|Rebecca J. Clark|
I should explain.
First, you’ll need to know the backstory of this book. You’ve probably heard the statistic, that a high percentage of marriages in which a child dies ends in divorce. One tragedy is compounded by another. But it’s easy to see how it happens. Faced with overwhelming grief, all the little problems become huge, daunting problems. This is what happened to Gabe and Louisa, the couple in my story, after their infant son was killed in a car accident.
The problem for me? My own son was the age of the child in the story when I first started writing this book. That was a good and bad thing. Good, in that I could “easily” imagine the emotions my characters faced, even though I’d never experienced such a tragedy myself (thank God). Bad, in that it made the story too hard to write. Authors need to get so deep into our characters’ heads, that their stories become our stories. Their experiences become our experiences. By immersing myself into characters who had lost their toddler...it was just too real for me. I couldn’t do it. I got about halfway into the story and had to put it aside for a while, until my son grew up a bit and was no longer the age of the fictional child.
Finally, many boxes of tissues later, I did finish the book. It made the finals in some big contests, and made it all the way to marketing with Harlequin Superromance before being rejected.
That was 1999. So...why the long delay in publishing this? The first reason was my naivety. I was still fairly new to the writing industry, and not very active in any writing groups at the time. So when my book was rejected, I was rejected. I took it personally, because I didn’t know any different. If they didn’t like that book, they didn’t like me. If they didn’t like me, they wouldn’t like anything else I submitted to them.
Sigh. If only we could press a “do-over” button in life, eh?
The second reason for the delay was lack of options. Back then, if you wrote an 80,000-word book meant for the category romance market, there was really only one place to submit it. Harlequin. If they rejected it, that story went under the proverbial bed, never to be seen or heard from again.
But now it’s 2012 and we authors have many more options for our books. I’d always loved this story, so I pulled it out, updated it and rewrote many parts (I’m a stronger writer now...I think. I hope.), and sent it to my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. They loved it, offered me a contract for it, and it is now available for everyone to read.
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