Welcome to My Roller Coaster

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In my last post, I was celebrating. My editor had emailed me with the news that The Midwife’s Confession was a go. My celebration was premature, I’m afraid. A couple of posts before that one, I wrote about some of the reasons a synopsis might not be accepted, remember that? One of the reasons was that the publisher may have a book in the pipeline that’s similar in some way to the book being proposed.  Well, Friday I received the apologetic email from my editor with exactly that news. As she spoke with the editorial team, she realized that the “hook” for my book is similar to the hook for another book due to be published around the same time. The stories are not at all alike, but the hooks would be. Believe it or not, that’s enough to negate the acceptance of this synopsis–at least as the first book in this three book contract. They still want me to write The Midwife’s Confession, just not now. You can imagine my frustration/depression/agony/anger/sorrow/annoyance! I haven’t completely given up on being able to write this book now. My heart’s in the story, and I’m itching to get at it. I know from past experience that these things often work out for the best, though, so I’m not leaping from the top of the roller coaster yet. . . but this is turning out to be a mighty nauseating ride!


  1. Julie on November 23, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Oh, no. I’m so sorry. Hopefully, it’s not a “never,” but just a “not now.” Or maybe, by some miracle, a “next week.” 🙂

  2. netti on November 24, 2008 at 8:40 am

    So sorry to hear that 🙁 You’d think they could put their heads together and come up with a different “hook”! *sigh* Will cross my fingers that it resolves itself quickly for you.

  3. Margo on November 24, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Diane, I’m heartbroken for you. I can’t imagine what you went thru this past weekend. Something tells me that this book must be written and I’m hoping your editors will come up with something positive. I’m not giving up and I hope you won’t either.

  4. Denise on November 24, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Diane, none of us can possibly know the amount of blood, sweat and tears you put into The Midwife’s Confession thus far, but I think we all feel your frustration at the moment.
    Words can not express how disappointed I am about this, not to mention that I feel like knocking my head into a wall a few times. But at least they are not saying it is a ‘no go.’
    Is it possible to change the ‘hook’ in your story to something different enough that they would accept it without ruining your story?

  5. Ann on November 24, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Hate to sound “dumb” but can you explain a “hook” to me? I WANT to read this book!

  6. Diane Chamberlain on November 25, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Not dumb at all, Ann. I don’t want to give this particular hook away, but the one that sank me the last time this happened was something like “When a woman learns she cannot carry a child, her estranged sister must decide if she’s willing to help her by being a surrogate.” I was just starting to work on that book when I learned that Emilie Richards was already working on a similar storyline for the same publisher. Clearly our novels would be very different–but the hook, which is used to sell the story to the buyers (not the readers, but the people who decide whether or not to carry a book at the chains, etc) would be nearly identical. Since Emilie was ahead of me in the process, she won. Fortunately, Emilie and I remain close friends.
    Yes, it’s very possible to use a different hook for The Midwife’s Confession, and I’m discussing that with my publisher now. They may feel too strongly about this, however, in which case TMC will have to wait. It will be written eventually. Meanwhile, I’m using my time cleaning out my office. . .

  7. brenda on November 26, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Diane-Midwife’s Confession makes me think of Memory Keeper’s Daughter-it is similar?
    I can’t believe that this could happen-they could negate the possiblity of publishing because of the hook…goodness..what a lot of work you have accomplished to get so far…However, as you always say so positively, it will work out in the end…This surprises me because I have read so many books that are similar to others…
    By the way, on another note, if you ladies (and guys) have not read GRACE by Richard Paul Evans–it is a short novella really…quite intriguing…with a wonderful message about abused children…a quick read in this busy season.
    P.S. My daughter came through the surgery successfully.

  8. […] a year and a half ago. My editor loved the outline, but I had to put the story aside because of a scheduling probem with the publisher. I then wrote The Lies We Told, which will be out this coming June. Now, though, […]

  9. […] it had too similar a hook to another book my publisher had in the pipeline. Oh, that was painful. But it was only the beginning. I came up with another idea and wrote The Lies We Told, which I […]

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