by Susan Sey
So I've been sitting on this news for so long it almost doesn't feel like news anymore, but since my agent is currently in possession of a contract with my name on it (and since I am currently in possession of my first ever revision letter) I'm going to go ahead & spill it:
Seriously. I sold a book. TWO books, one of which isn't even written yet. I can't tell you what kind of cold pit of terror that little fact opens up inside me. But there it is. I sold my Golden Heart winner, Money Honey, in a two book deal to Berkley not even a week after I got home from San Francisco.
But do you want to know the really good part? The really rewarding part?
I never meant sell Money Honey. This was a book I wrote purely to prove to myself that I could still write all the way to a happy ever after.
Now I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say that prior to writing MH, I suffered a deeply personal loss. The kind of loss that sucks the wind right out of a girl's eternally optimistic sails. The kind of loss that rips a big, gaping hole in the center of your soul. For a while there, it took every ounce of my energy just to get through the day, & I had to wonder if I'd ever have another creative impulse again.
But slowly, as time did its magic thing, I healed. And after a while, I started writing again. Not romance, of course. I didn't have the wherewithal for a happy ever after just yet. Just the usual, repetitive, cathartic stuff where I imposed a narrative on my loss. Where I gave it a story line & made it make sense.
After a few months of that, though, I had an idea for a romance. Mind you, it wasn't a good idea. It involved a hero with a lengthy criminal record & a heroine with such a heinous backstory there was no really plausible explanation for why she was still functioning like a normal human being. But I figured, hell. Why waste a good story idea on what will most likely end up in the recycling bin anyway?
So I wrote it. I wrote the darn thing & fell in love with my crazy characters & mourned when every contest I entered it in confirmed my suspicions that it was fatally flawed. So I put it under the bed & wrote something else. And that something else landed me an agent, so I felt pretty good about my comeback.
But when it came time to prep my 2008 GH entries, I just couldn't put MH under the bed. I ponied up the extra $50, kissed it goodbye & sent it off. My beloved dark horse. Imagine my shock when it finaled.
Imagine my shock when it won.
Imagine my utter & absolute astonishment when it sold.
So that's my story. I wrote a book I knew wouldn't sell just to prove to myself I had a happy ending left in me. And that's the book that brought me my own happy ending. So how about you? Has the universe ever rewarded you for doing exactly the wrong thing? Let's hear about it!
p.s. Look for Money Honey in the Fall of 2009 from Berkley Sensation! But if you forget, don't worry. I'll remind you.