About a year ago, I stood poised on the brink of becoming an author – someone who wrote a full-length fiction manuscript that some publisher would want to bring to the world after believing in the potential enough to offer a contract. With a box full of rejections from both publishers and agents, there were moments when I wondered if the struggle was worth it. I had, after all, earned some kudos as a writer. After all, I could point to a growing number of anthologies, both fiction and non-fiction with my byline. I had cracked, if just by a mere toe or two, the so-called national slick magazine market with my fiction. But my long standing desire and ambition was to write novels.
Back when my now teenage daughters were much younger, it occurred to me one day as I was trying to ignore the songs from Sesame Street that echoed through the house and pick up the scattered Fischer Price toys or put away the never ending supply of stuffed animals scattered through the house like a virtual zoo, that if I did not get serious about writing books soon, maybe I never would. I realized that if I didn’t make the effort that one day I would become a bitter old woman who whined about what she could have done instead of a happy one proud of what I did.
With twins in the house and another baby on the way, with never enough money, it may not have seemed like the moment to start writing full-length fiction. In fact, I’ve had more than a few people tell me, then and now, that I must have been crazy to even think about it. But my answer is that it was the perfect time to make a start. After all, you have to start somewhere with anything you try to do, right?
So I sat down at the old word processor I owned and started writing. I stacked up the pages and put them in computer paper boxes. Before long, when he learned that we no longer had a working computer and that I wasn’t online my brother in-law (let’s have a shout out for Randy, here) brought us one. At the time, he would go down to Tulsa and pick up computer parts for cheap, then build them and sell them for a small amount. In the early days, although I took to the cyber world like a duck that just found water for the first time I must have made him crazy with my frequent phone calls asking for help. Finally he told me that there wasn’t much I could mess up that could not be fixed so just experiment. I taught myself to use Microsoft Word before I ever learned that books and classes are available to teach the ignorant. And one day, I moved past his ken of computer knowledge and into my own.
I soon learned that writing isn’t enough – you have to rewrite and edit and then submit. And if your work is accepted, then more editing is on the radar. I had to learn just what the markets wanted and where they could be found. In between hammering out novels, I started writing a few short stories and some of them sold. So did a few of the articles I wrote.
After that apprenticeship period, let’s fast forward to last summer. With rejections stacking up from the Big Six, traditional publishes, and literary agents I wondered if I might ever succeed at this effort. I knew very little about e-books, e-publishing, or any of that but a writer friend, enjoying some modest (by his standards, amazing success by mine both then and now) suggested that I try the e-publishers. So I did and I got a few rejections then the first acceptance with a contract offered.
I soon learned to research potential publishers and to choose which worked for me. I realized that what one publisher may see as a potential bestseller may be viewed by another as something lacking merit.
This summer, my first Rebel Ink title will debut, a contemporary romance about a second chance at love and although I now have nine contracts for books either out, coming soon, or due out in 2012, I am excited.
Love Never Fails is a second shot at love story. Here’s the blurb that tells more:
When a late night phone call from the former love of her life interrupts
both her sleep and her otherwise quiet existence, Caroline Cunningham
finds she can’t refuse Reid Ramsay’s request for help. As the call pulls
Caroline back to her small hometown and into the heart of the search for
Reid’s missing brother, Caroline finds the feelings she thought she’d
buried where Reid was concerned are indeed alive and well.
And sometimes it refuses to die…
Reid Ramsay is still in love with Caroline Cunningham. As they work
together searching for Reid’s brother, Reid and Caro finding themselves
attempting to rebuild the life they once shared together. But their
future remains uncertain. Before they can find the happiness they seek,
each must work through the emotional baggage of the past and test the
theory they desperately hope rings true .
Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy