So this week I did something I haven't done in forever: I submitted a novella to a new-to-me publisher. It's thrilling and scary at the same time. One thing I have learned in the ten years I have been published as Leigh Ellwood is that it doesn't necessarily matter if publishers have contracted you in the past, you are not rejection-proof. I have received rejections since Truth or Dare came out in 2004, and I expect I'll receive a few more when it's over and done. It's surprised me, too, to know that many authors more successful than me still get slips. It's part of the business - you shoot, sometimes you miss and sometimes you don't.
What's different about this particular novella is that I wrote it for a specific call this publisher has out. Well, not really. I had started the story, then shelved it, then picked it up again when I first heard about the call. The story and theme fit the call perfectly, I thought, and this was enough to inspire me to finish the work and get back into the game. My last few releases this year have either been revised reprints, or else original work through DLP Books. Then, of course, I worked on Coming Together: Girl on Girl, which I hope has been received well. I write daily, but lately it's seemed as though I've offered little this year. My M/M short novel, Bittersweet, is my most recent original work, and while it came out in March it seems a lifetime ago. I wonder if other writers feel this way.
Perhaps it seems long because I as I watch new releases at ARe and elsewhere, I see many familiar names. The ease involved in self-publishing has allowed us to generate revised backlist titles and offer shorter works to readers, and while I enjoy having control of my writing and marketing I still want to take my writing in other directions. If I am offered a contract for this novella I would be happy to consider it, but if I am turned down I'll still have the satisfaction of knowing I am still capable of meeting a call.
If I'm not picked up, will I self-publish the work? I don't know. I would like to see it available one day through a publisher, not necessarily my own imprint, so this story isn't over yet.
Until then, I'm working on the next story. Long Awaited Love is in the writing stage (still) and will follow Long Awaited Friend. I only hope it's worth the wait.