Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Linda's path to becoming a published author...



When I started writing with the intention of becoming a published author, I never dreamed it would take me almost nine years to become published. More accurately, I never dreamed it would take me nine years to get my act together enough to reach that goal.

It’s not that I didn’t try, because I did. I wrote one book and shopped it around to every publisher for which I could find an address. It met with varying degrees of rejection from all, and eventually made its way to my desk drawer to gather dust. I started two more books but got bogged down in plots that were complicated beyond my ability at that point. And then I got discouraged.

It became increasingly easy to blame life for getting in the way, but the truth is, I let it do so. For several years. Eventually, however, the urge to write overcame even the strongest of my excuses and so I dusted off a story I had begun several years before, polished the first three chapters, and sent them to my critique partners. The feedback I received was positive, and so I took a deep breath and made a second plunge into the “serious” waters. It took me a year to finish the manuscript for A Fairy Tale for Gwyn (and to break all the bad avoidance habits I’d developed), and another year to shop it around to publishers. The story met with rejection after rejection, but enthusiastic ones (if such a thing is possible!). Editors liked my story, liked the characters, liked the conflict, and liked my writing style, but didn’t like the Hollywood star aspect. In a nutshell, A Fairy Tale for Gwyn didn’t fit their “current needs.”

But I liked Gwyn and Gareth’s story too much to let it die a dusty death in a drawer, and so I decided to look beyond the traditional publishing houses. I queried The Wild Rose Press and their response was immediate and favorable; they wanted to see the full manuscript. Things moved forward rapidly from there and about three weeks later I got “the call” (in my case, an e-mail). Of course I called everyone I could think of to let them know…and I think I must have grinned for a solid week without stopping. The editor assigned to work with me, Jamie West, was wonderfully professional and efficient. She requested only a couple of minor revisions and before I knew it, I had the galleys, the final proofread was done, and the book was in the production line-up.

After nine long years, it took me just a matter of weeks to become an about-to-be-published debut author. And now, a few months later, I can proudly share Gwyn and Gareth’s story with you –I hope you like it as much as I do!

Thanks so much for joining us today, Linda!

--Mary

10 comments:

darkangelauthor said...

Thanks so much for having me, Mary! It was fun to reminisce about the somewhat meandering road I took to get here...and I would love to hear others' stories of their own paths!

Warmly,
Linda

P.L. Parker said...

I was actually very lucky. My first real writing attempt - I started "Fiona" in January 2006, finished the story in August of that year, started the rounds of rejection and finally in late December or early January 2007, got an acceptance letter from TWRP. I had also finished my second manuscript "Riley's Journey" at about the time "Fiona" was accepted and TWRP wanted that one as well. So I can't complain. As I said, I've been very lucky . . . so far.

Marie Tuhart said...

Linda, sounds something like my path. I sold to TWRP last August and my book releases this Friday. It was an older book that hadn't found a home, so I sent it to TWRP and now I'm a published author. It's amazing how fast it happens sometimes.

www.marietuhart.com

Tiffany Green said...

I really enjoyed your story, Linda. It sounds a lot like mine! Good luck with your books.

Mary Eason said...

I'm with you, Linda. For some reason it truly helps me to hear about other authors paths ot publishing. I think it makes me feel I'm not alone. Writing is solitary enough. It's nice to from others.
Mary

darkangelauthor said...

Way to go, P.L. -- instant success stories are a little more rare than my kind, but fun to hear about!

Marie, Tiffany and Mary, it's nice to know I had company on the road even if I didn't know it at the time... :)

Warmly,
Linda

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Linda. It sounds much like mine...except mine took longer. I made a lot of dumb mistakes along the way.

Congrats on the book.

:)Becky

darkangelauthor said...

The only dumb mistake is one you repeat, Becky...otherwise they're just learning moments! :)

Congrats on the upcoming release!!!

Warmly,
Linda

Mary Eason said...

Thanks for joining us Linda. I've enjoyed learning about your work.

Mary

darkangelauthor said...

Belated thanks for having me to visit, Mary -- it was great fun!\

Linda