Sometimes my full-time job, the one that pays the bills, keeps a roof over my head and dog biscuits in the treat canister, involves meetings. I sit through a LOT of meetings. I’m a training supervisor/manager and there are a lot of decisions that require my input. Sure, the technology geeks may have developed a new system which will change the world and solve world hunger, but if no one knows how to use their spiffy new system, it really doesn’t matter does it? So, my life is filled with meetings. Last week in one of those meetings, My editor from Kensington, John Scognamiglio’s (try saying that three times fast) name popped up on my phone. So, I casually picked up my phone and looked. The subject read: Audio Rights Sale – V.M. Burns. There was no text, just an attachment entitled, DEALMEMO. I had no idea what that meant, but I suspected it was a good thing. So, I opened the attachment. Sure enough it was a very good thing. Kensington sold the audio rights to my first book, The Plot is Murder to Dreamscape. My book will be available in audiobook format. The blood rushed to my head and my heart raced. I could literally hear my heart thumping so loudly it drowned out everything else, including the meeting conversation (actually, I zone out of these meetings sometimes so it’s not hard to drown out voices). I was in my own happy world until I heard my name and noticed everyone was staring at me. No idea what they wanted from me, but I took a cue from my mom’s playbook (she had a hearing problem). When in doubt, just nod. So, I nodded. That seemed to work because everyone seemed relieved (never a good sign). I had no idea what I agreed to, but I suspected by the grin on the Technology Geek’s faces, I either sold my soul to the devil or agreed to train 800 people in less than twenty-four hours without materials or training for my team (been there, done that, got the scars to prove it).
When the meeting ended, I called my agent. She explained my book would, indeed, be available in audio format and I would get a percentage on the sale. That was great, but to be completely honest, that wasn’t the thing that excited me. The thing that brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes was the knowledge that my dad, who had a stroke and wasn’t able to see well enough to read, would now be able to hear my book. Getting published has been a dream of mine for a long time and my family, especially my dad, supported me the entire time. Even when they didn’t understand why I would spend my last dime to travel to writing workshops and conferences or why I decided to go into debt to get another masters degree to help me get closer to the dream, they supported me. Whether it was keeping my dogs so I could travel, providing financial support, praying for positive responses from agents and publishers, or listening to my endless talks about plot issues or characters who wouldn’t behave and do what I needed them to do (yep, this happens a lot – life of a pantser), my family was there. Unfortunately, my mom did not live to see this dream become reality, but my dad is still with me on this journey. Publishing is a business. Kensington, like every other publisher, makes decisions based on financial considerations, not emotions. However, there are times when a financial decision can make a world of difference in the lives of hard working, everyday people. This is one of those times.