Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Sequence of Extraordinary Events

As I sit at my desk watching the steam roll off my coffee, I take in the dark wood paneling, old books and brick fireplace that make up my study. Something about this space reminds me of that Victorian steampunk film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. You know the one, set in the late 19th century featuring an assortment of fictional literary characters appropriate to the period. Maybe I love it because it's filled with Victorian Era superheroes or maybe because it draws on the works of some of the greats: Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and Mark Twain—just to name a few—or maybe I just really love it because of the kick-ass library. I truly am an atmospheric person. Architecture, decor and everything old, these are the keys to my creative spark. My husband promises to build floor to ceiling library shelves complete with a rolling rack. But even just as it is, this room is too beautiful and too inspirational not to write in and I really need to write. My soul has been aching for the past week to create something fresh but there is just too much excitement going on in my life and I feel like I must share it before I can relax and allow book three to flow once again. So here it is—so many big changes.

Mid-August we made up our mind to move. We quickly found our dream home, a massive Second Empire Victorian Home, built in the late 1800's. This house comprised of three floors still has original doors, hardwood flooring, large baseboard trim and 12 foot ceilings with intricate crown moldings. The Parlour, Dining Room and Study are three of my favorite spaces but the best and my absolute favourite has to be the third floor which formerly held the servant’s quarters. I've included some pictures below. This space with its aged wood and arched dormers is something out of Flowers in the Attic, and has proven to be a complete treasure trove: pirate chests, heavy velvet pink drapes, old doors, shutters, windows, trim, and stoves. It's a DIY addicts dream—but I digress. Back to the story, so we bought our Addams Family styled Mini Mansion and sold the home we'd loved for four years--all in a matter of weeks. It was all so sudden and yet it wasn’t. We'd been debating the move all summer but we'd allowed for some feet dragging. My black and white movie star dressing room and our backyard lagoon styled oasis were just too perfect to give up while there was still a sliver of summer left but as September approached we knew the time had come to cut the cord. My son needed to start school and I wasn't switching him mid-way. The guilt, a gripping dark monster that lived in the pit of my stomach, was bad enough knowing we were ripping him away from the friends he'd grown up with, but this house was to magical a place to let slip and we all agreed, including him that we were ready for new adventures. It was time for the Stapleton's to branch out; we were hitting up the wilds of Norwood in our monstrous mini mansion.

Now this move was part of a strategic plan to continue writing. September had always been my deadline. Either I would go back to work and let my soul slowly perish or I would get Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire, the second book in my Temple of Indra series picked up thereby allowing me to continue my dream to write and travel.

Enter September 9th—just another Twitter Pitchparty—I think not. This would be a life changing day. I tweeted my pitch twice an hour from 8am-8pm just as Brenda Drake outlined in the rules and I had much success. I got seven favourites from a combination of agents and publishers. The next day I emailed off my queries, partials and fulls as requested. And I went on with my week, painting, filling the new wardrobes I'd purchased from an antique shop down the road, volunteering in my son’s school. Then Friday morning something extraordinary happened. I was in the kitchen, brewing a coffee and contemplating my egg whites, having just returned from dropping my son off at school, when I checked my phone and low and behold there was an email from one of the Publishers I'd just submitted to two days ago.

"Rachael, I've had a chance to review Curse of the Purple Sapphire, and find it extremely compelling and well written. I've attached a contract for you to review and sign. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask."

My heart skipped a beat, I let out a squeal. Was this for real?

Stay Tuned for my next post...decisions, decisions. What’s a girl to do?




















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