|Yes, I killed some of my darlings.|
The strangest thing happened when I was nearing the home stretch of revisions: a publisher I had queried before I had my epiphany requested the full manuscript. Well, that's flattering! The first bad sign was that their website indicated a month to six weeks for such a response, and in reality it took six months. The second bad sign was that I wrote back to explain that I was currently revising and would send the full manuscript by a certain date, and never had any response one way or the other. I happened to know a couple of authors with that publisher, so I asked one of them to confirm or disprove the qualms that were awakening in me with those signs.
I'm glad I did it, but it was an unexpected roller coaster! My author friend wanted to let me make my own decision, but gave me the unvarnished truth of her experience with the publisher. A general carelessness, a my-way-or-the-highway attitude, not being taken seriously in the business because of a consistent lack of professionalism, a poor contract, no promotions budget, and the most egregious of all, no proof copy for the author to inspect resulting in glaring copyediting issues in the finished product—all this made me glad they hadn't gotten back to me sooner. I might have just sent the manuscript right off to a destiny of schlocky obscurity.
I stuck to the deadline I'd imposed on myself in the one-way correspondence with this publisher, and when I had Seven Noble Knights just about the way I wanted it, complete with trusted feedback and an objective copyedit, I looked back in my records and found a different publisher. I felt in my heart and confirmed with research that they were a great fit, so I prepared the query and sent.
They requested the full manuscript the same day.
I cried tears of joy.
And now it's back to the waiting and hoping. I've been doing a lot of that lately! It would be a dream come true for this publisher to take on Seven Noble Knights. Oh, the validation!
In the meantime, the wait is over for one important part of my life: soon I'll be heading to Spain. I plan to take loads of photos of places in Seven Noble Knights and other historical novels in planning and share them with you here! ¡Olé!