Week Four…Can You Tell I’m Busy?

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Why is it the holiday season seems so much busier? Is there that much more to do? For me, last week there was.  And that would explain why there was no post on Friday. Sorry about that!

The beginning of the week, Monday and Tuesday, I again spent on the hiring process for freelance editors–I haven’t even gotten to copyeditors yet! Tuesday I spent, no kidding, almost all of my workday on the phone. We have a weekly acquisitions meeting on Tuesdays (that I attend via teleconference) and I also spoke to three editors on the phone. Add in battling a nasty cold and it was an exhausting day. And I hadn’t even packed yet!

Wednesday I was off to Toronto and Harlequin headquarters, where I spent the next two days. I loved visiting the office, and I even loved attending the meetings (shh, don’t tell anyone). But it is nice to get to attend some discussions in person; it’s a completely different meeting versus listening to it on the phone! While I was there, I handed my baby, my MacBook Pro over to the IT guys to install Fusion and WindowsXP. They did a fantastic job and got me all fixed up so I now have all of the features of the Harlequin system on my Mac. Whew. I was a little worried I was going to have to invest in a new Windows-based laptop, but thanks to their hard work, I was able to keep the Mac. Relief!

Wednesday night, I went to dinner with Malle and Aideen, and let me tell you, we had the BEST Indian cuisine at Amaya. We ordered a variety of dishes, but by far my favorite was the butter chicken. I’ve been thinking about that dish ever since we had it, and I’m going to attempt to recreate it at home this week. If any of you have a recipe for butter chicken that you love, please do share it.

Thursday was a full day at the office. I got there around 8:30am and got myself set up for the day. In a lovely and rather fun move, they’ve assigned me to my own “cubicle,” (they don’t really count as cubicles because they’re too open and airy for that. But they are square) so I’ll always have a place to throw my things, sit and work on the computer when I have free time. I didn’t have too much free time this trip. By 9am I was meeting with the team that does the Harlequin site programming, then the digital marketing team, then the IT guys, next up my boss (Malle) and hers (Brent) to go over budgets, later with Diane, one of the administrative assistants (who totally rocked my world by filling out an expense report for me), then the entire Harlequin digital team for a lunch meeting, and finally the Carina Press team for an afternoon meeting and then…off to the airport to fly home.

Are you exhausted just reading that? I’m exhausted just reading it. And remember, I was battling a cold. I think only sheer determination, and Emergen-C, got me through. Oh, and that delicious butter chicken. We decided that for January’s trip I’ll come up for 2 days. It will make things a little less whirlwind for everyone.

So I got home Thursday night, almost exactly 36 hours after I’d taken off, exhausted but glad to have gone. Of course, that meant I was totally wrecked on Friday so I didn’t accomplish most of my goals at all for that day. And to top it off I had not one but TWO Christmas parties to attend. One Friday night, that I was in charge of organizing, and one Saturday night for my husband’s work. So yep, the holiday season definitely made for a busier week for me last week.

But all in all, I thought last week was a very productive week and by going up to Toronto, I have a better grasp on some things. I’m really happy with how the week went.

This week: By the end of this week, we should have close to nine freelance editors ready to start, which you can be sure I’m very glad about and really looking forward to. I’m going to start the process for hiring copy editors. Not only that, but I should have some very exciting news to report in next week’s weekly post!

And later this week on the blog, I’ll share some pictures of my Harlequin visit, including pictures of the Carina Press team, so you can see the people behind my madness :P

20 thoughts on “Week Four…Can You Tell I’m Busy?”

  1. Andrew says:

    I had a few questions.

    Have you sent any rejections yet for November subs? Is the 8-10 weeks an average or a maximum? Is the response time longer if you are seriously considering a story?

  2. Exciting news?? OMG, now I’m going to have to check this more than the dozen times I check it already! Must put short cut on desktop.

  3. Sharyn says:

    Never surrender your Mac… ever ;)

  4. What a great post. It WAS exhausting to read. Wow! So much going on. I know that ‘so much to do and I have a cold’ feeling. You deserve a prize.

    Am trying my hand at podcasting this week with chaotic results. I’ll get the hang of it eventually I’m sure. There has been much positive feedback so I can’t be getting it totally wrong. Stephen Fry has sent many DMs – he’s going to be so pleased when I’m published. Also, set up a bit of an experiment to see how easy it was to rally Twitter support for my books. In two days 150 people have signed to say they want to buy my books and intend to promote whichever publisher takes me on. You’re not above that kind of bribery are you? :)

    Rebecca
    http://tiny.cc/TweeplePower

  5. Lori says:

    I’m with Andrew, but trying to be patient. Obviously, a LOT going on. I absolutely love the mural behind the Christmas tree in the pic. Hope you feel better soon.

  6. Andrew says:

    I hope I didn’t come across as pushy. I am always in an antsy mood when I have a book submitted somewhere. :)

    1. Angela James says:

      Not at all, Andrew. I understand how hard it is to wait.

      To answer your (and Lori’s) question, we haven’t sent any responses yet, but I will be sending about 50 responses this week. Most of those (possibly all) will be to submissions received in the first 3 days. I expect that we’ll start getting through submissions much more quickly now that I’m getting editors hired and reading submissions.

      I expect that most submissions will get a response within 8 to 12 weeks, I don’t anticipate anything longer than 12 weeks right now, but books under more serious consideration will definitely take longer, because there are more levels of the process to get through.

      @Sharyn I had every intention of fighting the good fight for my Mac!

      @Lori I have more pictures of that “mural” that I’ll put up later in the week

      @Rebecca Sounds like you’ve been busy as well!

      @Donna haha! I’ll try not to keep you in suspense too long!

  7. Justin says:

    Yay! I submitted around that time! I am excited to hear back about it!

    Glad to hear the trip was fun, if very busy. And I agree with Donna; I check this blog at least ten times a day!

    Cheers,

    Justin

  8. Chicki Brown says:

    Wow! That made my head spin. Emergen-C is magic.

  9. Very funny here is the best butter chicken I have made and it is from an old Toronto Star (your employer thats funny yes) recipe section try it you’ll love it, the secret is Yogurt cooking and I did however soak over night in fridge for better resultsand tenderness.
    Every time it says cook then you can turn around and read “CARE AND CONTROL” submission back in November a book you may like and read or think about every time you eat Butter Chicken. My gal wrote it and this is to me a god wink and by the way my brother does covers for Harlequin and did your web site also, hows that for god winks? Would you also like the recipe for homemade Naan, it works best if you cook on a clay or ceramic oven pizza tray/plater? I have to say as a caucasian male I even loved butter chicken enough to text and receive text from a famous chef Sanjeev Kapoor in India he is opening restaurants in north america for Indian cusine.I knew he was in Toronto and wrote to him and he replied on route to New York.
    Here is the recipe http://www.thestar.com/Food/Recipes/article/524989

    INGREDIENTS

    1-1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast, cut in 1-inch cubes

    1-1/2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken legs, cut into 1-inch pieces

    Marinade:

    1 cup sour cream

    1 cup plain yogurt

    2 tsp. salt

    2 tbsp. lemon juice

    1 tsp. green chilies, minced

    3 tsp. ground coriander

    2 tbsp. tandoori masala mix

    2 tbsp. ground cumin

    1-1/2 tbsp. garam masala

    2 tbsp. garlic, minced

    2 tbsp. ginger, minced

    Sauce:

    4 tbsp. oil

    1 tbsp. cumin seeds

    2 large onions, finely chopped

    3 cups tomato purée

    1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

    2 tsp. salt

    1/2 tsp. hot chili powder

    1 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves

    1/4 cup cold butter

    1 cup whipping cream

    1/2 tsp. garam masala, for garnish

    3 tbsp. roasted slivered almonds, for garnish

    DIRECTIONS

    Cut chicken breast into 1-inch cubes and legs into similar-size pieces; put in separate casserole dishes. Combine ingredients for marinade, divide in half and pour over chicken.read Care and Control chapter 1

    Bake breast meat, partly tented with foil, for 35 minutes in 375F oven. Bake thighs for 50 minutes, partly tented with foil. Set aside.Read Care and Control chapter 2

    To makes sauce, add oil to large frying pan. Heat on medium high; add cumin seeds. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Add onions; cook until slightly browned, about 6 minutes.Read Care and Control 1/2 chapter 3.
    Remove from heat. Add tomatoes and spices. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.Read Crae and Control last half chapter 3.

    Add butter and stir until melted. Add cream; bring to boil.

    Remove chicken from marinade with slotted spoon; gently stir into sauce. Garnish with sprinkle of garam masala and almonds.

    Makes 8 servings.

    Glenn

    1. Angela James says:

      Glen, thank you SO much! I’m going to be trying this recipe as soon as my spices arrive. Thank you!

  10. Andrew says:

    One more question ;) When you say the first three days, would that be Nov 12-15 or earlier than that?

    1. Angela James says:

      November 9-11!

  11. Andrew says:

    OK, thanks!

  12. Glenn with 2 n's says:

    Angela did you make the BUTTER CHICKEN ? If you say no I say wow your missing India at home!
    Glenn

    1. Angela James says:

      I did make butter chicken. Here’s my post on that, if you’re interested:

      http://whippedout.com/2010/01/06/recipe-butter-chicken/

  13. Glenn with 2 n's says:

    Oh yes and did your spices arrive lol! We here in Canada have an Indian market every two blocks cool hey but Asian grocery stores rule all the fish are still swimming, OH SO fresh!

    1. Angela James says:

      Yes, I did order spices from Penzeys. Wonderful. I’m going to be placing another order!

  14. Glenn with 2 n's says:

    Let me know if I can write cook books please. I love romance and food , candles and wine, music and feeding eachother and never forget MY (CREME CARAMEL)or deserts, wow I sound so Harlequin yes? The male chef of romance should write.
    Glennith

  15. Aw man, this is one of my favorite blogs. Keep up the good work ;)

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