Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Hunting We Will Go!

You know how it is. We’re all striving to find an outlet for the stories burning inside, to stumble onto one editor willing to listen long enough for us to slide a foot in the door before it slams shut again. It doesn’t make it right, but our desperate, yearning hearts are the reason editors find plot-covered squares of tissue waving from under bathroom stalls during writer’s conferences. In essence, we are the predators, and they are the prey.

I love to tell the story of how I became part of Barbour Publishing’s family of authors. Last year on a quest to wriggle through a crack in Barbour’s door, I set my sights on Rebecca Germany. She had read my chapter in the ACFW Genesis Contest and expressed an interest. We discussed meeting at the upcoming conference. She even suggested breakfast. I cracked my knuckles, narrowed my eyes, and tightened my finger on the trigger. I practically had her bagged.

I could hardly wait the few remaining weeks until we met. I focused my one sheet, strapped on my proposal, and set out for the hunt—like Elmer Fudd tracking that wascally wabbit Bugs Bunny. The first day in Dallas I ran into Becky. She’s friendly enough. I’m all giddy smiles. But something is wrong. The whole dynamic has changed. I’m not getting good vibes like before. As if to confirm this feeling, Becky cancels our breakfast, says we might meet up somewhere later.

Huh? Dazed and confused, I feel my trophy slip through my grasping fingers.

I guess my despair showed, because Becky took pity. She assured me we’d have a chance to speak later. Hmmm. You bet we would! The only trouble, my scheduled appointment with her wasn’t for two more days. I couldn’t pinpoint where I’d gone wrong, but with Becky acting so cool, I had to do damage control. And fast.

The next day, one of my critique partners learned of my plight and gave me her appointment slot with Becky. Wahoo! She was back in my crosshairs. When I arrived at the scheduled meeting, Becky glanced up at me with startled eyes. Sort of like that deer caught in the headlights thing. I’m thinking it’s not a good sign.

So I pull out all the stops. I try to keep her talking about my book, but she’s vague. She actually starts to squirm. Visibly. She finally mumbles something like: “The final say is out of my hands. There are many people involved in making the decision. I’ll let you know something as soon as I can.” Tight smile. Quick handshake. My sure thing bounds off into the brush, and I never got off the first round.

During the next day’s session, I’m sitting there nursing my wounds when Becky takes the podium to announce Barbour Publishing’s 2007 contract recipient. Not just any old contract. A three-book contract. As she describes this triple-blessed author, I suddenly realize it’s me! I also realize Becky has been evasive to keep from spoiling the surprise. Headlights shift my direction. Blindsided, I can only sit there and gape. Turns out the hunter became the hunted, the predator the prey. That wascally Webecca Germany got me wight between the eyes!

But you know what? It didn’t hurt a bit.

Marcia Gruver, author of Diamond Duo (book 1 of the Texas Fortunes series available October 2008)


Mary Connealy said...

Hey there, Marcia.

Poor Becky, the woman was trying to not lie to you.

I so wish you could have gotten to the conference this year. I understand life got in the way.

God bless you. I read Diamond Duo and loved it. I had a copy of it in my hot little hands at conference and someone got it away from me. RATS. I'll get it back though. I'm on my own hunt now for your book. :)

Sandra Robbins said...

I was right there suffering along with you last year. Things sure changed when Becky made that announcement. Diamond Duo is wonderful, and I can hardly wait for it to hit the shelves.

By the way, I did get a copy of the book at conference, but it wasn't Mary's.

Sandra Robbins

Julie Lessman said...

OMIGOSH, Marcia, this is one of the cutest stories I've heard in a while!!! And beautifully written -- which means I cannot WAIT to read your books! MEGA Congratulations on your 3-book deal!!!


Marcia Gruver said...

Aw, shucks, guys. You're too kind. I feel my head starting to swell. :)

Mary, throw down your weapon. I think I know where you might be able to get another free book.

Next year at this time, we'll be seeing the debut books of this year's recipients. I know exactly how they feel. As for Becky and the folks at Barbour, I'll never be able to thank you enough for taking such a chance on me. I won't ever forget it.

Janet Spaeth said...

Love the story, Marcia! Thanks for sharing it!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Success stories like yours give others a glimmer of hope they'll bag their game one day too. ;) Congrats, Mz. Fudd.

Aaron McCarver said...

This is another one I was very blessed to edit! Great story, Marcia. A must read for fans of Christian historical fiction!

Mary Connealy said...

Hey, it doesn't have to be free. I'll pay money for it.


Marcia Gruver said...

Thank you, Janet and Angie!

Aaron! My brilliant editor. So nice of you to duck in and brag on me! (Was the twenty enough?)

Mary C., be patient. I have a feeling there's one coming to you soon in the mail. The copies were held up by the storm.

Blessings, everyone! Thanks for supporting me today.

jess said...

You are so hilarious, Marcia. I'm thrilled that I was able to watch you get that three-book contract.

Diamond Duo is really wonderful and I can't wait to get my hot little hands on my very own copy. :)

Love you, girl. You've been a blessing to me.

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

What a great article!! You're an awesome writer, gal, and it shows in your work.

Lynette Sowell said...

Neat story! Poor editors, being hunted. :) I had a hard time choosing which book to take. But I didn't take Mary's either... :)

Beth Loughner said...

Hey Marcia,

What a great story. Elmer Fudd will never seem quite the same after your adventure. Congratulations!!!


Marcia Gruver said...

Hmmm. The plot thickens.

If Sandra didn't take Mary's book...

and Lynette didn't take Mary's book...

Then...dum, dum, dum, dummm

Who did?

This is becoming a Spyglass Lane Mystery. A really dum one. Maybe a three-book series?

CHickey said...

Girl, I know how you feel! I couldn't understand why my agent and Susan Downs wouldn't get back to me! Why were they avoiding me? I'm really a nice person. Then, BAM! Friday's luncheon came and it all became clear. Congrats!

Aaron McCarver said...

I'll bill you for the rest, Marcia. Hope to work with you again soon!