Friday, August 4, 2017

Waiting . . . by Susan Oleksiw

In January 2016 I wrote about the end of the Five Star Mystery Line from Gale, Cengage. I talked about the other experiences in my writing life that were keeping my morale up and my attitude positive. My fourth Anita Ray mystery, For the Love of Krishna, appeared as scheduled in August 2016, but without any support from Five Star. I’ve submitted the book to Harlequin for its mass market line, since they’ve already published the first three in the series. I’ve sold more short fiction, and rewritten the first book in a new series, which my agent is shopping around. And now I wait.

What do you do while waiting to hear from an editor? My instinct is to write something else, perhaps a sketch outline for the next book in the proposed series. When I told my agent I had a nearly complete draft of the second in the series, she expressed concern that I was spending too much time on a series that hadn’t sold yet. In response, I wrote another short story set in the same area as the new (hoped-for) series.

Telling a writer to not work on a current project while waiting is as bad as telling her not to breathe while walking past lilacs in bloom or a freshly mowed lawn. Once an idea gets into my head, I begin to imagine more stories linked to the original idea. And this new idea seems to be especially fertile. I have rough outlines for two more books. Good grief. I have four books already.

 But the break in working on this project has given me time to work on my garden, which is usually pathetic by this time of year, delve into boxes of old photographs that I cannot keep storing, polish another Anita Ray mystery and send it out to a Beta reader, and read more.

Have you figured out that waiting is hard? Every writer knows this, and we also know that once you finish one project, you begin another. None of this hanging around until you hear about the first ms before you go back to writing. So, I’m waiting, and using my bottled-up energy to read, write, complete odd tasks neglected for too long, and enjoy the summer. And I’m relearning patience, a skill I always thought I had but seemed to have neglected. Patience. Meditation. Letting go. And fingers crossed.

One of the odd tasks completed was a new website, which you can find here, with a list of books available.

Or, go here:


Jacqueline Seewald said...


The waiting to hear is the worst, but like you I know the best thing to do is to start working on a new project. Keeping busy really helps.

Susan Oleksiw said...

Thanks, Jacquie. But it is hard.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Yep, waiting is the worst...but we just keep on plugging away

Great post! Sorry I'm late visiting
Good luck and God's blessings

Susan Oleksiw said...

Thanks, Pam.

Judy Penz Sheluk, author said...

Waiting is absolutely the hardest part of the job. It's worse than rejection -- at least then you know where you stand. Limbo-land can totally mess with your head space. You have to wonder why we choose this life...and then you get a great review, or that much-wanted "yes" and you say, "damn, life is good." Great post.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

You are right to keep writing the next book in the series or novellas or short stories. Because if your agent doesn't find an outlet, you can always go indie. And starting out with several releases is a step up. Waiting is also time for social media and gaining followers. You can promote your backlist titles. You've got to keep your name out there. Lots to do and never enough time!

Peter Perrin said...

I have to agree with you ladies, and I think it is especially hard for me as I'm waiting in respect of my debut novel. Not Too Old for Love has been through two stages of editing and is now awaiting the tender mercies of the proofer before we start on cover art.

I'm not by nature a multi-tasker and I'm easily distracted by non-writing things like going fishing or playing my PS4. Plus the waiting tends to freeze my creative brain. But, because the wait has been so long, and because I plan on outlining this time instead of pantsing, I've found myself making freehand notes of random things for book 2.

Hopefully, the wait for the next stage won't be much longer.