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!