How I Became A Published Author – Or The Long Road Through Writer’s Purgatory

First of all let me say that when I started down the road of becoming an author, I didn’t have any connections to anyone in the writing business. I began with an urge to write that became an idea for a story and a hope that someone would see enough potential in my tale to publish it.

 My first book took me six months to craft 78,000 words into a story that I fell in love with, and I chose Romantic Suspense because I loved to read it. The setting was one that I was somewhat familiar with (having vacationed there).  My heroine developed into my alter ego; a woman who I wished I could morph into.  The hero had to be someone that would both challenge and intrigue not only the heroine, but also myself as his creator.

Next, I read all the books for “Dummies” that pertained to becoming published. Step One: write a good story, which I’d done.  Two: write a concise book proposal that will whet the appetite of any publisher. I followed an example from a book on writing queries. I sent well-crafted letters out to publishing houses large and small and, after many weeks, the rejection letters started rolling in. I was crushed. No one wanted to publish my book so I packed away the manuscript and moved on with life. However, in my rush to become published, I’d skipped a very crucial step…finding an agent.

 Having an agent isn’t a necessary, though it did help me get noticed among the pack of other authors.

My agent whittled away 15,000 words, meticulously checking each sentence for grammar, punctuation and anything that “slowed the story down”. Some of the edits hurt as if I, and not my manuscript, had gone through an amputation. After a couple of months, she proclaimed that the surgery was a success and –what was left – was good enough to send to a publisher. I felt as if the sun had finally come out from behind the clouds!

 My agent queried several publishers. It seemed as if my “clean” Romance didn’t fit with one of the larger romance publishers, but it didn’t meet the criteria of Christian houses either. Finally, it found a home with Astraea Press and, on May 17, 2012, my dream of becoming a published author became a reality!

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ Thomas Edison