This writing journey has been something.
From 17 years ago when I thought I had the next bestseller, to an agent I actually paid for in the first year.
Anybody ever heard of editors and preditors? That's another whole topic. Anyway, on to conferences and enough rejections to wallpaper my entire house. Then actually seriously attempting to learn the craft about three years ago. Who woulda thought? For some of you who were serious from the start, this might sound ridiculous, but it takes a few of us a crack over the noggin’ to get it right.
The wait was worth it. After rewriting more times than there are numbers to attach to it, my suspense novel was finally finished. A chance meeting at the conference in Denver followed by a proposal, a kind editorial assistant, and voila! an agent—at last.
Terry sent me all the necessary information and then the scary request—could I send a photo to attach to the sell sheets?
A photo? Not a photo!
Okay, for a couple hundred bucks, any photographer worth his weight can airbrush anything, right? But my husband said, “Lemme take a crack at it. I’m pretty good.”
A quick trip to a local pharmacy. I plunked down enough makeup and money to keep one of their employees working for a week. Struggling to carry the bag home, I ran through the door, grabbed a putty knife, and hid out in the bathroom for a couple hours. Half a bottle of hairspray and about a pound of makeup later, I emerged feeling pretty doggone good. Albeit, a bit overdone.
There ensued a photo shoot like nothing you’ve ever seen. “Over this way more!”“I can’t, my chins will show.” “Good grief, it’s just a photo.” “Just a photo? Are you out of your mind? This is thee photo. It has to be fabulous. People other than our family will actually see it!”
Later, scrolling through the choices, the suspense was killing us. “Nope.” “Right, too many chins, huh?” “No, you fool, the smile looks like I ate a pickle.” Delete. Delete. Delete.
We should’ve paid the two-hundred bucks.
Okay, the last one. “Come on. Show me. It can’t be that bad.” More suspense as my husband casually turned the camera so I could see it. No red eye. No double (or triple) chin. No blotchy skin. “Do you think Rachel could crop and fix this?” “I’ll bet she could.” We didn’t give birth to an actress used to headshots for nothing.
Two hours later, (probably seemed longer to her) and we waited for the photo to download. Breath coming in short gasps as the computer clacked away to show us the final result. Good? Bad? Ugly? No comment.
The suspense over at last. “Not a bad photo, Mom.” “Yeah, well enjoy it. You’ll never see me with that much makeup on again.”
“Too bad,” my husband said. He gave me a peck on the lips and the Suspense Tweaked with a Kiss was all over.
Stick around, I’ve got a couple interviews already in the works and a glimpse or two into how theatre and writing overlap to make a better fiction product. I’m full of surprises that I hope you’ll all enjoy. Just don’t ever ask for different photo.