A couple weeks ago, as I was sorting through papers that have been piling up for years, I stumbled across the souvenir booklet given out at my high school class’s 30-year reunion. In it, each member of the class answered a set of questions, one of which was, “What is your goal for the next 30 years?”
Imagine my surprise when I read my own answer: “I want to be a published novelist and perhaps the next Mary Higgins Clark.”
As I dug deeper into the stacks of papers, I turned up forgotten writing pieces that dated back to 1988, when I took my first formal creative writing class. Reading them made me realize how much my writing has improved and evolved—from the poems I wrote as a child, on to the short stories penned twenty-five years ago, and forward to personal essays, a novella, two history books, a blog, and finally … a published novel.
I had almost forgotten how long I’ve been writing for my own amusement, none of my work going anywhere beyond my writers’ group. And how could it, since I never submitted anything for publication? I always assumed, “Why bother?” We all know the odds for snagging an agent or publisher are slim.
However, late last year, I decided to give it a try anyway. My finished novel about a small-town newspaper editor-turned-sleuth had been sitting idly on my hard drive for almost three years, and it was silly for it to collect dust one more day. So I whipped it out, started polishing, and set my goal: I would submit it to as many publishers as it took to sell it. If I couldn’t find a taker by the end of 2014, I would publish it myself.
My plan was ready for implementation by mid-March. For my first submission, I chose PageSpring Publishing, whose Cup of Tea Books imprint seemed the perfect home for my story. ... And it was! No one was more stunned than I was when three weeks later, PageSpring offered me a contract.
That was in early April, and the months since then have been perhaps the most exciting time of my life. After PageSpring welcomed me into its family, they took my story into their loving hands, gently scrubbed, sanded and burnished it until it sparkled. Working with PageSpring’s Rebecca Seum and Lynn Bartels has been an enlightening, enjoyable, and invaluable learning experience—one I hope to duplicate many more times as I continue my journey as a writer … and published author.
I’ve loved the process and hope you have as much fun reading Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies as I’ve had getting it into your hands.
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Do you have a Mission Accomplished story of your own that you’d like to share? If you do, I invite you to use the comments section below, or send it to me at email@example.com. You can also keep the conversation going on Facebook.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please come back often. — Janis