September 2, 2009

I Could Use That Epidural Right About Now

I seriously question my mental stability. I’m either slipping into early stages of dementia or I’m just totally lame. I just realized that, aside from vanishing from blogdom for more than 2 months without explanation (my apologies), I somehow failed to announce that I SIGNED WITH A LITERARY AGENT ! ! !


Talk about anti-climaxification.

Let me bring you up to speed: my novel, Love Worth Fire, was one of 3 finaling novels in the Mt Hermon/Zondervan First Novel Competition. I did post about the outcome of that, I’m almost absolutely positive. Though my story did not win the contract for publication, it got the notice of editors and that was an incredible honor.

So that was last April, and at that time, my Prospective Agent had the manuscript but had not finished reading it. I suspect spring fever or that pure thin Rocky Mountain air got her feeling a little extra gutsy because she offered me and my sweet, feel-good love story representation anyway.

Although the novel had shown some promise at Zondervan, she wanted to help get it in the best possible shape before we submit it to publishers. So while she finished her read through and carved out—er compiled notes for revision, I kept busy with stuff like planning novel #2, waiting, getting my motorcycle endorsement and going hog-shopping. (Hey, there are a few exceptions to the no shopping rule.)

At the end of June, I received my first 10 page Editorial Revision Letter which listed (ahem) a bunch of revisions. Not the kind you can knock off with a quick snip, a stitch, slap on a Band-Aid and you’re back in the game, kiddo, but the knock you out with an obscene amount of drugs, blood transfusions, post-op therapy kind.

DON’T get me wrong: this is phenomenal! It’s a tremendous opportunity, a rare gift. It’s just kind of crazy hard. Mainly because my name is Camille and I’m a nose-bleeding perfectionist. We’re not talking about changing Emily’s hair color. We’re talking dig down, get into her skin and feel what she feels, infuse her with my emotions and help you, O wise reader, to feel what she and I feel. All throughout the story. That’s some work.

I won’t bore you with the details of how this never-satisfied perfectionist writer is managing the task. I’ll blog about it more soon and share what the process is teaching me. Not just about writing, but about me and how my demented brain processes this process.

I will say that this task is starting to feel like one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And to those of you who have also given birth 3 times, I hope that tells you something.



I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.