Okay, so I’ll come clean and tell you that my contemporary romance novel was rejected by Carina Press. I was disappointed, but the editor sent me a very, very nice email and gave me some suggestions to point me in the right direction. If you’re a writer, I don’t have to tell you how unusual that is – most of the time you get a form letter and a hearty farewell.

I let things sit for a couple of weeks, but it wouldn’t leave me alone so I’m taking some time to work on revisions before I continue working on the next book.

It’s my own fault.  I should have known there was still work to do when I was having so much trouble finding the ending. In part I panicked because I felt like I should have had another book finished by this point. On the other hand, I probably also decided it was finished just because I was tired of revising.

It can be annoying to run the same course over and over again. After a while you can’t see what you’re actually looking at. You just see “I want this to be finished” and so you call it complete.

If you’re like me, then once you finally have the basic structure of a thing set, whether it be in art or in life, you forget it can still change. You try to work within the framework you’ve created, even if the framework has problems. Pulling apart an existing framework is like performing microsurgery – you have to put on your magnifying glasses and look at the thing strand by strand. It’s a lot more fun to decorate a house than it is to repair a cracked foundation.

As far as my manuscript goes, I think I know where I went astray, so I’m picking apart the strands to sew them into a different pattern. I know the basic changes I want to make, but one change in a story leads to other, bigger changes down the road so I have some work ahead of me.

Stories.  They’re like life.  One change leads to a bunch of others.

What else can we do but enjoy the trip?


“Good writing is essentially rewriting.”

– Roald Dahl

“The pleasure is the rewriting…The completion of any work automatically necessitates its revisioning.”

– Joyce Carol Oates


  1. I still want to read it…..

  2. Hugs on the rejection, Betsy. Same thing happened to me last weekend – Carina rejected my manuscript, but my editor was nice enough to still give me feedback. They say the sophomore book is always the hardest. We’ll get there. I can’t wait to read it someday. Hold Me was such a great book. 🙂

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Angela Campbell: Thank you, Angela! And I’m sooo sorry you got rejected too…even when it is done with kindness, it still sucks, doesn’t it? 🙁 I think you’re right about the sophomore book being the hardest because I’ve been choking for months. I’m sure I was so paranoid I didn’t have another book finished that I MADE it be finished. *sigh* At least now that I’ve brooded I think I know where I need to go.

      We will do it!! 😀

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