When the president’s daughter risks everything with her sexy new boss, they’re bound to find themselves in Various States of Undress!
If she had it her way, Virginia Fulton—daughter of the President of the United States—would spend more time dancing in Manhattan’s nightclubs than working in its skyscrapers. Tired of dodging paparazzi, she needs a change. And a real chance. So when she finds herself in the arms of sexy, persuasive Dexter Cameron, who presents her with the opportunity of a lifetime, Virginia sees it as a sign … but can she take it without losing her heart?
CEO-to-be Dexter Cameron knows he’s taking a risk by hiring a stylish party girl to jumpstart his family’s legacy department store. But the president’s gorgeous daughter has her thumb on the pulse of Manhattan, and the partnership seems like a win-win … until Dex discovers that his goals now include more than securing the corner office—they include Virginia herself. Dex must decide: does he make a move up the ladder? Or on the girl of his dreams?
After spending years in professional theater as a costume designer, Laura Simcox eased out of the hectic whirlwind of opening nights and settled in a comfy desk chair to write romance. She believes that life is too short not to appreciate heartwarming, quirky humor and her novels are lighthearted journeys into the happily-ever-after. She lives in North Carolina with her true love and adorable little son.
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How to Avoid the Rejection Blues: Taking Aim (And Not at Your Own Foot)
By Laura Simcox
When I was in Junior High, I wanted three things: my braces off, my zits to magically disappear, and for the boy of my dreams to notice I was alive.
Because I was thirteen, I naturally assumed that I was the only girl to ever experience this triple threat of anguish—the zittiest, braciest, most incredible freak of nature to ever walk Planet Earth—but I had a Kamikaze-like desire to succeed lurking within me. (Still do.)
I wrote the boy a note, complete with check boxes, asking if he liked me (I know…ouch) and I slipped it into his notebook when he wasn’t looking. He sat to my right, and two desks up in English, so I could always see when he opened that notebook. You know what? He kept my note, right where I’d stashed it in the clear pocket in front, which gave me boundless hope. You know what else? He never answered me.
So, I was rejected, but it was by default. There were times when I wished with all my heart that he’d looked me in the eye and said no. There were plenty of other times I was so glad that he hadn’t had the heart to do that. Rejection is slippery that way—especially when you’re never quite sure why it has happened. And because I was at such a volatile age, I obsessed about the note, and him for an entire year.
This little painful story is meant to illustrate what it’s like to have your work rejected, because if you’re an author, chances are you’ve experienced both the flat ‘No’ and the mystifying lack of response. It’s hard to move on from either type of rejection, but to succeed, moving on has to happen one way or the other. I was able to move on from Silent Boy, and I’ve moved on from writer’s rejection, too.
I firmly believe in one simple thing: If, despite my best efforts, something doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be. The boy didn’t reject me because of my zits, he rejected me because I wasn’t his type. And when my work gets rejected, it’s not because my writing sucks, it’s because I wasn’t the publisher’s type, either.
I’ll make one thing clear—you have to know upfront that you don’t, in fact, suck. If you’re getting interest in your work, you don’t. If you’re rejected over and over again, there is a small chance that you do. There’s also a very good chance that you’re actually awesome, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
Prepare. Take careful aim. Then shoot yourself at the likeliest target. Survive like Katniss, right? Even though your work can seem like your life—it’s not your life at stake. You’re going to get rejected, but you’re not going to die.
That being said, I’ve learned the hard way not set myself up for rejection in the first place. That sounds arrogant, counterproductive, and a bit paranoid, I know, but hear me out. I’m not a genius, but I’ve only been rejected a handful of times (so far). This is why: Before I ever submitted a single word, I spent months online—stalking editors, agents, trends, authors, and most importantly, publishers. I read all kinds of theories about getting your foot in the door, and in the meantime, I worked on writing craft. Like—really hard.
In the end, I decided that logic was my best friend. I’d read that if an author doesn’t know who she is, and exactly what she writes, how will anyone else know, either? Editors and agents can work magic, but they don’t have magic balls. It was up to me to say “Hi, I’m Laura. I write lighthearted, sexy contemporary romance.”
I never submitted to publishers and editors who didn’t publish my particular genre, even if I desperately admired them. When I did submit, I made sure I followed their guidelines to a T. (After all, they didn’t write those guidelines just for giggles.) I never submitted to agents who didn’t already represent authors and genres similar to myself.
When I thought I was ready, I sent my book pitch to several friends who read romance, not telling them that I’d written it. I just said, “Would you read this book?” Three answered “Sounds cute, so maybe” and three said “Um…I’m not quite sure what it’s about, exactly.” Okay—that’s not good enough. I didn’t want “Meh…” or “Huh?” when I sent my work to an editor or agent—or worse—sat in front of them, wincing at the words coming out of my own mouth!
So I rewrote the pitch, envisioning a reader picking my book up at a book store, flipping it over, scanning the back copy and grinning. I asked myself if I would want to buy the book based on the description. After all, if I didn’t like my pitch, wouldn’t it seem as if I didn’t like my own book? Once I felt as ready as possible, I started to send it out.
Was I nervous? Yeah. Did I pray and then cringe every time I hit the send button? Oh yeah. And did I get rejected? Three times. And then one day, I was in the right place at the right time and was the right fit. That’s lucky—I know, but at the same time, I went to a conference completely prepared.
The agent I had an appointment with (waves at amazing agent) didn’t know that I’d already read every scrap of info I could find on her. I almost whipped out some of that knowledge to prove that I’d done my homework, but I realized that wasn’t why I was there. I was there to tell her about my book as clearly as I could. I sat in front of her and read my super-short, carefully worded pitch, and when she asked me questions, I had an idea of my target audience, and how my book would work in a series. I was successful, due to a combination of my careful, hard work, the stars aligning, and her forgiving my breathless voice and (probably) crazy smile.
In the years ahead, I expect more successes, but I also expect more rejections—because I won’t be at the right place at the right time, despite all of my wonder nerd efforts. It happens.
Yeah, I’ll be bummed, but I can go down in a blaze of glory knowing for sure that my aim was true. The target (and I) just weren’t in the right place at the right time. J
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9 thoughts on “Various States of Undress by Laura Simcox (Tasty Virtual Book Tour plus Guest Post)”
Hey, MM Jaye! Thanks for hosting me–it’s great to be your guest. 🙂
I’m the one to thank you for the an inspirational guest post, Laura! Good luck with Various States! I hope it’s a cross-state success!
Thank you for hosting today!
That was a great guest post and some really useful advice. Thanks for sharing!
You’re very welcome!