Are you a fan of The Voice?
My favorite phase of the show is the Blind Auditions process. The judges must decide if they want someone on their team simply by listening to them, without the knowledge of the contestant's age, look, and persona. And when a judge turns their chair, when they decide that that artist is exactly what they are looking--wow.
It always brings me to tears. Because it takes a person's soul to expose themselves the way these artists do. To bear everything you've got in a two minute song, knowing that none of those chairs may turn, but with the hope that one will.
Writers must endure this same type of rejection. A pitch, a query, a synopsis, a partial or full manuscript. Blood and sweat on a page, judged as good enough or not at all. But we keep submitting anyway. Because we want to be read--this is our expression of our legacy.
You've read how my agent, Rachel Brooks, turned her chair for me in July. She was my 2016 gift, a wildly huge step forward in my goal--my dream--toward publication. She was worth the wait and all of the rejections, into the hundreds by the time I sent her my manuscript to review, was worth it. When she turned her chair for me, I was one of those contestants on The Voice bawling her eyes out, and pumping my fists all at once. Because through her, this would be my chance, gosh darnit. I was ready.
What I haven't written about is how fast Rachel and I ran from the starting gates. We bolted the moment the whistle blew. Tenacious, lightning fast, straightforward, and kind, Rachel guided me through my edits and the submission process. It was immediately apparent to me how our thoughts aligned, our wavelengths on the same frequency. Because of this, I never doubted the process an iota.
I kept writing to endure the wait.
I didn't expect for my publishing chair to turn so quickly.
It reads: "Tif Marcelo's debut NORTH TO YOU, first in the Journey to the Heart series followed by EAST IN PARADISE and WEST COAST LOVE, wherein a San Francisco food truck owner has a second chance with her hold flame, but before he deploys he's helping his parents renovate their Filipino restaurant and drive away their newly parked competition, to Kate Dresser, at Pocket Star, in a three-book deal, by Rachel Brooks at L. Perkins Agency (World).
Yes! You're reading right! And I am still pinching myself. I will be published as a Simon & Schuster / Gallery Book Group author under the digital imprint of Pocket Star. My book will be cataloged with so many talented authors, and I'm so absolutely ecstatic.
I look forward to making beautiful words with the lovely Kate Dresser, editor extraordinaire. NORTH TO YOU and its following books, EAST IN PARADISE and WEST COAST LOVE are in capable, brilliant hands, and I could not be more thrilled. I step into this new phase unafraid and optimistic, hearts in my eyes. Not to mention, with fingers and scenes ready to go. The JOURNEY TO THE HEART series will showcase a cast of characters so close to my heart, and I cannot wait to share them with you as they find love in this complicated and sometimes silly modern world.
One day I will tell you all the story of this long road to my dream--the wonderful forks, surprising bends and confusing detours. But today I will say that as long as you keep open for those hidden signs, listen to your conscience, tap into your grit, and maintain a death grip on your Faith, the dream will happen. Not exactly in the order you think, nor in the way you anticipated...but it will.