5 Days

By Laura Vasjuta
(writing as Rose Middleton)

Oct 31: Blaze contest results announced. I didn’t win. I had 4 entries, so it felt like 4 R’s.

Nov 1: Defiant and stubborn, I emailed one of the unsuccessful entries to Linden Bay Romance.

Nov 3: A request for the full. Okay, this is a little crazy. 2 days?

Nov 6: An offer!

Yup, you read it right. Five days to make a sale. I have the emails to prove it! No waiting, no wondering if I’m good enough, if the story is good enough or if the package got lost somewhere in cyberspace. Just a short message to let me know they loved my story and wanted to publish it.

I barely had enough time to digest the request for the full before the offer came, but it was true, someone — other than my CP and I — really liked my story! I know, I hear you asking where my faith had gone, but it wasn’t about whether I liked my hero, Nik, or my heroine, Charlie. I love them both. It ran deeper than that, right down to the tiny part of me that wondered when I would ever sell.

I’ve been writing for a long time, and while I’ve only pursued publishing for the last 3 years, a small part of me continued to doubt. I don’t need to tell other writers about those demonic doubts, but for those of you who don’t write, consider this: identify the one thing you want to achieve in life, the ultimate and most sacred goal that defines your very being. Now imagine that in order to achieve your goal, someone else has to decide if it’s worthy.

Scary, huh?

Still, it didn’t feel real. Okay, so I got an email with the offer, but it could be anyone, right? It could be a big ol’ hoax and someone just waiting to pop out from behind a wall to catch my reaction on tape. Except, the contract arrived in the mail, the edits began and finally, a cover arrived in my inbox with my pen name, Rose Middleton, and my title, TANTALISER. Not to mention an exact image of my heroine, large as life, smack dab in the middle of it all.

It sure was real then!

Selling TANTALISER didn’t just make me feel good. It made me want to stick my tongue out at anyone who doubted, at anyone who’d screwed up their nose and asked, “Do you really want to write romance?” Well, duh. Here I am, loud and proud and hungry for more success. I know there are pitfalls along the way and more rejections waiting in the wings as I travel the road I’ve chosen, but I’m in great hands at Romance Divas and Linden Bay Romance.

And for those of us in the know, the smallest of successes can really go a long, long way.