Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Jennifer Faye & The Letter R

Please welcome Jennifer Faye to the blog today!

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The Importance of the Letter “R” in a Writer’s World:

The letter “R” really takes a bad rap in the world of publishing as it’s a writer’s shorthand for a rejection letter—that dreaded correspondence from editors/agents that says thanks but no thanks. Most writers have received them. I know I have. To me they are like a rite of passage.
Though R’s are always hard to swallow, the more I received, the less power they had over me. My first “R” was totally devastating. I was so certain that manuscript was wonderful. That any editor would be crazy to pass it up. So when the form “R” showed up, I was devastated. And I didn’t write for a long time…okay so it was only weeks, but for someone who likes to write every day that was a long time.

When I received that first “R” I told myself that I was fooling myself trying to get published. I let the doubt crows have a field day. But those characters in my mind wouldn’t go away. They wanted their stories told. Finally to silence the voices, I started writing again. I told myself that it was okay because it was just for me.

But once that manuscript was finished, I was in love with it. So I started to work with a critique group and entered some contests. Eventually my confidence grew, but I wasn’t submitting back to the Harlequin line that had given me my first “R”. I was certain that as much as I wanted to write for them, my voice didn’t fit. So I started submitting to another Harlequin line. And I made progress, including full requests, but they ended with personalized R’s.
The personalized R’s were much easier to swallow as they would point out my strengths before they’d point out what areas I needed to work on. And those personalized R’s aren’t handed out to everyone as they take time for the editors to write. The editor has to see something special—some true potential for them to invest their time. And I was truly grateful for those letters. I learned so much for them.

Then there’s the R&R. This is when the letter “R” finally has a positive spin. Technically it’s still a rejection but I prefer to concentrate on the other part of the letter, the R&R part—revise & resubmit. It’s saying the manuscript isn’t acceptable in its current format but with some elbow grease it could be. I found these letters to be exciting and a bit terrifying. I knew how close I was to selling, but worried about interpreting the editor’s notes correctly. I’ll admit the first R&R I got didn’t pan out. But my writing confidence was still growing.
By this point, I had grown as a writer. It’d been years since my first devastating “R”. And with a little nudge from a writer friend, I gathered the courage to submit back to the line that had given me my first “R”. And guess what? It was Harlequin Romance. :-) Funny how things work out, huh?

It’s as my friend, Michelle Styles ~ Harlequin Historical author, says, “It’s not the “R” that counts, but what you do after that matters.”
Keep going. Keep learning. You will make it.
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Jennifer Faye has spent most of her life with her nose in one book or another. It was only natural that she dreamed of becoming a romance writer and spinning the tales of the imaginary people running around in her mind. But first life took her on a couple of detours. Refusing to give up on her dreams, she finally succeeded in getting her name on a book cover. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her very, very patient husband, one amazing daughter (the other remarkable daughter has flown the coop to chase her own dreams) and two spoiled rotten cats. When she’s not glued to her laptop writing another contemporary romance (which isn’t often) or enjoying some family time, she loves to get lost in a good book, cross-stitch, embroider, quilt, knit, watch hockey (go Pittsburgh Penguins!), and garden.

Jennifer loves to hear from readers--you can contact her via her website.



RANCHER TO THE RESCUE- AVAILABLE NOW in stores

And online at Amazon, Amazon-UK, Barnes & Noble, and other online outlets.

Damsel in a wedding dress!
Jilted at the altar, celebrity chef Meghan Finnegan flees the scene--and the baying press--only to run straight into the muscled torso of Cash Sullivan.

The former rodeo champion knows what it’s like to have your life crumble in the spotlight, so he offers Meghan a place to lie low at his ranch.

Fresh air, no paparazzi and the brooding rancher's lazy smile are making Meghan not want to leave her sanctuary. But she and her unborn baby can't stay here forever...can they?
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Giveaway: Print copy of RANCHER TO THE RESCUE to US commenters and a kindle gift copy open International.
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Jennifer's book is a fabulous story with 2 strong, intriguing characters! I really enjoyed getting to know them and watching them navigate those spotlights! Great story :)
I remember getting my first R - it was almost a relief - made me feel like a real writer! How about you - what's your favourite R moment?

45 comments:

  1. My first one was unexpected and disappointing. Since then I've received enough that they're no big deal - just part of doing business. It must be said that all the rejections made the acceptances so much sweeter!

    By the way, I'm international and don't have a kindle, so don't worry about entering me in the contest.

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  2. That's right - it's not that we stumble, it's that we get back up again.
    Wouldn't call it a favorite, but once I'd received a rejection from the last science fiction publisher on my list (and there aren't many anyway) I knew I'd have to think of a new angle. That led to my current publisher.
    Good luck, Jennifer!

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  3. My first one was completely expected and even looked forward to. The tough one was getting the 'R' on a full from one of my top agent choices.

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  4. Thanks for the tips, Jennifer. I haven't started querying yet so I'll keep all the R's in mind when I do.

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  5. Beth - so true. I felt part of the club when the Rs didn't send me spiralling :)

    Alex - and look how well that's turned out! we really do have to get back up!

    Jeff - agreed. Knowing Rs are part of it all is important but some of them still hurt!

    Natalie - I don't think you're going to have to worry about too many Rs! :)

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  6. My favorite R moments are the three basic Rs: reading, writing, and relaxing.

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  7. I had two R&Rs while I was querying, and after resubmitting, I was still rejected. Devastating at the time, but I credit those R&Rs with helping me polish the manuscript to the point that when I queried the agent destined for me, I was ready for her.

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  8. Wonderful post and thank you for the encouragement! When I got my first form rejection, it didn't bother me... until three days later, when it had fully sunk in. It was a pretty bad feeling, to say the least, but I think writers just need to go through a desensitization period. Everyone gets those dreaded Rs! The people who make it are the ones who keep going no matter how many.

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  9. Hi, Beth. Sorry about the R's. But yay! on the acceptances. Those are most definitely sweet! :-)

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  10. Alex, that's definitely the right attitude...getting back up, dusting yourself off and moving on. So glad you found the right publisher for you. That's great!

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  11. Jeff, so sorry about not getting one of your favorite agents. That's tough. I've heard it said that agents are harder to get than editors. I don't know if it's true now that publishing landscape has been shifting. Wishing you the best of luck in your search.

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  12. You're welcome, Natalie. I'm wishing you the best of luck with your queries. :-)

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  13. Stephen, those are definitely some great R's. ;-)

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  14. Dianne, that's a wonderful success story. Wishing you the very best. :-)

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  15. Julie, that's it exactly. If it's your dream to be published. You just have to keep believing in yourself and your writing and keep writing and sub'ing. Good luck!

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  16. Stephen - no 'rithmatic for you! I think worm hole pilots need that :)

    Dianne - great point! Every step is another one toward our goal!

    Julie - exactly! We learn to have tougher skin for sure :)

    Jennifer - thanks again for dropping by! :)

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  17. love how one letter can strike a dagger of fear into any writer's heart! great post!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  18. I remember my first R and it was devastating- for a day and then I looked at what they had to say and used their feedback to make my writing better. Since then I have received more Rs- but the personal ones do allow for revising and improving. I like to make my writing the best it can be, so if I get an R I try to see what I can do. Still, I don't love getting Rs- but I know it is part of the process. :)

    Great post and wonderful to hear about Jennifer's experience.
    ~Jess

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  19. Jess - those personalized Rs can be so helpful! It's nice when you get a bit of feedback to help you along the way! :)

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  20. My only one R-stopped me trying it ever again!

    But I'm happy that it opened me to new pathways.

    Nas

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  21. I've only had one rejection (thus far) of which I have framed and call my 'Badge of Determination.'

    All the best, Jennifer!

    Hi, Jemi!

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  22. Nutschell, I feel bad for the letter 'R'. It really has taken a bad rap. LOL. Glad you enjoyed the post. :-)

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  23. Jess, so glad you were able to find the silver lining in your 'R' and make it work for you. :-)

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  24. Nas, so sorry about the 'R'. They can be really tough. But glad that it opened another door for you.

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  25. Wendy, I like that 'badge of determination'. Sounds like you have the right attitude. Wishing you the best. :-)

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  26. Nas - you sure have found your calling!!!

    Wendy - love that! We really, really need determination in this profession :)

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  27. I look at an R and figure that just isn't the place I'm suppose to be.

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  28. LD, I look at R's as this particular story didn't work for this particular editor at this particular time. But who knows about the next story. There's always hope. ;-) Thanks for stopping by.

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  29. Linda - that's a great way to look at it! :)

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  30. It's all about our attitude and what we intend to do after those R's. I'm pleased to meet Jennifer.

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  31. Hi Jemi! Hi Jennifer!

    Great advice Jennifer. The R only matters if you let it make you stop writing. Otherwise it's a step up the ladder because it means you went that far ahead. Rather than let a story languish in your head you got it 'out there'.
    Rejections make a writer stronger. I also had my share and know they played a big part in getting me the final acceptance.
    Best wishes!

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  32. Ruchi - so true! There are steps we writers take along this journey - and they all bring us closer to our prize! :)

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  33. Hi Medeia! You're right. It's all in the attitude. :-)

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  34. Ruchi, you said that very well and I totally agree. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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  35. I've never submitted so I haven't had an R moment yet; thanks for the advice, though! I'm sure I'll be a miserable heap and need to remind myself to keep moving when I do get a rejection letter. :P

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  36. Golden Eagle - the miserable heap is pretty common - but we writers are pretty tough. You'll get right back up there if it happens :)

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  37. Golden Eagle, should you ever get an 'R' just give yourself a big pat on the back for having the courage to hit 'submit' in the first place and then take the day to indulge in some chocolate. ;-) And the next day get up and start writing again. The trick is to never give up. Good luck!

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  38. Great motivational post!

    Happy Weekend to both of you.

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  39. we really all do need a rancher to the rescue :)

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  40. Carol, so glad you enjoyed the post!

    Have a great week. :-)

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  41. Dezmond, couldn't agree more. ;-)

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