Friday, August 13, 2010

A Little Red Dress and a Whisper of Encouragement

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would complete a romance manuscript. I have literally placed almost two years of my life devoted to this project. Sitting back, I sigh. I actually did it. Frankly, that was the easy part compared to now. I'm prepping for the Golden Heart and I will be actively pitching and querying soon. This has been quite an adventure.

When I started writing Highland Savior, I just wanted to get my ideas down. I wasn't even sure this was going to go anywhere. I was probably 1/4 of the way through my manuscript when I joined Romance Writers of America.  Through their wealth of information and on-line courses through my Chapters, I realized something very quickly. Boy, have I got a lot to learn!

Between first lines, beginning and ending hooks, goals, motivation, conflict, character development, pacing, synopsis writing, etc. it's enough to make a sane person crazy. After several edits, rewrites and hard work, it's done!

Frankly, I could have never done this without the support of many people. My husband has made endless dinners while I'm writing or editing. The kids know when 'Mommy is editing.' My CP, Mary Grace, for her unwavering faith in me and the strength to tell me when something really sucks or I wrote something really great.  Beth, my third set of eyes and now lover of everything Scotland--well, men in kilts ;) My late-night panic calls to L. Shannon for some last-minute advice, knowing that night-owl is up all hours of the night working on her next series or twisted plot. 

Whether it was Sabrina Jeffries giving me pointers on back story drop or Hannah Howell giving me advice on synopsis hell, I mean writing ;) , I cannot stress enough how important it is to have support. 

Some of my fellow Chapter members were mentioning that I should now be attending writing conferences and I have to admit, I was a little nervous about taking that next step. Now that I have one m/s under my belt, I need to do this. And just so I don't get cold feet and back out, I already booked my flight for Nationals next year in New York City.

I received a card the other day (pic at the top) from one of my friends and I really need to share her words. Whenever I feel the nervousness settle in or wonder for the millionth time why I'm doing this, I will pull out this card to refresh my memory. I am a romance writer!

* * *

Dear Vicki,

Red is the sign of self-confidence and success.

This is your gown for the formal you will have to wear in New York--the big reward for all the hard work and two years of everything in your heart and soul on paper to be read by millions of people. The satisfaction that people like me will be taken back to a different time, a romance we had or wanted.

The struggle, the passion that will take us with the characters to the ending. Where we will feel (with a sigh and a smile) the warmth of brighter futures, our feelings of love and dreams fulfilled.

Good luck. I will be praying for you.



*happy sigh*


  1. Congratulations on finishing your manuscript, Victoria!! Wishing you the best of luck!!

  2. Thanks, Nicole! I have a feeling the fun is just beginning...

  3. The best of luck with the next leg of your journey. Your tale sounds similar to mine way back when. A big high five! I enjoyed reading your post.

  4. What a cute card and a wonderful friend!!! We all need supportive friends for our writing careers, and its good to see what a sweet one you have.

    AND CONGRATS!!! On finishing your manuscript! What a major feat that is! So many people say they want to write a book, and some of those people start, but not everyone finishes.

    You go girl! See you in NYC!!!

  5. Congrats on finishing your manuscript! What an accomplishment :)


  6. Congratulations on finishing the book of your heart! Best of luck and mega success to you on the rest of the journey. Enjoy every up and down of this roller-coaster ride. It's a heckuva thrill. :-)

  7. Congratulations on getting the manuscript finished, Victoria. That in itself is awesome. I finished my Scottish paranormal late last year and I knew that even if I didn't get published it was still an amazing accomplishment. I did sell to Sourcebooks and I have my fingers crossed that you will sell too. Don't give up. Here's hoping to see you in NYC in that red dress!

  8. Thank you all! I can not wait to meet all of you in New York City.

  9. How great to have all that support, Victoria. Congrats on finishing your manuscript, the first of many, yes? Maybe by NYC you'll have two manuscripts to pitch!?!?