Two years ago one of my publishers went out of business and that meant the abandonment of four of my stories. Initially I was quite excited about rewriting and resubmitting them to new publishers. Alas, I was quite naïve about what goes into a total and complete rewrite of a previously finished book. WARNING: IT IS NOT FUN! In fact I can say unequivocally and without a doubt that I never want to do it again because I hate, hate, hated doing it.
I hope I did get my point across. Yes, rewriting a book is a bear of a project. It zaps your creativity and you start to even question whether you have talent as an author any more. Rewriting my first book, The Spirit of Christmas, for resubmission is something I chalk up to experience now. It was a very sweet holiday novella coming in at 23,000 words. When I finished it, there was more of an edge to it and totaled out at 35,000 words. This was a complete rewrite. As in word choices, sentence structure, deepening of the POV, addition of a character and a twisting of the plot. Oh, yeah, it was a lot of work. And I highly doubt I will ever attempt something like this ever again.
Rewriting this book was such a chore because I’d learned a lot about writing in the last four years and it needed a total revamp. Resubmitting a book can be much easier if your prose and text is in good order, but this one needed work. I am happy I took on the project (looking back). I resubmitted it to a new publishing house and it’s now available with a new name, new publisher and a new cover. It’s good to know that all that hard work was worthwhile.
I have also resubmitted another story of mine that was previously published with that first publisher. It was a short sweet story in a winter themed anthology. I took this 4000 word story and doubled the length. The name of the story is Snow Kissed now with White Rose Publishing. Rewriting Snow Kissed was a completely different experience. First of all the story was great just the way it was. I just made a few minor adjustments to the manuscript in a technical sense so that it read smoother. Then I added to it and made it into an Inspirational including the addition of a couple other characters. It turned out great and there were no tears involved. Obviously, I worked on this one before the creativity-sucking project of which I alluded to above.
Although I really did detest rewriting my Christmas book, I am so glad that I did stick with it and finish it up. It is a much better book than what was originally published and I happy to offer it this Christmas with pride. With so many books becoming orphans these days and publishing houses closing, authors have to make a decision about whether to put these older stories to rest or if there is still an interest and a marketable reason to rewrite them and resubmit. I wish everyone well in their decisions. It’s a lot of hard work but I think worth it in the end.
Now for a Christmas Present:
I’m running a Christmas contest ending December 21st.
To enter: view the book trailer for All I Want for Christmas and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the email, list at least one gift that Kathryn received from her Secret Santa. Enter each month for a chance to win.
What will you win? A pdf copy of my best selling historical western from Champagne Books, The Heart Never Lies, as well as some Bath & Body Works goodies and a special chocolate treat—specifically the kind of chocolate my heroine in All I Want for Christmas craves each and every day. If you already own The Heart Never Lies, I’ll send you a copy of the sequel, Listen to Your Heart, when it releases in January.
Blurb for All I Want for Christmas:
Best Friends or True Love? Only Santa Knows.
Kathryn Graham hates Christmas. She hates the snow, the decorations, the whole nine yards. Nick Pringle on the other hand can’t get enough of the season. He may be her best friend and fellow writer at Redburn Weekly Magazine, but sometimes his exuberance gets on her very last nerve. Now they’ve been assigned to cover the orphan toy drive story. It’s just a puff piece not the serious journalism Kathryn hopes for, but maybe—as Nick says—there are no old stories just new angles.
Nick Pringle has been in love with Kathryn practically since the day they met. When he realizes that she’s lost her Christmas spirit, he figures he’s just the guy to help her find it again. He enacts a plan to send her anonymous gifts from Secret Santa, but will any of this really make a difference in her? Will she ever see him as anything more than her smart-aleck partner even after their passionate kisses? Then again maybe he’ll get what he wants for Christmas after all.
Outside the air remained chilly, forcing the use of a coat, but it was still fine December weather. Kathryn wrapped a scarf around her neck as she walked down the street with Nick. The last time they’d been together, she’d held his hand and it had felt so comforting. For some reason today, she felt at a loss with him walking several inches away from her. There was something building between them and if she didn’t do something about it—it would only get worse.
Emboldening herself, she grabbed Nick’s arm and wrapped her hands around it. His eyes dropped to hers and filled with puzzlement. She could imagine the thoughts going through his head—like ‘what was on her mind now?’ Or ‘what am I in for this time?’
She parted her lips and smiled at him. “Don’t you just love Christmas, Nick?” She waited to see how he’d react to her using his words from last week. The same words she’d rebuffed at that time and now understood so much better.
“Christmas? Isn’t that just about commercialization?” He smiled as he threw her own words back at her with a grin.
“And where did you ever hear such a horrible thought, Nick Pringle?” She filled her voice with feigned reproach.
They shared a smile as they continued down Main Street. A little thrill moved in Kathryn’s chest. This felt right; it felt good. The friendship she had with Nick could never be replaced. She glanced at the store windows decorated for the season. It reminded her of shopping with her mother and sister as they looked for Christmas gifts for her father. It was one of only a few fond memories she shared with her family. Soon after that Christmas, her parents divorced and her life fell apart.
Kathryn studied Nick’s face again, his raised cheeks and straight nose, rounded just perfectly at the end. He tilted his head at her and formed his lips into a closed smile. Never had she encountered such understanding and empathy in anyone until she met Nick Pringle. He oozed kindness and warmth and yet he had a teasing kind of personality when he wanted to use it. It’s why they got along together. He was easy-going and she was wound tighter than a toy top. But he could dish out the sarcasm when necessary. It kept the friendship interesting and fresh. More than that, he made her feel safe—as if she could tell him anything.
“Nick, did I ever tell you my father left my mother the day after Christmas when I was twelve?”
Concern etched Nick’s face and his eyes grew soft. “No, you never did.”
Kathryn curved her mouth to one side and sighed. Then she faced forward, letting go of Nick’s arm and shoving her ungloved hands into her coat pockets. “I can still remember what he said when he left. Lorraine and I were in the living room still figuring out all the gifts Daddy had thrust upon us the day before, when he came down the stairs with his suitcase. He said, ‘Marion, I promised to stay until Christmas, but Christmas is over. I’m leaving now.’”
“That’s unbelievable.” His arm slid around her shoulders and she didn’t shrug him off as she usually would. Instead she snuggled close to him and rested her face against the softness of his overcoat.
“My mother tried to get him to stay, but he left anyway. He didn’t even say goodbye to me or my sister. I started thinking about that the other day, and I realized that it is because of how my father left us that I hate Christmas.”
“You never hated Christmas.”
She raised her eyes up to his. “I did.” A sob caught in her throat. “I hated Christmas.
Join my Newsletter this month as I’m sending out a FREE READ Prequel to All I Want for Christmas. How Kat & Nick first met.
Stop by my website to learn more about my Christmas Contest.
Cindy K. Green is a multi-published author with degrees in History and Education. Previously a middle school English & History teacher, she now homeschools her own children and writes in several genres: Inspirational, Contemporary, YA, Suspense and Historical romance. Find out more about Cindy and her books at www.cindykgreen.com. You can also visit her on her Blog. In addition, she has a Homeschooling Blog and a Teen Fiction Blog. She can be reached by email at email@example.com. She’s on Myspace Facebook Twitter and Twitter for her YA friends. And she has a Newsletter.