The night before I flew to San Francisco for the RWA conference, I had a dream about a particular author — a popular, rising star in the romance writing world — who wrote for publisher #2 and was edited by the same editor that had sent me that 9 page revision letter. I dreamed that I walked up to her at a party and asked her if she’d ever received such a letter. I really was in a funk over this thing.
I was serving on the RWA board of directors at the time, so I had a couple of days of board meetings to occupy my thoughts. But then the conference began, and I went to the welcome reception. Lo and behold, the very author I’d dreamed about was standing with another popular author who wrote for publisher #2 and the same editor. It was straight out of my dream. I hurried toward them. It was like I was compelled toward them.
In a somewhat shaky breath — but still trying to sound cool and composed, I’m sure — I told them I’d received, ha ha, isn’t this funny and it doesn’t bother me a bit, of course, a 9 page revision letter from the editor. Before I could say anything else, one of them said, “Wow. Only nine pages. You must be good!” Turns out the shortest letter she had received from said editor was something like 13 or 14 pages.
Wow! I wonder if she had any idea what her throw away comment meant to me. I went from thinking I was a horrible writer with a career about to end to being excited about returning home to that revision letter and getting to work on the book. Which I did a few days later.
Oh, and yes, that is a pseudonym you see on the cover. I only did two books using the pseudonym, the two books I wrote for that publisher. All my other books, before and since, have been published under my own name.