As any author will tell you, writing is hard. There’s a lot of heartache and dejection, and I’ve seen more than my share. If someone were to ask me advice on becoming a writer I’d say, go for it, but, make sure you wear plenty of body armor.
Like most writers out there, I started writing when I was a child. Although, for the most part, it was my way to stay sane. (heh) I was in my late thirties when I decided to actually plant rump to chair and start writing. However, my first attempt at a story did not receive the warm, glowing reviews from an editor I told myself it would and in all fairness, looking at the unfinished manuscript now, I was highly delusional to think so. However, that not-so-glowing response to my first attempt gave me the determination to do it right. So for the next four or so years I did as much studying and training as I could find on the internet. Living on a military income with four children to care for didn't allow me to spend real money on my training, so I read books and found a free online writing course which really helped me understand the craft....as opposed to reading published authors and trying to emulate them.
In 2003 I sat down and wrote my first book. I thought it was awesome! And really...the premise was...but when I sent it to another writer (who was fairly new at fiction writing) he tore it to shreds and all but said, I'd never be a real writer. I was pretty heartbroken, but instead of letting him dissuade me, I decided to prove him wrong and went back to my "how to" books and studied some more. It wasn't until an editor I had submitted a query to, asked to read the whole book that I thought ,Yeah...I can do this. Of course, that was short lived when the editor rejected the manuscript saying it "wasn't ready". However she gave me wonderful insight into what I was doing wrong. So, with her feedback, I returned to the manuscript and spent the next three months *fixing* it. When I was satisfied I'd done what needed to be done, I sent it to the wife of a friend. She loved the book! That was my sign. I sent it back out and three months later found an agent.
Of course, now you're probably thinking...so where's the heartache? Well, four months after I signed with this agent (who happened to be at one of the more prestigious firms in NY) I got a call saying she was leaving the house and could no longer represent me. Thus began my first "shot to the heart".
It took me a year to find a new agent (2005) and when I did she was very enthusiastic about the work and started submitting right away. About four months later, we got interest from an editor. That summer I met up with the editor at the RWA conference. We talked about what she planned to do for the book, she asked if I'd be able to do the revisions she wanted and she was genuinely excited about taking the book to committee. Then, in November that same year, she asked me if I'd write a novella for an anthology she planned to put together. She only gave me a 15K word count, because I'm an unpublished, unknown writer and she told me it had to be contemporary--I've only written suspense---and erotic---I can do a hot love scene...but there's a difference between my hot and the erotic she wanted. Needless to say, I was totally out of my comfort zone....but I wrote up three chapters and a proposal and sent them to her. Since it was the holidays and the publishing business pretty much shuts down in November and December, I didn't know what she thought of the story. Then.....
Before the editor could go to committee with my novel or submit the novella, she left the house. We still submitted the novella because the anthology was supposed to still be a "go", but the editors sat on it for three months with no reply and my agent pulled it. And, instead of resubmitting my novels my agent decided to wait for my current work in progress. However, life and things happened throughout the year that kept me from working on the story and I was unable to send her a completed manuscript, so she cut me from her client list.
Heartache. But only minimal.
For the past few years I've been kinda/sorta searching for a new agent. I’ve sent out a handful of queries at a time, because rejection in small doses is much easier on the ole bruised ego. Yet, despite the fact that I’m still un-agented and I’m like the Humpty Dumpty of the publishing world, I never gave up on my novels and I’m happy to say they both sold to online publishers. The novella, Her Will His Way, which is a contemporary love story set in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, can be found at Cobblestone Press and my novel, Forget Me Not, a romantic suspense that takes place in Southeast Texas, can be found at Decadent Publishing.
It just goes to show, if you believe enough in you and your work, you’ll find your audience.
A Latina version of The Bodyguard
He seduced her with a dare. Will he lose her with a lie?
Order Now at Cobblestone Press
Books available for Kindle at Amazon.com