Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Question for Patti--From Skylar

Hi Patti,

Was wondering if you'd tell us how you got "discovered". I've heard people say they got an in through contests, pitches that clicked right off the bat, and of course there's always dumb luck. Who knew an elevator could be such a momentous place for a first meet.

What were you doing when you got the "call"? And how long had you been "shopping" Ravyn's Flight?


Patti O'Shea said...

Hi Skylar,

As soon as I finished revising the first couple of chapters of Ravyn's Flight, I put it out on the contest circuit with the intent of finaling and getting in front of an editor. My theory was that there were so few markets for futuristic romance, that I hated to close one by submitting to the wrong editor when there might be another one at the same house that would love the story.

I started entering in August of 2001 and the first contest happened to be the Southern Heat where the winner gets their full mss looked at by the final editor judge. The announcement of who won was made in early December, less than two weeks after I finished revising the entire book, and I sent the full to Kate Seaver at Dorchester just before New Year's Eve. I didn't expect to hear anything back for months. :-)

About 10 days later, I left for Hawaii and I'd forgotten to put an away message on voice mail. I came back and had two voice mail messages and an email from Kate asking me to call her. The first message was two weeks after the mss arrived in NYC, so I figured someone had dropped it or I'd lost a page or something and they wanted me to send another copy. It was too late to call that day, so I called the next, sick as a dog--I could barely talk and was running a fever--and made my first sale. I don't remember much about that moment other than I somehow managed not to hack into the phone. :-)

I never officially submitted RF anywhere. :-) But from the time I first entered the final version of RF in contests until I made the sale was about five months.

I always feel embarrassed talking about my first sale, so my disclaimer is that the second sale was nowhere near as easy and that's why I have a two year gap between my first and second books.


Lynda K. Scott said...

Isn't that a great story!