Welcome to my little corner of the gay erotic romance universe . . . well, half of it, anyway. (You can find the other half at RachelHaimowitz.com.) This is the place to come for sneak previews of new projects, release information, and the occasional M/M book review. I'll also share thoughts on the industry on occasion, and I hope you'll come share yours in return.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Since Everyone Else Is Doing It . . .

Ah, the narcissistic navel-gazing that is the year-end review. Added to my lemming-like urge to follow the rest of the blogosphere over the wrap-up cliff, and here we are.

But really, such things can have value. For one, it helps with the motivation to look back at where you started and where you finished the last twelve months. It also helps the ego, if the year has been good, particularly when your December has been inundated with rejection letters on the upstream swim that is finding an agent to represent you in a genre in which you're not already published.

. . . that may or may not have been my December.

*whistles innocently*

So, allow me to present my year in milestones and celebrations:

First Published Novel

Yeah, that was pretty exciting. The contract was actually signed toward the end of 2009, but the book didn't release until August of 2010. I'd been writing professionally for a long time, working on everything from press kits to the Huffington Post to ghostwriting books for other people, but this was my first novel under my own name. I had the wild good fortune to be edited by Tal Valante, who taught me something new nearly every day. She made Counterpoint a better book, and she made me a better writer.

Since then, I've had the wild good fortune of many glowing reviews, happy readers, and--a first for me--fans. The contract for the sequel had been signed before the ink was even dry on Counterpoint. And people have threatened kittens to try to speed me through writing Book 2. All in all, I believe the word I'm looking for here is "elation." Also "gratitude": for Tal, of course, and for all my readers who made my first novel a success.

First Company in the History of the Facility of the Year Awards to Win in Two Categories

This has absolutely nothing to do with novels, but everything to do with writing. I was hired by a company called MannKind (yes, they have a sense of humor), makers of a new inhalable insulin, to write a contest submission for their new facility. I knew nothing about the biopharm industry, or drug manufacturing, or even FOYA, yet somehow I wrote a 40-page entry--half white paper and half History of MannKind's Facility--full of words like "cryopelletizer" and "bulk lyophilization." I even knew what they meant by the time I was done :-)

I mention this because MannKind became the first company in the history of the awards to win in more than one of the contest's six categories (equipment innovation and process innovation, to be specific). This was kinda huge. It also led to more work on another contest entry for the 2011 FOYAs. With luck, I'll be mentioning that entry next year as another win.

An Editing Client Makes a Six-Figure Sale

My day job is freelance writing and editing. I do a lot of "book doctoring," also called developmental editing. Sometimes a client comes to me only with a concept. Other times they come to me with a first draft that needs a lot of love and attention. I had the pleasure of working on a book last year called Shmirshky: Think Inside the Box. That's hilarious when you realize the book is about menopause. The writer, Ellen Dolgen, is also hilarious. We tore this book apart, rearranged chapters, cut out the fat, polished the prose. She made the decision to self-publish. A couple months ago she wrote to tell me she'd sold North American reprint rights to Hyperion (who tragically renamed it Shmirshky: Pursuit of Hormone Happiness) for a number I don't feel comfortable repeating in polite any company. She's my second self-published editing client to crack a six-figure sale to a major house, but you know what? It never gets old.

My Second Novel

Speaking of never getting old, I sold my second novel this winter to Noble Romance Publishing. That's Anchored: Belonging Book One, which I've blogged about in the past and which releases on January 17. (Don't forget to follow the release party blog tour for tons of fun and free books and swag!)

My Goodreads, Blogger, and Twitter Debuts

I'm kind of a hermit, so getting out there in the world and interacting with people on social networking sites was a whole new experience for me. And what do you know . . . I loved it. I met a ton of great people, made new friends, even met a future co-writer. Which brings me to my next milestone:

My First Five-Day Novella (A.K.A. "NaNoWriMo Is for Wimps")

As my regular readers know (heh, "regular"; I've been blogging for a week :-p), I just completed a 25,000-word M/M cyberpunk novella called Break and Enter with the illuminating Aleksandr Voinov. First draft in four days. Editing on day 5. I'm pretty sure I broke something in the process, and I don't mean a record :-p But it was exhilirating. And it reminded me of what a person is capable of with the right kind of heart and inspiration and elbow grease and support.

In fact, this whole post reminds me of what a person is capable of with the right kind of heart and inspiration and elbow grease and support. I hope you've found it so as well, because otherwise I'm probably just sounding obnoxious :-p It's been a damn good year for me. And I'm looking forward to next year with enthusiasm and hope.

How about you? What are you proud of this year? Trumpet it from the hilltops; everyone deserves a little recognition every now and then.

Happy New Year, folks!


  1. What an awesome year! Congratulations and best wishes on your continued success.

  2. Yeah, it has been pretty awesome :D Thanks so much, Monika, and a wonderful new year to you too!

  3. This year was pretty awesome for you. I hope the next one will be even better~!

    What I'm proud of? Making my own decisions and standing up to it. I've decided to change my university course and it was one of the best decision that I've ever made.

    Happy New Year~! :)

  4. WOW! What an awesome year you have had Rachel! I look forward to reading your stuff and Break & Enter sounds great. I read the excerpt at Amara's Place and really liked it.
    I hope 2011 is as good and better for you! Have a great, healthy and happy New Year!

  5. @Barbara: thank you for the well-wishes, and for sharing your own memorable decision in 2010! If you don't mind my asking, what did you switch from and to?

    @Jennifer: Thank you as well for the kind words, and a special thanks to Amara for throwing all those claymores and hand grenades to spruce up this place :D A happy and healthy new year to you too!

  6. Rachel, I don't mind you asking. I've switched from Applied Linguistics English and Russian languages to Information Science and Library. I love learning new languages, but during my studies I've lost all my passion for it. Fortunately, after switching my love for learning languages came back :).

  7. Interesting. IS&L can be a good life; I know a strangely large number of people who have done that and ended up in very happy places.


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