I actually wrote Finding Gryffin and its many prequels and sequels beginning circa 1988. They were over a number of years. When I ran out of steam, I packed the manuscripts away and there they stayed.
Fast forward to this year, 2013. I applied for a pitch session with editors at the Romance Writers Australia Conference. I managed to win a spot with Alisa Krasnostein, director and publisher of Twelfth Planet Press.
When I received the good news, I followed all the hints and did some research. I found Twelfth Planet Press published horror stories (which I’m not into), and Science Fiction. So out from under the bed I dragged the box (Well it was in the stack beside the bed with another 4 boxes on top.) that I had packed them in.
When I looked at the body of work, I saw that there were actually 4 series contained within that body. They actually flowed from one to another. All four series feature my main heroine. Three of the series features her as the chief protagonist, and the first series focuses on her parents and her childhood.
So off I go to the Conference in Fremantle, WA, full of excitement and quietly shivering in my boots. You have a maximum of 7 minutes to find your editor, seat yourself, introduce yourself and run your spiel. When I pitched to Alisa Krasnostein, she liked the idea of the fourth series. Finding Gryffin (working Title) is the first of that series. She asked me to submit a manuscript – by November 1.
That’s when the shakes started, and Doubting Thomas made his appearance. All those others pitching before and after me would be chosen first. Alisa was just being kind. She said that to all of the quivering hopefuls. You know how it goes.
Off to lunch I went.
Another conference attendee shared my table for lunch. When I told her I had pitched was asked to submit she revealed the secret. 70 per cent do not carry forth with the pitch, i.e. they do not submit the manuscript.
Well that was good news. The pool had shrunk considerably. Of the possible 100 candidates pitching, (And it wasn’t that many. Time just did not allow it.) I was now up against 30 – if I dared to be one of them instead of one of the 70. Take into account that 1/3 would be horror and not science fiction, and other 1/3 would be rejected for one reason or another... Hey presto! My odds had narrowed to 1 in 10 – Hey that is even better.
So I came back from the conference all fired up and eager. I found the manuscript and quailed. 2 months to type and edit the manuscript into some shape.
With gritted teeth, I started typing. Four weeks to type, and four weeks to edit was the plan. I typed it in three weeks. Just as well it turned out to be a novella rather than one of my novels. Not that I realised it while I was typing.
Now begins the editing. 1 pass done. Now it is off to find an editor. And while she is doing that I may just start typing the next one – just in case.