January: The Journey to Publication

I’m conflicted by how to tell this story–how to explain my personal journey to publication.

On the one hand, it’s been a hard road.. so perhaps it should be a tale of trial and woe.

On the other, it has a happy ending… so then maybe a tale of trial and woe that concludes triumphantly.

Ugh, I don’t know.

I’ll simply try to tell the truth as best I can.

I’ve been writing since my eldest daughter was small–maybe four years old. I began when she asked me to tell her bedtime stories. I came up with plenty of ideas and loads of interesting  characters; the problem was that the stories kept getting out of hand. They were so long, I couldn’t keep up. She needed and wanted complex plots, but I couldn’t remember what had happened last night and what had to happen tonight. In short, out of necessity, I had to start writing them down. My first novel was for her, my daughter. I wrote her into the story itself, letting her be the amazing, magical, totally awesome main character. Only, it was bad. Really bad. Okay, she loved it. Her character rocked. But the novel itself broke all the rules–it shifted POV, it was way too long, and it included far too many really weak verbs (I knew enough about literature even then to sense my mistakes). Plus, there was that plot hole the size of Texas. So… I knew I had a lot to learn.

THE LIFE GROUP was my fourth novel, though it is the first to get published (and I hope not the last)! I bumped into my editor, the lovely Kate Foster, through a contest on Twitter. She was one of the judges, and she loved the premise of THE LIFE GROUP. I went out on a limb and asked her to read the whole thing, and she agreed to.  She swore it was great and would get an agent.

It didn’t get an agent.

But I kept putting it out there, and working on the manuscript, and  Kate kept asking me about it online, when we’d “see” each other. After a year or so, when I was about to give up all hope on THE  LIFE GROUP, I noticed Kate had started a publishing company. The books looked good. They garnished good review. Sure, there were no YA titles, but I again went out on a limb and sent in THE  LIFE GROUP. ….And she still loved it!

…And she wanted it.

…And she sent me a contract.

It was, in short, a happy, happy day. So, the road to publication was a rough one. It was filled  with people saying ‘no,’ but it ended in the best way possible–with publication.

I couldn’t be happier.

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