An Honest Recap of How I Got THIEF Published
edited: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
By Sarah-Jane Lehoux
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
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Thief is now available from Mundania Press. Visit www.sarah-janelehoux or www.mundania.com for more information.
Today, I am happy. Wanna know why? Because my very first novel, Thief, is now available for sale. I thought I would come and post a blog about all my thoughts and feelings, and try to convince everyone to rush out and buy a copy, but now I dunno. I'm just so overwhelmed that I don't have a heck of a lot to say other than I am happy.
Just so that this blog post isn't completely self-serving, I thought I would provide any other wannabe authors with a truthful account of my experience, from when I first conceived Sevy, the main character, to today.
• For practice and for fun, I joined on an online writing thread, where around ten different people all contributed to a story. Sort of a turn based thing. Sevy was one of two characters I created for the story, and as time went on, I liked her more and more.
• The writing thread died out, as such ventures are wont to do, due to lack of participation and just plain old suckiness, but I just couldn't get Sevy out of my head, so I began writing the first draft of her story.
• I finished the first draft of Thief, did a little dance, then sat back and thought "What now?" I knew I had something worth publishing, so I began the long process of editing, at the same time working on other projects.
• Swallowed my nerves and submitted Thief to a publisher for the first time. I was convinced they would automatically offer me a million dollar contract because how could they not? My story was so awesomely awesome, after all.
• Surprise! I received a response from the publisher. I remember feeling so excited that I was almost vibrating as I opened the letter. And then I just froze. My very first rejection letter. I don't think I cried. I think I went numb for a couple days. And then I sucked it up and got back to work.
Side note: I really should get that rejection letter framed. It’s the only paper rejection I’ve received as every other has been via email.
• I kept sending Thief out to publishers and agents, and kept either being ignored or rejected. I decided I needed help, so I joined a writing group. I cannot stress how important it is to have other writers, NOT friends or family, critique your work. It stings, but it's really the only way to improve.
And now I'm going to be brutally honest and let you know how many times I was rejected. It's kind of embarrassing, but it's also a badge of honour in a way. I was rejected by 18 agents and 10 publishers. Most places never actually replied to me, but I assumed I was rejected after exceeding their estimated wait time. After each rejection, I continued to work on improving Thief, as well as writing other stories instead of wasting my time harassing people about the status of my submission.
• Submitted to Mundania Press
• I received email from Mundania Press stating that Thief had passed their first two levels of review and was on to its third and final review with the head honchos. I did a little happy dance, and went back to work on other projects.
• Thief was rejected by Mundania Press. At this point, I admit to getting a little discouraged. I decided to set Thief aside for a few months to gain some emotional distance, and put more focus on other non-Sevy related projects.
Dec 13, 2008
• Out of the blue, I was contacted by Mundania Press again. The wonderfully wonderful Ms Skyla Dawn Cameron requested another read of Thief. I was more than happy to oblige.
Dec 15, 2008
• I received an email around 9 in the evening letting me know that Thief had been accepted by Mundania. I did not sleep much that night.
And now, May 25, 2010, Thief is available for sale.
Today, I am happy.