My Path to Publishing.
Where to begin…
I had an idea. The idea wouldn’t go away. Wrote it down in a feverish frenzy – plotted a whole series and babbled idiocy to anyone who would listen about my fantastic idea.
When I was eight I wrote my first poem. It was dark. It was scary and awful. My teacher read it and immediately asked what was wrong with me. (Oh, yes – it is emblazoned on my synapses.) I wrote short stories and daydreamed. My childhood passed into a strange introduction to shame one could classify as puberty. I learned to doubt myself and thus never built up the needed confidence and endurance for a novel idea. Pun intended.
Back to the idea that didn’t go away. I wrote and obsessed until I finished my first manuscript. (Psst, apparently you aren’t supposed to call it a book. I did anyway because I wrote a freakin’ book – so there!)
I looked around and prepared to share my awesomeness with the world. Truly, I was the Queen of the Universe. Keep in mind I had yet to find an editor and had no idea what the heck a query letter was but I was convinced I’d be the next Anne Rice or J.K. Rowling. (Humbleness abounded. It’s called a creative high – ride the wave fellow authors…ride…the…wave.)
After I landed with a thud, back to reality my people, I gathered the tattered remains of my dignity and hastened to research the business while writing book number two.
(Side note: There is no perfect time to write. My schedule is a nightmare to most people. I work forty-plus hours a week, tend to small children of my own, (at least I think they’re mine – my husband could’ve slept with the milk-woman), love my spouse in dashes and bits of stolen moments then spit out creative bliss from 3:30am to 5am. Muse be damned, rituals burn, life happens – deal with it and write or it won’t happen at all. Decide.)
After stalking, I mean investigating, agents of authors’ I loved I sent off query letters and hoped for the best. The best turned out to be nothing. Not a rejection, not an ugly ‘Hey, mere mortal, don’t bother the exalted likes of me!’ No nibbles, no interest. I pinched myself to make sure I still existed. My heart and soul hurt worse than that pinch. I was back to puberty, shunned by the cool, beautiful people.
My mother happens to work at West Texas A&M as a professor in higher education leadership. She found out about a week long summer program there for writers. I went, I rejoiced and I learned. My first editor was due to that academy and we are still friends. My skin became comfortable again. I kept writing. No giving up, uh uh, not me, Mrs. Queen of the Universe.
Vacillation, procrastination, a second editor for book one and many read-through’s/critiques later my first novel was waiting to be released. But I wasn’t doing it. Fear was back. I couldn’t decide if self-publishing was classified as giving up on my dreams. I queried all over again. Book one was slush-piled by Tor. An agent sent me a form letter rejection but it was a response. (I did exist!) I met and pitched in person at a conference. Excitement, elation and outright millionaire dreams were back! Excellent. The agent requested my manuscript and I waited. Patient. Patient. See what a good girl I was? One soul crusher of an email later… no go. My writing was not to her taste. That’s either code for super suckness or my idea didn’t have a place in the traditional market place. I wasn’t chance worthy.
My crown wasn’t real. I was a rank pretender with no pride of place next to ‘real’ authors.
Meanwhile, I’ve finished book two and moved onto book three after a false start on book four. What do I really want? Do I want readers to read my books and love them? Why yes indeed! Could I make that happen all on my own? Yes I could!
I commissioned a cover artist for an author I admired. She said yes. We melded our minds via email and came up with a series cover concept. Art was born. (Yeah, Nathalia did the heavy lifting. I just basked in the end result.)
After a connection with a local critique group in town my bravery grew. No one was ever going to hold my hand and tell me how or what to do. Big girl panties were donned.
Two of my books in the Weaver Series are published on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. My third book is with my editor and my fourth is sitting in a puddle of first draft potential. I set up my own signing at Barnes & Noble for February or March of 2015. I’m on a roll and heaven help anyone who stands in the way of the Queen!