Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guest Post: How I Lost My Virginity on Prom Night by Cecy Robson, author of Sealed with a Curse

Okay, I’ll admit, the title is more of a metaphor than an actual event. Truth be told, I didn't attend my high school prom. No one asked hence, no deflowering actually took place. My buck teeth, coke-bottle thick glasses, and frizzy 80’s perm might have kept many a handsome suitor away―but I had wit, damn it!

Going to the prom actually has to do with my road to publication. Any writer who has ever tossed his or her cummerbund or corsage onto the prom dance floor that is traditional publishing is more than a little familiar with rejection. I was rejected by seventy-five―yes, seventy-five!—various agents and editors before my lovely agent, Nicole Resciniti, swept in on her angelic wings (cue the chorus of cherubs singing here) and signed me days after our initial meeting. “Your voice is amazing,” she said. “You’re so funny,” she praised. “How has no one ever signed you?” she gushed.

That being said, that’s when our four rounds of edits―or getting ready for prom night began. What it comes down to is this: no matter how prepared writers believe their manuscripts are, someone usually has an opinion on how to improve your work. Should writers listen to anyone and everyone?  Just like believing electric teal eye shadow would go perfectly with your electric teal dress, the answer is no. But when a professional whom you trust makes suggestions, you better damn well listen and listen hard.

Lots of edits, lots of tweaking, and lots of swearing on my end later, Nicole began submitting to all those big awesome New York publishing houses. I made it, I thought. I’m going to be published!

Nothing like a rejection nut-punch to bitch-slap modesty back into me. It was the Aquanet to the eyes I apparently needed.

Nicole phoned me after the third ‘no.’ I believe I took the call from my fetal position on the floor. “Jhanteigh, an editor from Penguin has shown interest,” she told me. “She wants to work with you on exclusive basis. Call her and we’ll go from there.”

I spoke to Jhanteigh. She praised my writing voice, my dialogue, and my characters. She liked me, she really liked me . . . but she felt the story arc wasn't strong enough and that too much happened in the first book.  It looked like I wouldn't have a date for prom after all―worse yet, I was momentarily banned from the gym.  So I wiped off the mascara, slipped out of my dress, and commenced another round of edits.

To be clear, the exclusive basis option isn't something editors typically offer―nor does it guarantee a contract. It’s merely an opportunity―a blind date that may or may not stand you up.  I reworked my novel and following edits it was resubmitted. That’s when waiting for prom night to arrive began. I had my novel (dress), an agent (limo), my opportunity (the would-be prom date). I sat in my electric teal dress for a long time, envisioning piles of brilliant manuscripts (hot babes) passing by Jhanteigh’s desk and wondering if my date would show, or if he’d dump me for a prettier, smarter, funnier gal.

“I want to go to prom!” I told my friend Melissa Landers, who writes as Macy Beckett. “I want to come home with lots of hickies. Is it too much to hope for hickies?”

“You’re going to prom,” Melissa insisted. “And you’re going to play your 'V' card."

She was right. On February 29, 2012, Nicole called me to say Penguin offered me a three-book deal. I emailed my pals to tell them I’d gone to prom and lost my virginity.

SEALED WITH A CURSE―my novel birthed from prom night releases December 31, 2012.



Cecy (pronounced Sessy) Robson is an author with Penguin's SIGNET ECLIPSE. She attributes her passion for story-telling back to the rough New Jersey neighborhood she was raised in. As a child, she was rarely allowed to leave the safety of her house and passed her time fantasizing about flying, fairies, and things that go bump in the night. Her dad unwittingly encouraged Cecy's creativity by kissing her goodnight wearing vampire fangs. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she began writing her Urban Fantasy Romance Series, Weird Girls, in May 2009. THE WEIRD GIRLS: A Novella, debuts December 4, 2012 followed by SEALED WITH A CURSE, December 31, 2012, and A CURSED EMBRACE, July 2, 2013.




  1. Haha! See? I told you so--you played the V-card. And it didn't even hurt, did it? ;)

    Congrats, lady!! I'm so thrilled for you!

    1. It was worth the Aquanet to the eyes. Thank you for talking me down from the ledge while I waited for the captain of the football team to show up. Love ya, Mel.!

  2. Thanks for the post Cecy.

    I'm quite curious about this comment though, "that too much happened in the first book."

    I'm curious about the context of that. Was it a lack of plot focus? Or was it a matter of trying to simplify the plot?

  3. The first three chapters of my original manuscript contained a strong conflict and one that my editor felt could be developed into its own novel. So she asked me to take the first three chapters and make that my new Book 1.

    1. The remainder of the original Weird Girls 1 became A CURSED EMBRACE which releaes July 2, 2013.

  4. Great post. I love the name of the book, very cute, and Cecy is an advertisement for the power of positive thining and persistence.

    1. Thank you, Elfy. And what a nice way to describe me. See, I think stubborn Latina sums me more acurately! ;D

  5. Thank you for posting this! I'm at the trying-to-get-an-agent stage. Which, in another language I'm sure it means form rejection letters. ;D It's helpful to read success stories of perseverance.

    I saw you at the RWA conference, and meant to ask you: Did you pitch to Nicole at a conference, or via query letter?

    1. Hi, Rachel! I met Nicole at Backspace Writer's conference. If you'd like the full story, it's here: And yes, perserverance goes a long way. Best of luck to you and please KEEP WRITING!


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