Wednesday, March 1, 2017

IWSG: Trash to Cash - Reviving Rejected Projects

I’m a word hoarder. I never throw away anything. This is easier now that discarded projects and WIPs are kept on discs instead of in boxes filled with yellowing sheets. I finished my first manuscript in the early ‘80s and since then, it hasn’t been alone in its exile to the “Does Not Meet Our Current Needs” pile. But I believe in Karma – What goes around Comes Around, and yes, some of those rejected gems have found a new purpose and new homes and have gone on to embrace success.

I pounced on the IWSG monthly question of “Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? How did it work out?” My lengthy career is filled with such occasions. I’ve had proposals rejected or ‘passed over’ by my publishers only to be tweaked and find a home with a different editor, a different line, or a new house. My favorite tale (or tail, hehehe) is about a werewolf proposal I shopped around both on my own and through an agent that got interest but no takers. Into the drawer for a decade then revived, refreshed and off to a new publisher for a new line where it got an editor all excited . . . about the prologue . . . but could I change everything else, i.e. the entire plot and all the characters? In other words, write an entire new book off those first six-pages. Yes, I could, and did. It became the first book in a series of three manuscripts that I completed before getting that “Call” to purchase . . . but they only wanted to buy the first book and only if I’d change my hero from a bad @ss to a kinder, gentler shapeshifter. That wasn’t something I was willing to rework, so after much angsting, I turned down the contract, reached out to another former editor and found a home at Pocket Books for not just the three manuscripts, but for a total of eight books that have since branched out through self-pubbing to my new “House of Terriot” series with Book Two of four, PRINCE OF POWER, just released on Monday!

Obsessed with an enemy - the only female to ever walk away from him . . .

Colin . . . Prince in the House of Terriot

Brawny, cynical negotiator for his clan, Colin Terriot sees a move to New Orleans as an escape from a painful past and his reputation as a legendary lover. What he didn't expect was to fall hard for a rival spy, the female who tricked and betrayed him by leaving his bed for his brother's. Now, he now must work with her, up close and personal, as the envoy for her clan. Things are about to heat up.

Determined to have him - even if having him means losing all . . .

Mia . . . Strong-willed Guedry heir

Denied her rightful legacy, Mia Guedry plans to stake her claim over the bodies of those who killed her family. But best laid plans fall before her desire for the one male she can't resist, the one who will never trust her once burned by her necessary deceptions. Saving her Terriot prince from plans already in motion may cost more than her inheritance . . . the price could be her life.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Times change, tastes change, and hope springs eternal for those woeful forgotten words seeking a forever home. Take them out, dust them off, slap on a new coat of paint and take them out for a spin in these new markets. You just might have that first book of ten . . . What are you waiting for?

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Twitter hashtag is #IWSG 

IWSG awesome co-hosts for the March 1st posting will be Tamara Narayan, Patsy Collins, M.J. Fifield, and Nicohle Christopherson!


  1. As always, you're an inspiration Nancy! Timing is everything, and I will forever be grateful you stuck to your guns & found a way to do it your way. I've set aside a project for now, but you've given me hope that I can successfully complete it in the future. Congrats on another great release in Prince of Power! Awesome read!

    1. Thank you, Sandra!! Don't worry. That project will be calling to you soon!

  2. What an encouraging story! I've got lots of story ideas, snippets, and partially finished manuscripts I keep thinking I'll return to someday - maybe after this current project is finished, and the next one...

    1. Thanks, Patty. You've always got stuff going on! Good stuff!!

  3. Eight books is certainly better than one! After a total rewrite, I don't blame you for balking at yet more changes.

    1. Not just changes, the WRONG changes. It took me 15 years to understand the difference. And the editor agreed.

  4. Not only are you a prolific writer, but you have terrific instincts, too. Sometimes, I reckon a book needs to "rest" until the time is right.

    I don't envy you for having so much work stored on floppy discs, though. (HA! No, really, I feel your pain... )

    Count me in as your newest groupie.

  5. It always amazes me how alike we are (besides being a bit OCD LOL) I never throw away anything either...much to Hubs' dismay. I admire how you can take older mss and refresh them into saleable products. After going through the process once, I dreaded doing it again. You've encouraged me to try again. Best wishes on your newest release.

  6. Wow, what a roller coaster of a publishing ride you've had! Glad it worked out so well.