Saturday, August 29, 2009

My first contract

I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed a contract with Samhain Publishing for my manuscript Before the Storm.

Before the Storm isn’t the first novel I’ve written (it’s the sixth, actually). But it’s the first one where I kept the requirements of agents and editors in mind – so, no chapter-long flashbacks and no great epic unfolding over three novels, which featured in previous work. Instead, it’s a romantic fantasy with a scientific twist, contained in a single manuscript that was always under 120K words. I’m fond of it and always hoped to write the sequels (During the Fire and After the Rain) as well some day.

This summer I quit my job as a customer service agent for a medical laboratory network. I’d been accepted into college, and the job was best summed up this way:

And I thought it would be good to have some vacation time before classes started. So I handed in my resignation and ran away, just like the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

With the time and the energy to research publishers once again, I looked into Samhain. I’d heard good things about them from authors like Christine Norris, Kimberly Nee and Maria Zannini. So I decided to send Samhain my manuscript, since Before the Storm is a romantic romantic fantasy. Yes, it’s got one of those scenes I wouldn’t want my mother to read.

This post gave me an idea of which editor to email with my manuscript. I always like sending queries or submissions to specific people. One month later, I had a reply.

So… that’s the story of my first story.

It's a good end to the summer.


JH said...

Gonna let out a lil' woot for you.

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Well done!

writtenwyrdd said...

Great news! I'm so happy for you! Be sure to let me know when your publication date is so I can post it on my blog.

Loren said...

Great. :D

Nice to see that you are getting somewhere in the world of mainstream publishing. You may soon be able to laugh all the way to bank at vanity publishers.

Jane Smith said...

Marian, I'm so very pleased for you. Many congratulations! Tell me when your book is published and I'll buy it with a big grin on my face.

Anonymous said...

That's great news! Congratulations!
--(stormie from AW)

Maria Zannini said...

I'm looking forward to watching your progress.


And remember that you have a place on my blog if you want it.

Unknown said...

Congratulations! I'm very happy for you!!

Asha'man said...


I've been hoping to hear this news for quite some time, I knew you had enough talent to get published. Of course, I'm a little surprised about the topic, you never mentioned romantic fantasy when you came into chat with questions for the old gang.

Best wishes,

A. Shelton said...


Angela Ackerman said...

What wonderful news! Congrats!

Marian Perera said...

Thank you, everyone!

Writtenwyrdd : I'll definitely let you know when the e-book comes out. Thanks in advance for the shoutout. :)

Loren : I'm willing to bet a lot of vanity presses will make a lot more money than I do, no matter how much I earn.

But I prefer going about publication this way.

Jane : I'm the one with the grin on my face now. I didn't expect to make a preproduction sale before I was even assigned an editor! Thanks. :)

Marian Perera said...

Ashaman : Can you imagine me mentioning that detail in the chatroom?

QoS : Hey guys, I need some help with my romantic fantasy.
Random Chatroom Denizen #1: w00t, qos writes p0rn!
RCD #2 : Cool. You need help with the sex scenes, Queen?
QoS : No, with the one where they set off the land mine.
RCD #3 : And by "land mine", you really mean...
RCD #4 : :D they did it on a land mine.
RCD #1 : did the earth move for you baby?

Thanks for your compliments, though. :) IMO, the romance isn't an average one - the heroine is sterile and the hero looks plain and ordinary. I'm hoping the story will appeal to men as well as to women.

Marian Perera said...

Maria : Thanks again for all your advice and support - would have been very frazzled without you. And I'll take you up on that blog offer once the book's publication date is close at hand.

Very much appreciate everyone's good wishes. :)

Barbara Martin said...

Congrats! Don't concern yourself about what your mother would think...intimacy between adults is normal.

Let me know a publication date as I would like to do a review on my blog.

Marian Perera said...

Thank you, Barbara! I'd be much obliged for a review.

My mom died of cancer in 2004, so she won't get to read anything I've written. But I'm not sure she'd enjoy this book even if she were alive. Here's a conversation we once had.

Mom : When you get married and have a baby, I'll come and help you take care of the baby.
Me : What if I'm not married and I have a baby?
Mom (laughing) : You can't have a baby if you're not married!

I loved her very much and for eight years now, I've planned to have my first published book dedicated to her as well as to one other person. But she was quite, um, conservative.

Jane Smith said...

Your mother sounds a little like mine, Marian. And I had THREE babies without being married. She soon realised it was perfectly possible, and once she held my lovely boys in her arms most of her worries went away. She was pleased when we did eventually get married; and she now addresses letters to me using my first name and my husband's second, which is irritating; but she's trying hard. I hope!

Congratulations again. This is such good news!

Anonymous said...


That is so awesome!!!! Mucho mucho congrats to you!

*imagine AW's dancing Snoopy here*


Loren said...

I will concede that I had made an inappropriate sort of comparison.

I ought to have compared your possible earnings to those of vanity-press authors, especially authors with such fake publishers as Publish America.

Randall said...


Joy said...

Congratulations! What wonderful and exciting news.

colbymarshall said...


Kami said...

Hurray! Big, big congratulations! Samhain is a really nice publisher. I have friends who have published with them and are very happy. I wish you the best of luck and stellar sales!

WV: symbol
How kewl to get a real word this time!

Marian Perera said...

Kami : Thanks! Yes, writers are very positive about Samhain, and I'm looking forward to working with them.

Too much so - I just realized today that there was some work I needed to do for my college orientation session starting just a few days from now. Ick! *scrambles to get it done*

Marian Perera said...

Hey Loren : Not inappropriate, just that large companies can't really be compared to writers in terms of earnings. But I agree that writers who publish commercially, in general, are likely to be better off financially than if they go with a vanity press.

Marian Perera said...

Jane : Your mum certainly is trying hard. I know people who address letters to married women "Mrs. Husband's-first-name Husband's-last-name."

I decided some time ago that I was going to keep my last name and any man I married could keep his or take mine, I'd be fine with either. :) One more reason I ended up in Canada, I think.

Thanks again for giving me such a happy buzz about this!

Marian Perera said...

Tasha : Thank you!

Though for some reason I keep seeing the dancing ghost/marshmallow instead. Maybe because he seems mellow, and I need more mellowness?

(Though my friend said he looked stoned.)

Randall, Joy, Colby, ralfast : Thanks very much. :)

And much gratitude to JH, who read the first few drafts and was always supportive. Some day soon I'll let out a woot for you too. :)

Luc2 said...

Delurking to congratulate you.
Great news!
I heard good things about Samhain as well. Sounds like good catch, for both sides.

Hazardgal said...

Here's a toast to you gal! I admire your courage to follow a dream! I retired early from teaching to do just that too. Yeah! Let the games begin!I mention your first name in my acknowledgements too! Thanks!

Marian Perera said...

Hi Marge,

I would never have thought my name would appear in a book before I got published. Thank you so much!

And good to see you again, Luc. Thanks for the congrats. :)

Anonymous said...

hooray! I'm so glad to hear that you are getting published. Sorry I didn't post earlier, i was out of town.

Sarpedon said...

sorry, that last one was mine. I hit the wrong button

Mary Witzl said...

Whoa, I missed your good news, so CONGRATULATIONS!!

This made me blush: "chapter-long flashbacks and... great epic unfolding over three novels." Done that and been there -- that is my first novel all over. I'm trying to fix it now. Thank God for the 'delete' button.

Marian Perera said...

Thank you very much, Mary and Sarpedon!

And Mary, that is my first FOUR novels. You're already ahead in the game. :)