Wow, just a few short months ago I had all but given up. In the grand scheme of things, I really hadn’t sent many queries out, but let’s face it, taking rejection after rejection can be hard to handle. It kind of leaves you feeling like a human punching bag. Like most new authors I had read everything I could about getting published and one thing was certain from all of it, I needed an agent.
If I wanted to make it anywhere as a writer I’d need an agent to represent me, I couldn’t even submit to publishers without one. And so the search began. In hindsight, my query letter was not the strongest. It probably still isn’t, I’d rather pull teeth than write a query or a synopsis for that matter. And so I began the wait, and the incessant beating of rejections. ‘Unfortunately the project just isn’t right for me at this time.’ Yeah I hear you.
After writing, and re-writing, it felt as if it would never happen. My story would never be heard, my characters were doomed to live in my head alone. I didn’t stop writing, the exact opposite in fact, without the pressures of trying to seek publication I felt a weight lifted and the words flowed freely. The sequel was finished, two separate works in progress started, and a submission call I stumbled upon. It was a call for short stories to be published in a launch anthology through an independent publisher.
After writing my very first short story, I experienced my first acceptance email. My short had been chosen for the anthology! That has been such a fun experience to be a part of. I’ve met some new wonderful people, and learned so much! I had always discounted submitting to indie publishers for reasons unknown, probably the same voice that kept telling me I had to have an agent.
I sent the first round of queries out to a list of independent publishers and waited. The waiting game I had grown so familiar with. Two weeks had gone by and I finally received my first full request! Ah, the feeling that had evaded me since I began the journey. No words can express how that feels, if I become a successful best-selling author over my time, I will still never forget that first feeling of having a publisher request to read my novel. And yet, the very next day I experienced it again! A second full request! And then another, and still another followed!
And so I begin a new waiting game, far more stressful. If an agent or publisher rejected my query, I can blame that on my inability to sum up my own work. But if they reject my full, well then they just didn’t like my writing. Bring on the bottle of wine! But one thing is for sure, I’ve found a new sense of hope. After all the agent rejections, I have something to look forward to. Something that says there’s hope for me yet. After all, something caught their interest.
One thing all the articles, blogs, and tips on getting published didn’t mention is that in the rise of the ebook, getting an agent is becoming more and more difficult. Fewer books are being picked up by big house publishers and more authors are turning to indie and self-publishing.
Give the little guys a chance, you may need to be willing to do some work yourself, like self-promoting, but if you’re willing to put all that work into a novel , isn’t it worth it? I’ve also found in my work on the anthology, that helping to promote your publishing family can be a lot of fun. Not only have I met new people, but I’ve been introduced to a whole host of new books!
Regardless of what these new opportunities may (or may not) bring, I’ve resolved to give this everything I have. No matter if you decide to take the indie route, land a fantastic agent, or decide to give self-publishing a shot, one thing is certain, you should never give up on something that makes you happy.
Thanks to April Baker for having me on her blog today!
Excerpt from GIFTED
That night I dreamt of my dream guy again.
This time he had been waiting for me in the courtyard. I instantly quickened my pace at the sight of him and launched myself into his arms. I heard him give a low chuckle as he pulled me into his lap. I snuggled against his chest and felt his breath in my hair. It was doing funny things to my stomach. We stayed like that for a moment without saying a word. Once we finally did start talking it was much of the same cryptic banter from the previous dream.
I eventually pulled myself from his lap and curled up next to him on the bench, my legs tucked under me, head resting on his shoulder. I couldn’t seem to keep from touching him, it was like a magnet pulling me. I wouldn’t have been able to separate myself from him if I tried. His head jerked up and his forehead wrinkled in concentration, I may not have been able to make out the full details of his face but his eyes were clear. The bright amber irises, like a gemstone shimmering in daylight. They were like prisms reflecting the tiniest hint of sparkle from sunlight. But as he focused on whatever was troubling him his eyes clouded over with worry, his body went rigid.
“Don’t trust anyone.” His voice was low.
“Just be very careful about who you let in.” His eyes were still trained on something in the distance. I began to feel the tingles take over, creeping up my neck and arms.
“I don’t understand…” I searched his face in confusion.
He turned and looked at me, his eyes probing mine, then he leaned forward and brushed his lips against mine. Like a feather dusting across my face, a light gentle gesture. I turned into him and this time when he brought his lips to mine it was like a gust of wind knocking the breath out of me. His mouth crushed up against mine and I was instantly breathless. The kiss became deep and needy, like we had gone too long without the other. And even in my dream I wondered if he, this dream boy, was really out there somewhere. Everything about the dream felt real, I could taste him, smell him, touch him. I felt everything as if it were happening to me right now.
And just as this thought was connecting in my head, it was over. He was pushing me back and saying something. My mind was too cloudy, too caught up in the kiss, I was gasping for air. “You have to go.” Yes that’s what he was saying… but where, where did I have to go? He was holding me back at arm’s length, those words again, “You have to go.” I didn’t want to go anywhere; I wanted to stay right here with him. No, he couldn’t make me go. No one could make me go anywhere. I gripped onto him and shook my head. The tingles were getting worse and I could feel them making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. My arms were covered in goose bumps and I had a horrible sick feeling in my stomach. It may have been the idea of leaving him that left me feeling nauseated.
I woke in my room in an absolute state of confusion. My forehead was beaded with sweat and my lips felt swollen. The knot in my stomach was still there as well as the tingles. I walked over and slid the window over to get some fresh air. The night breeze cooled my sweaty skin and my hair stuck to my forehead. The eerie feeling of being watched crept over me and I looked out over the forest. The shadows pooled around the trees played tricks on my mind, I imagined things moving in the shadows, creeping, watching me in my window. I shuddered and told myself I did not see a pair of eyes in those shadows. There was definitely not a pair of reflective cat eyes watching me from those shadows.