Since learning how to read, most the writers I know have dreamed about getting a book published. Not me. Until last year, the idea that I could write a novel had never even entered my mind. Writing fiction was on a rather long list of inabilities that I inherited from my mother. We can’t do calculus, learn a foreign language, or understand anything related to physics or chemistry, either. It’s a family curse.
When I started writing my novel, being so new at it, getting published was an abstract idea about something in the distant future. I definitely wanted to have my book published. But I’d learned enough to know that the odds were not in my favor. I set out to learn everything I could about writing novels.
Deep down inside, part of me feels like my success is undeserved. Better writers than I still await book deals. It wasn’t supposed to happen so fast. But my friends point out how hard I’ve worked and that I came to fiction with thirty years of experience writing for academia and cooperative extension. The writers in my group talk about how eager I was to learn, how open I’ve been to their criticism, and how impressed they are with my growth as a writer. They say I’ve earned it, and I respect them too much to contradict them. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Once I submitted Until Thanksgiving to Dreamspinner, my thoughts centered around what I’d do with the manuscript after I got the rejection. Would I submit it somewhere else? Work on a revision? I decided to wait. Maybe the rejection would include helpful comments. What I’d need to do if my book got published never crossed my mind. To tell you the truth, until yesterday I still hadn’t thought about it.
Now that I have, I’m in a complete and total state of panic. I found out that writing the book was the easiest part of the process. Now I understand how some women feel six or seven months into a pregnancy. Wait! I’ve changed my mind! I don’t want to do this anymore! It’s too late to turn back now. Besides, I really do want to birth this baby. But a Butterfly McQueen voice inside my head screams, “I don’t know nuffin’ ’bout publishin’ no novels!”
Thank God for Google. I now have entirely too much information about everything a new author needs to do for the successful launch of a first novel. I had no idea! Instead of landing on Easy Street, I’ve taken on a second full-time job.
The writers I’ve “met” this week via email, Twitter, Facebook, and a Dreamspinner message board are friendly and helpful. I’ve learned a lot from them already. They make me feel like part of a family and that we’re all in this together. You’re going to get a chance to meet many of them here on my blog.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but they’re surprisingly like me. They all have blogs of their own, each with a following of die-hard fans who love them as much as y’all love me. (I’m sticking to that story, too.) So to help each other out, folks who write the same kind of stuff do “blog swaps” to let their fans know about another author they might like.
Yesterday I tweeted my desire to do blog swaps with other writers. In less than 24 hours, eight have started making arrangements with me for a guest post. And of course, each one has shared half a dozen tips for which I am extremely grateful.
I’m counting on your help for two things. Please comment on the guest posts here, even if it’s just to say howdy. I want the other writers to talk about how great y’all are so they’ll want to come back. I know. I’ve just asked you to save $15 for my book. And in this economy. But this won’t cost you anything more than a few minutes of your time, and it’s such a good cause!
Second, check out their blogs and the books they’re writing. I’ll be adding links to my blogroll to make that easy for you. Nobody has to know you’re into male/male romance novels. It will be our little secret. Just know that you can always get a fix here at…
My Glass House