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So, I was walking around like a zombie, half believing that it was all a dream, and a little afraid to dive into the contract for fear of being rudely awakened. There were several issues important to me, and they were all about creative control. I wanted to retain movie, television and streaming rights, and have a print-on-demand option, input into the cover design and the ability to make any required edits so that I could maintain the voice and pacing of the book. I knew these were heavy lifts, and I was worried about how Solstice would addressed them.

The contract was refreshingly straightforward, but it didn't address film rights or guarantee that DEAR HEART would go into print. As for the cover design and the editing, the contract made it clear that Solstice had the final say on those fronts. I took several days to clear my head and decide if I was willing to throw away what could be the opportunity of a lifetime for what were probably unrealistic expectations on my part. I wasn't.

Solstice Editor In Chief K.C. Sprayberry had encouraged me to ask her any questions I had about the contract but I was hesitant to rock the boat. Still, I knew I had to get over myself if the process was to move forward, so on March 5th I bit the bullet and emailed Ms. Sprayberry a long list of questions, most of which simply sought clarification of the contract language. To say that Ms. Sprayberry's response pleased me would be an understatement. Not only would I retain the rights I wanted for DEAR HEART, which would likely qualify for a print-on-demand option, but I would be able to participate in the cover art selection and make the required edits as well.

Out of an overabundance of caution, I delayed executing the contract.. Then, in the early hours of March 7th, I asked myself what in the hell I was waiting for. Since I couldn't think of a good answer to that question, I signed the contract and emailed it back at 1:33 AM. By 9:00 AM I had a lovely Welcome-to-the-Solstice-family letter -- and a to-do list. That's when it finally hit me that my life was about to change.


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