I am writing this hopefully from somewhere edgy, and the reason for that is that I have news about Honeymoon, my New Voices entry!
To quickly recap, part of my prize was a telephone evaluation of my entry by a Mills & Boon editor, and I received my call just before Christmas. I was delighted that the editor I was assigned is the same one who dealt with me throughout 2011 - she gave me revisions on my first submission and when that was eventually rejected she also dealt with a partial I'd sent her for a new story. She is lovely, able to be brutally honest without crushing your spirit, perfect for someone like me who really needs to develop the skin of a rhino.
And so my news...she has asked me to come up with three new story ideas and send them to her in January. She will then choose the one she thinks has the most potential and will work on it with me. To say I am happy about this is an understatement! I am so excited! I am also rather terrified, and filled with self-doubt. What if NV was a fluke and I just can't maintain that standard? But I know this is a fantastic opportunity and I am going to give it my all.
Where does Honeymoon come into this, I hear you ask... I asked this too, because I'd rather thrown myself into the Honeymoon story after investing so much angst and effort into it for the two weeks of NV voting. I've actually got a working draft of about 40k which I was intending to finish by Christmas then leave alone for a month or so before revising. The editor asked me to send over what I'd done if it was in a presentable enough state and she would read it. Her overriding view, however, was that she'd like to see me tackling something a bit more 'edgy and daring', and so despite requesting my draft, her suggestion is to put the Honeymoon story to one side for now and work on something new.
As a result I spent the seven days before Christmas frantically trying to revise the Honeymoon ms into something coherent and (I wish) so fabulous that putting it to one side won't be necessary. But I totally underestimated how long it would take me to polish it to that extent. In the end I only sent her the first six chapters although I was desperate to send it all. She has emailed me to say she will look at it in early January and she looks forward to my three story proposals.
So there we have it! I am so excited and can't believe all this has come about from my little NV chapter. My only concern now is whether I can be edgy enough. Wish me luck!