Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Emily Cale's Day 605

So I'm switching it up today. Author Emily Cale is swinging by to share her writing journey with us. Pull up a chair or a piece of couch and give it read. I think you'll find Emily fits in just fine around here.


Wow! When Rebekah asked me to calculate the number of days since I sent my first query letter, I never imagined it would add up to that many. In some ways, it still feels like I wrote that first manuscript a few weeks ago. I sent that first query letter for my novella, Tamed, in June of 2010. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. I'd love to tell you I was patient, but I wasn't. Fortunately, I was out of the country at the time and unable to stalk my email. The normal response time passed and I followed up one night before going to sleep. When I woke up the next morning I had two responses from the acquisition editor in my inbox. The first said she was sorry for getting behind and that she'd read my manuscript right that minute. The second was an acceptance letter with contract.
I wish I could tell you that it's been all uphill. I've learned a lot of things in those roughly 600 days.

1. You can do everything right and still get a rejection letter.

2. You can royally screw stuff up and still get a contract.

3. Don't submit partial manuscripts if you haven't finished the book. No, seriously. Even if you think you'll finish it in the three months it takes them to make a decision.

4. If you screw up #3, it is in fact possible to write 50,000 words in a week. You will hate yourself and 
everyone who comes near you.

5. Rejection letters are harder to get after you've gotten acceptances. I thought it would work the other way, but it turns out that knowing how good a contract feels makes the sting all that much worse.

6. Writing books doesn't get easier. I actually think it gets harder. Now I know so much more and start hearing my editors telling me what's wrong with a scene. I also worry about how I'm going to sell stuff. I know I shouldn't, but I do. I have some weird ideas and I have no idea if they would ever be publishable.

7. Reviews are awesome and terrible all at the same time. I've had some really fantastic reviews and some that make me wonder if the reviewer read the blurb, let alone the book. I'll tell you that my best rated book sells only half as well as my worst rated. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but clearly there is no correlation.

8. Waiting does not get easier. I panic after every submission I send out. I've waited as little as 3 hours for a response and as long as 5 months. I rarely know how long it will take and the email always comes through when I'm least expecting them and never when I'm stalking my inbox.

9. I have not started writing better. I have started editing better. With each book, I get better at finding the little things that need fixed and doing them before I submit.

10. I don't know a damn thing. People ask me for advice and I know exactly how they feel. I still scour blogs and forums for that one gold nugget of wisdom that will make it all make sense. I'm starting to think it might not exist. If you find it, be sure to let me know.
Since that first query letter, I've had 1 rejection letter, 2 revise and resubmits, 11 books contracted, 8 published, and I have one thing out on submission. Public Display of Affection was my 10th contract and my 8th published piece. I'm just as happy each time one comes out and this piece has been especially exciting for me. I love both Lucy and Samantha and find that a lot of readers seem to relate will to them. 

Public Display of Affection Blurb:
After a heartbreaking end to her relationship with her girlfriend, Lucy Stark is looking to try something more adventurous. She turns to Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service to help her find the perfect woman to push her boundaries and introduce her to the more daring side of a sexual encounter.

Samantha Taylor’s helped more than one woman explore her sexuality, but Lucy’s the first to really get to her. Keeping her walls up and the women she dates from getting inside is a skill she’s managed to master. After one night of unbridled passion, she has to decide whether to give up her hard exterior or let the woman of her dreams slip away.

Buy Links:

Author Bio:
Emily Cale spent the majority of her childhood as a visitor to the worlds of her favorite authors. With encouragement from her English teachers, she put pen to paper and began imagining her own stories. Preferring the fascinating lives of her characters, she majored in creative writing. When not lost in a manuscript or a good book, she enjoys crocheting, rock climbing, and playing board games. She currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and a very spoiled cat. You can find her online on her blog ( or Twitter (