent called me last week about my next book, the Regency-set historical I’m now more than halfway done with. It seems that right now historicals are having a tough time getting sold, and did I have a contemporary, specifically a romantic comedy, I could work on? Since I’ve only sold one book to Signet (I know I mention that a lot, but it is pertinent here – I’m not just whining. Honestly.), I have no guarantee of ever selling another one, so it behooves me to be flexible.
Well, yes, I do have a contemporary in mind. A mommy-lit, which, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term (meaning the friends and family I direct to this page every month), is generally a book written in the first person telling the story of a single mother struggling with life, dating and getting peanut butter out of her hair. Not necessarily in that order.
So I plunged right in the same day, adding three pages to my already extant three pages, doubling my pages in a mere 24 hours! Okay, much more impressive put that way. I wrote a synopsis that worked for both me and my agent after only two tries, and I expect to have three chapters ready within a few weeks to send to a few carefully-chosen eyes (i.e. my writing friends who still agree to read my stuff).
Then the next day I mourned. While I never actually keened as my Irish ancestors did, I will admit to sniffling a little. It was hard to walk away from a book that is more than halfway done (218 pages already! Only 182 to go!) and begin one from almost scratch. But I am, I pretend to myself, a professional. I can do this. And if I break it down, word by word, page by page, chapter by chapter, I can think about it without getting overwhelmed.
My plan now is to write the aforementioned three chapters, send to the aforementioned friends, and submit to Signet. While I wait to hear back from them, I will go back to my historical, which will benefit from my having had a little break from it. Then, when I hear from Signet, I’ll either jump back into the mommy-lit (if they want it) or stick my head in the oven (if they don’t). And then I’ll see what’s next.
Actually, if Signet doesn’t want the book, I am fairly confident some other house will (of course, my skeptical self says, you would be confident – else why would you write it? Shut up, skeptical self, and go back to fussing about how many Cheetos I stole from my son’s lunch plate. That I can handle.)
Meanwhile, Signet had to edit down my bio even further, and asked me for suggestions for the cover scene. All traditional Regencies have a similar cover of the couple standing together, fully-clothed, in some innocuous setting, so the only thing I am really concerned with is that the hair and eye color is right. My heroine has black hair (like me), white skin (ditto) and a broken nose (I have a bizarrely-shaped tooth sticking out in front – that’s why they call it fiction. Oh, and let’s not even talk about how she’s built up-top. That’s called wish-fulfillment). My hero looks like Hugh Jackman, but with my husband’s goldish-green eyes.
I still don’t have a live website (I do have a poky web designer), but that should change within the next week or so. When it does go live, it’ll be – brace yourselves – www.meganframpton.com.
Thanks for reading.
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