Last week, I received an email telling me that I’d made it to the first round for the 2016 Catherine Contest sponsored by the Toronto Romance Writers. Boy, did that feel good, especially since most of the comments from judges were so positive.

notice

I had a few days to clean up my entry, so I hit the keyboard, edited, added more conflict then sent it off with a much shorter synopsis. Scary, but exciting. I also entered a contest sponsored by the New Jersey Romance Writers.

Two weeks ago, I sent in a story to the Canadian Authors Association Vancouver 2016 Story Contest. My creative brain is on fire. I’m on a roll, but time is passing and I have to be.

face-622904_1280

In June I took an online course – The Perfect Pitch – through Women Fiction Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, about writing a logline, blurb and tagline.

Having to distill my novel to one or two sentences, then zero in on the main plot points really helped me weed out unnecessary story lines and characters. Here they are:

Tagline: Booted from her tidy suburban existence, a middle-aged divorcee must reinvent herself and overcome her fears of failing at life and love.

Logline: After being stalked, assaulted and declared dead, fledgling PI Kenora Tedesco overcomes the go-it-alone, make-your-own rules defiance that almost costs her a new job and new love.

Finding photos of my main characters helped enormously (thank you, Bigstock). Now, when I’m writing dialogue or creating new scenes for Jake (boss, love interest), Kenora (protagonist), Bosco (mentor/muse) Leo (father), I stare at their faces and envisage how things would unfold in their world.

Reinvention character photos

Since I have so much work already written, I figure it’s time to publish.Sure, I’m competing against thousands, or tens of thousands of others, and it won’t be easy to get found, but why not? I’m proud of my writing, so why not share it?

I got my ISBN number and I’m working with the talented Chris Rogers of Radio Controlled Creative. He’s designing covers for an anthology of erotic short stories and a standalone short story (6000+ words) that was selected for publication in 2000. The publisher dithered, returned the rights to me, said they were going out of business but ended up publishing the anthology, Herotica 7, in 2003.

I haven’t received one cent in royalties. It’s still selling, too, and is listed on Amazon and the big booksellers. After spending too many hours and almost $100 on courier packages to ‘last known address’ in the States, I’ve given up. They’re unscrupulous and have screwed authors and, from what I found online, their own employees.

Karma will find them, I’m sure.

meteorite-1060886_1280

When the design work is done, I’ll post to Kobo and or Amazon and see what happens. In the meantime, my contest entries will be judged and whatever will be, will be.

I’ve been hampered by the ‘pursuit of perfection’ and fear of failure but, like my protagonist, I have to accept that ‘good enough is good enough’.