Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘books’

These days I have dozens of magazine articles and several books under my belt. I have signed contracts for more books to come. I am considered to be a serious writer by my friends and family. So when I say I can’t go somewhere or take part in some event, because I have deadlines or edits, they accept it peacefully.

But that hasn’t always been the case.

Back before I ever had an article or story published, I was mostly a closet writer. Few people other than my immediate household knew I wrote. Many knew I loved to read, but no one put a connection between the two. Writing remained a secret endeavor of mine.

adult frowned male writer working on typewriter at home

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

When I was working on something great and was asked to attend something, it would be awkward to find excuses not to so I could stay home and write. Sometimes I really didn’t want to attend the function. I wanted–needed–to stay home and write but the explanation would go over as well as saying I couldn’t go out because I was washing my hair. Without published clips, I lacked the credibility to say I had to stay in and write.

But the fact is, writing those early “learner” stories, short shorts, poems, articles are all just as important as our tenth or twentieth published, or “real” book or article or poem. They all need to be drafted, written, revised, polished, etc…. Whether they make it fully through the road to publication is immaterial to their value–even in the eyes of our family and friends.

crop woman with coffee writing in notebook on bed

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

The ones that end up in the bottom of the drawer are just the necessary stepping stone to publication. But are they valid “writing”? Enough to be used as an acceptable excuse to avoid temporary socialization? Can we say we need to research now or have edits due back to the publisher Monday or submission deadline and be viewed as legitimate? Or just using a lame excuse?

woman in gray sweater sitting on wooden floor typing on portable computer

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

When do we become the “writer” or “poet” or “artist” who can use our craft as acceptable validity to remain in and work just as any other real work worker? The lawyer preparing for trial, the student studying for finals, the medical professional, the self-employed person who has after hours admin. All of them are excused because they have “work to do”. When does the literary artist cross that line and join their ranks?

 

 

Read Full Post »

via Friday Features September’s Song by Ryan Jo Summers

Read Full Post »

August 15th is National Relaxation Day. In our crazy never-stop, always-on-the-go society, I personally think one day a year isn’t sufficient. I think we need more like one day a month, twelve days a year, in which to experiment, find and perfect the art of relaxation. With multiple methods available, we could find the one that matches our personality and needs the best.

Lying around in our jammies, binge watching TV or binge reading while eating ice cream? I’m in! Going to the movies? Cool. Traveling to the forest/beach/country/city/ happy place to take in the stillness? Or the sights? How about a spa? Massage? Golf? swim? Horseback ride? combing the flea markets? Most of those would be on my list to try.

Lounging on the front porch in a swing or hammock? With sweet tea of course. Chair with our bare toes gliding through the grass? Picnic? Park? Zoo? Day drive with the top down and music up loud?

I am so there!

 

How about gardening? Mowing the lawn? For some it’s work, for others it’s relaxing. For me, I find it soothing to putz in the yard, digging my fingers in the dirt, deadheading flowers and watching new transplants grow. And of course I am always planning next year’s planting designs. This next planting season I am seeking blue and white flowers to fill in some gaps. This was inspired by a lovely bouquet I received this summer, with a gorgeous, huge head of a hydrangea bloom. It was pure white with tiny baby blue pin dots in the center of each petal.

  Cats are masters of relaxing.

 

 

 

So in honor of National Relaxation Day, I’d like to offer some of my books for your consideration to find your perfect relaxation spot and get lost in another world. To me, that’s the ultimate relaxation!

 

 

If romantic suspense is your fave, there is “Upon the Tide”, set on a boat in the Caribbean. If you like a hint of two of mystical or paranormal with your suspense and romance, consider “Chasing the Painted Skies”, set on an isolated lighthouse island in the Great Lakes (complete with its own ghost) or “Wild Whispers”, built around the exciting world of horse racing.

If you prefer clean and wholesome Inspirational Christian fiction, how about “Shimmers of Stardust”, with a bit of time travel included; “Beside Still Waters” or “Rainbows in the Moonlight”. Both of these are family centered stories, rooted in romance, forgiveness and second chances. Sweet!

If you like anthologies, I got ya covered there too. “Sizzle in the Snow” is eight stories all about Christmas. “Food and Romance Go Together” is, yep, you guessed it, stories all about food and romance. Talk about cooking in the kitchen! “Craving Country” turns up the heat, with twelve stories all about finding love and good, country living.

And if you like a shorter read, consider “Glimpse Eternity”, a pretty little story centered around Valentine’s Day or “It Happened at the Park”, a rollicking romantic comedy including dogs and their humans.

Speaking of dogs, if you prefer non-fiction, how about my self-published story about Ty, my adopted collie (a beautiful blue merle) with PTSD and the first two years of our journey together? It’s called, appropriately enough, “Ty’s Journey” and features countless photos.

 

 

 

 

All these fine books can be found at Amazon or my website, http://www.ryanjosummers.com. Several have been nominated for various peer-review awards.

 

So there you have it, loads of ideas on how to relax on National Relaxation Day and a few not-so-subtle suggestions for a good book or two if reading is your fave way to relax. However you like to escape, feel free to drop me a line in the comments and share your secrets. As for me, I’ll be busy working August 15th, but I’ll be thinking hard of relaxing, most likely by trying to write another book.

Read Full Post »

Recently I was visiting a friend at her house. Her seven-year-old granddaughter read a graphic novel about a lost kitten to me. I marveled at how well she read and praised her lavishly. Later, she stopped reading and marked her place with a bracelet. Grammy discovered she’d misplaced her bookmarks. They found one but I made it a point to give her three more bookmarks the next time I saw her.

Now, I like comics too, particularly the Sunday ‘funnies’. About the same time I came across the weekly strip for “For Better or For Worse’ by Lynn Johnston (www.fborfw.com) Reading it was almost a flashback to my friend’s granddaughter. While I dislike seeing books damaged or dog-eared, I especially liked how ‘dad’ gave a new perspective of it. The child was reading. Isn’t that the important thing to remember?

fborfw For SMP blog 1-15-18

Both events got me to thinking how, as adult readers and writers we have an obligation or duty to help the younger generation to become readers. Hopefully they learn to treasure books and take care of them in the process, but it’s even more important they develop an interest in reading. If you look close at the last frame of the comic strip, you will notice movies on each of the bookshelves behind the parents. A television set, with a VCR player on top is on one end of the frame and a computer is at the other. I have nothing against any of those things, however, nowhere in the cartoon does one see a book save for the dog-eared one ‘mom’ is holding. To me, that says a lot in itself.

I know so many adults who know how to read and write, they just don’t like to. They say nothing interests them; not fiction, not much non-fiction, maybe the newspaper if anything at all. To me that is sad, because I know there is so much out there ready to be explored, discovered, and enjoyed. I know one man, in his thirties, who told me in all seriousness he has read one book in his life. One! To me, that is tragic. He is smart, capable of reading almost anything, he simply has no interest in opening a book. He is a father and I can’t help but wonder if he fosters an interest in books for his young children. It would be difficult to encourage children to do what they never see him doing.

While I was growing up, books were my escape. I loved the places they took me, the friends they became, and many childhood gems still grace my adult bookshelves. However, I was in the minority. I never saw my mother with any reading material beyond a magazine. My brother would rather cut off an appendage than be forced to read. I did see my father with paperback westerns. Incidentally, I still have a keen interest in western movies and books to this day.

Compared to the rest of my family, I was book obsessed. I had to have loads of books to read. The older I got, the more genres I wanted to explore. To be blunt—I loved books. I liked the feel of them. I liked challenging myself with tougher subject matter and longer lengths. Discovering a series made my heart flutter. While my family did not demonstrate or especially encourage a love of reading, they also did not discourage it. They bought me books for birthdays and holidays. They (sort of) tolerated my long visits to the bookstore where I spent my baby-sitting cash on books. I still remember walking out of the bookstore (ours was called WaldenBooks) with heavy stacks and shopping bags of books. I felt so grown up! On the long drive back home I would already be immersed in them, picking out the next great adventure.

As parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, there are so many things we seem to get wrong while dealing with the children and youth in our lives. The one thing we can do right, and pays a high dividend on the future, is to encourage, foster, and model an enjoyment and respect for books.  When the youngster wants to read a story, remember it is a blessing to sit and be read to. If they want us to read them a story, that is equally as special. The impressions, lessons, and memories created in those moments will last them a lifetime.

Read Full Post »

If you’ve been following my Facebook author page during the last few months, you probably noticed several short posts referring to “crazy woman” and either how far along I was with it or how crazy it was making me–along with two novels to edit for December releases and a non-fiction article deadline all looming simultaneously. The good news is everything is finished now, except the final wait.

Several months ago I noticed a call for submissions from Limitless Publishing, wanting stories that dealt somehow with the theme of ‘country’. I pondered a few days before sending them a proposal, which they replied with “Write it and send it to us. Deadline for edit ready scripts is…” Gulp! I got to making tracks…all over my keyboard. And I submitted it on time. But it drove me crazy.

Limitless Publishing is a multi-genre publishing house. They recently had two of their books recently picked up for  major motion pictures; “Ghost Files” & “Ghost Files 2”. They also have a number of Craving anthologies out on such themes as Christmas, soldiers, security, and bad (bad boys and wicked girls). My contribution is part of their 12-author Country theme. Right now they are seeking stories to include in their mafia collection.

The concept of the Craving: Country anthology is simple: There is something about a country boy that makes us hot for denim jeans and country hats.

They are mysterious, intriguing, confident and demand our attention in everything they do. Then there’s the fierce loyalty you see in their eyes that makes you think of tangled sheets and sinful deeds.

There’s definitely something sexy about a cowboy…

So pull on those jeans, roll up your sleeves, and grab your boots.  Things are about to get dirty in Craving Country.

My story is “Crazy Woman Creek”:

Legend of Crazy Woman Creek(1)

Craving;Country is set to release January 18, 2018, with the entire twelve story anthology. I am very excited to be a part of this. I’ve been included in a Christmas anthology with Soul Mate Publishing and Food & Love anthology with Melange Books and enjoyed both experiences tremendously. This is my third anthology and it makes me want to find a fourth!

“Crazy Woman Creek”

Rancher Dawson Lonigan is hunting for cattle and finds a lost woman. Though well dressed, she is scratched up, scuffed up, and suffering amnesia. He takes her back to his ranch, tends her wounds, and temporarily calls her Faith.  He shares with her the legend of Crazy Woman Creek and the Native American maiden who lost her beloved warrior and her spirit still haunts the area, and how she refuses to allow any couples to remain happy together.
Time passes. Faith stays on with Dawson, and tries to adjust to life on a ranch. It is not easy. The clothing seems foreign, the food tastes strange, and the people are different. She has no memories, only strong emotions and gut feelings.
To complicate her situation, she knows she has something important to do, but can’t remember what it could be. As Dawson spends more time with her, to help ease her frustrations, he goes from being a comforting presence to a smoldering attraction. Yet how can she fall for him when she doesn’t know who could be out there, looking for her? And what about the pale circle on her left ring finger?
It’s mutual for Dawson. Each hour he spends with Faith, he only grows to enjoy her more. She has a passion and a grit he admires, and he starts to hope she never discovers who she is, because he is liking who she is now a whole lot. He is encouraged how well Faith and his little girl strike up a relationship too. All he can do is hope there is no husband or lover out there looking for her.
Attraction grows. Passion grow. Life settles into a routine. Then a visitor to the ranch mentions about city folk on their land. Well-heeled men. Faith goes in search of them, knowing they are somehow a part of her past. She finds them, only to learn too late why she left.
Dawson tracks Faith back to Crazy Woman Creek and finds her and who she was running from in her past.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Legacy of evil cover

In full disclosure, I was given a copy of this through Reading Alley for my review. The cover wonderfully illustrates many of the features inside the pages: horses, motorcycles, a historic hotel, and a man and woman passionately tangled up.

This is a fantasy/ suspense novel dealing with terrorism on US soil. It could certainly be called paranormal too. And don’t forget the romance.

Emma Horserider is the heroine. She is a former Marine, a horse whisperer, and she is called when the wild horses are shot. Almost killed herself while at the scene by an unmanned drone, she calls her brother, at the Homeland Security Anomaly Department. Brother Bert sends agent Brandon “Bronco” Winchester to the scene, with his pet bobcat, Gaucho.

When Emma and Bronco meet, it’s clear they both have strong leader personalities, and they have instant strong emotions toward each other. The Hotel La Belle, Lucius & Tallulah Steward are secondary characters and critical in helping  Emma and Bronco infiltrate the Neo-nazi camp where the terrorists are believed to be hiding.

This story has horses, motorcycles, twins, an Elvis impersonator, tattoos, ghosts, and more. It has steamy sex scenes between Emma and Bronco. It has paranormal elements like telekinesis, a unique communication between human and animal, and more. Most importantly, it has a happy ending after many twists, turns, surprises, sadness, and upsets.

Like many fantasy and suspenseful paranormal romances prove—things are not always as they seem.

Important note: This is Book # 2 of the Hotel La Belle series. It is a stand alone volume, however, reading book 1 first would further explain the secondary characters who return in “Legacy of Evil”.

Read Full Post »

 

Hello. I hope your holidays are going well. Mine is super crazy. I hope I never release a book during November and December again! I gave up on the idea of decorating this year and just stuck my 2 foot tree-in-a-burlap-sack on a bookcase by the window. I tossed six ornaments, a string of lights and a star on it and called the whole decorating thing done. But I have been super busy with other things to occupy my time instead. Read on….

First, I signed up with BookFunnel. This is a cool site where I get a bunch of free/ discounted downloads for my Kindle. I even have this grand illusion one day I will get to read them.

The first book I want to offer on BookFunnel is my romantic comedy novella, “It Happened at the Park”, now free for the taking but only until January 1, 2018. You might be prompted to sign up for my newsletter, which only comes out about 3 or 4 times a year max. You always have the option to unsubscribe to that after you get the free download of “It Happened at the Park.”

If all goes well, I plan to offer other books for free periodically. Here is the tagline:

Cassidy’s a career girl, not a dog mom. Then she inherits her sister’s two pampered pups. Hopeless, she meets Ethan, the hunky dog park ‘daddy’.

Get your FREE copy of It Happened at the Park at this link:          https://dl.bookfunnel.com/nt4dxa0w0t

It Happened At The Park - Tara200

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, next up, I have two full-length novels releasing very shortly. And I’m also promoting the heck out of them on virtual blog tours.

Set against the exciting backdrop in the chase for the Triple Crown and filled with mystical surprises. Season is not a witch, but she can make a horse run and Ty’s heart race.

Season Moriarty is part fey and part druid. She can see the future and alter it. She welds control over the natural elements of earth, wind, fire and water as well as manipulating life and death. And she is an accomplished racehorse trainer, able to get any horse to run like the wind. Now Season has landed the dream job that will test all of her skills and abilities.

Ty Masters runs his horse racing business with an iron fist. No one dares to question him. He hires Season based on her reputation. Then they meet. Immediately, she questions him, challenges him, infuriates him, intrigues him, captivates him, and even intimidates him a little. Then she spellbinds him. But can she make a Triple Crown winner out of his willful colt?

Mysterious threats to Ty’s racehorses bring him and Season together in another kind of race against the clock. As the stakes for the Triple Crown rise and the identity of who wants to destroy Ty, so does the undeniable interest and the fiery sparks between them.

Wild Whispers cover

First, on Magic of Books Blog Tours, I am promoting “Wild Whispers”, a contemporary romantic suspense with mystical elements. (read: it’s a cool book with lots of good stuff). The tour is going on now, until December 12th and there is a giveaway raffle for a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Yes, you are required to sign up for my newsletter to qualify, but I promise they don’t come out that often.

The link to follow the “Wild Whispers” pre-release tour is: https://magicofbookspromo.blogspot.ca/2017/12/pre-order-tour-for-wild-whispers-by.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then, January 29th- February 2nd, “Wild Whispers” will be on Reading Addiction Blog Tours, also with a neat giveaway of a signed paperback copy of my backlist Romantic suspense novel, “Chasing the Painted Skies”.  Link is: http://readingaddictionvbtreviews.blogspot.com/

“Wild Whispers” officially releases December 12th and will be available on Kindle, Nook, and all your favorite devises and paperback.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2AyCG72

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-whispers-ryan-jo-summers/1127561125?ean=2940158952869

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/762819

Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/ryan-jo-summers/wild-whispers/paperback/product-23410521.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Up next is a sweet, contemporary Christian romance. “Rainbows in the Moonlight”.

A Southern romance novel about family, forgiveness, starting over, and love.

 Koda Jacobs urgently needs a nanny–right now. Fresh from prison, Dalton Clayton needs a job–and just about anything will do.

 Divine Intervention steps in and tosses Koda and Dalton together. Koda struggles with the conflicts of her impulsive decision to leave her babies with an unknown, convicted felon. That just can’t be wise, can it? But she can’t help but see how quickly the children bonded to him and trust him. Or the reassuring sense that this is just right. Meanwhile, Dalton stumbles through the spills and thrills of two young children, and his growing interest in their mother. A chance meeting brings him back to his estranged family as well.

Over time mutual attraction forms between  Koda and Dalton as the bond between Dalton and the children deepens. A sweet, southern romance full of forgiveness, second chances, and fun kids.

“Rainbows in the Moonlight” releases in e-book format December 20th.

The Magic of Books blog tour begins December 26th, and once again I have a $10 Amazon gift card up for grabs. The Reading Addiction book tour runs February 5-9, 2018 and I am giving away a free, signed paperback of my backlist Christian romance novel.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In even more exciting news, my Christian romance to release last November, “Beside Still Waters”, will be available in paperback starting January 10th, 2018 on Amazon. You can pre-order it now at this link:  http://amzn.to/2C0aG9V

BesideStillWaters850

Top Journalist and corporate climber McKayla Buchanan is sent to a remote California mountain camp for inner-city, at-risk teens. Accustomed to political and high-society assignments, she is suddenly a fish out of water. At Camp In As Much, she meets eight hostile and distrustful teens, assorted volunteers, rescued horses—and Clay.

Clay Michaels is the man who founded Camp In As Much and made it the success it is now. His hope for the highly recommended journalist is to come and write a feature to send seeds out to form other camps like his nationwide one. He never considered the reporter would turn out to be a lovely woman, or for him to have such an attraction to her.

Between McKayla’s worldly experience and Clay’s strong faith, they form a partnership to help with the endless challenges of the kids.

While McKayla’s assignment is supposed to be temporary, it isn’t long before she and Clay are each wishing it could last longer. A serious situation will force McKayla to decide if she can give up her worldly ways and place her faith in the same higher source that Clay does.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And lastely, (whew!) I am also promoting a holiday buy for a good cause (because I don’t have near enough stuff to juggle just yet). You might remember my collie, Ty, who I adopted March 2015 from the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. He arrived with so much emotional baggage, we almost needed a U-Haul to bring it all with us.

It has been a rough and wonderful and never boring journey with Ty, helping him overcome his past. He’s pretty well adjusted now, almost three years in, and I am very happy with everything about him. Over the months, I journaled and blogged the steps, successes, failures, doubts, and included loads of photos. This past summer I created a self-published novel on Kindle KDP and have it available in Kindle and paperback up on Amazon.

A portion of each sale will go back to the Collie Rescue of the Carolinas. Now there is a holiday purchase you can feel doubly good about!

kindle https://www.amazon.com/Tys-Journey-Sharing-Lessons-Adopted-ebook/dp/B073MSG8SM

That’s Ty on the cover. He is such a pretty, happy boy, isn’t he?

Paperback: http://amzn.to/2AJeRHg

https://www.amazon.com/Tys-Journey-Sharing-Lessons-Adopted/dp/1521728518/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1512842610&sr=8-3&keywords=ryan+jo+summers

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, that’s it. I did mention there was a lot going on, right? If you want to keep up with my comings and goings, below are my social media links. Some I am more active on than others, and a lot of it depends on my writing/editing/promoting/ and life schedules.

Oh yeah! I nearly forgot…how could I possibly forget this? Edits will begin soon for the January 2018 release of Limitless Publishing’s “Craving Country” anthology. I am one of the contributing authors to this collection with my short story called “Crazy Woman Creek”.  Follow my media sites for updates as things unfold for “Crazy Woman Creek” and the “Craving Country” anthology collection.

Website: www.ryanjosummers.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RyanJoSummersAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RyanJoSummers

Blog: https://www.summersrye.wordpress.com 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/phoenix690322/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6604705.Ryan_Jo_Summers

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now I am off to read a download on my Kindle. Wish me luck.

Read Full Post »

Lately I have had rejections on my mind. There is no particular reason for it, no painful angst or sting of a recent rejection fueling it. Just a random thought that popped into, and lodged, in my quirky mind. Perhaps it’s because my mind has been especially creative of late, and this is simply one more creative seed to sprout.

walk-disney

I happened to unearth some rather famous writers who also suffered the rejection dejection syndrome before they became famous to the rest of us. Actually, it was in the latest Writer’s Digest magazine and I found it an interesting read.

Stephen King, the King of Horror writing, tossed his early draft for Carrie into the trash. From 1971 to 1973, he wrote he was “vulnerable, the the vivid dreams and ambitions of childhood seem to pale in the harsh sunlight of what we call the real world.”. His wife pulled Carrie from the trash and the novel went on to be rejected by 30 publishers. Eventually he was offered an advance of $2,500 by Doubleday. The paperback rights went to Signet Books for $400,000.

stephen-king

Steve Berry. He’s a number 1 international best selling author of 16 thrillers. He said “From the day I wrote my first word to the day I sold my first word was a span of 12 years.” In that time he completed eight manuscripts. He submitted five of them, and was rejected 85 times. It was the 86th attempt that “things happened for me.”

Judy Blume–who hasn’t read her children’s stories either as a child or to our children? She writes: “For two years, I received nothing but rejections. One magazine, Highlights for Children, sent a form letter with a list of possible rejections. ‘Does not win in competition with others’ was always checked off on mine. I still can’t look at a copy of Highlights without wincing. I would go to sleep at night feeling that I’d never be published. But I’d wake up in the morning convinced I would be.”

virginia-woolf

Saul Bellow (admittedly I’d never heard of him. Turns out he won the Pulitzer Prize. the Nobel Prize, and the National Medal of Arts. I’m impressed.) He writes, “I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgement and to say in his heart of hearts, “To hell with you.'”

Brad Meltzer, bestselling writer and children’s book author. On his website, he had a Q & A. The question was: How do you handle rejections from publishers? His answer was: “I gave their email addresses to my mother. You don’t  know pain until you’ve met Teri Meltzer. Fear it.”

writing-is-hope

Kathryn Stockett, she’s the lady who wrote that incredible bestseller, The Help. She states: “After rejection No. 40, I started lying to my friends about what I did on the weekends. They were amazed by how many times a person could repaint her apartment. The truth was, I was embarrassed for my friends and family to know I was still working on the same story, the one nobody apparently wanted to read.”

Wow, there are some heavy weight writers, talking plainly about their pain, embarrassment, and trials before the big one was discovered. Before their careers took off. And before they were known. So what can I say of my own trail of rejection?

Like most every other writer out there, I can wallpaper a house with my collected rejection slips. In the early days, they were well deserved. I was submitting before I was ready, a lesson I had to learn. Once they became less form letter, and started having encouraging little notes added to the margins, I knew I was on the right track. That still took years upon years. I lost count of exactly how many– twenty something. I finally started placing articles with magazines and devotionals. It gave me credibility with publishers, by-lines to add weight to my bio, and validity to my soul. Ah, sweet validity!

Finally I landed a contract for my first novel, a contemporary romance with paranormal and mystery elements. I learned so much with that book and that publisher. I followed it up with five more novels, two anthology inclusions, a novella, and numerous articles over a whirlwind four years. And two more publishing houses.

whispers-cover-from-amazon

And I still get rejections. Despite all that, I still feel the sting of being turned down. I have a couple finished manuscripts, that don’t fit the genre of either publisher, so I am looking around for an agent that does handle them. I am going to have to add on a room to my house so I have somewhere to hang all the new rejection slips I am accumulating. Yet like the famed authors who shared their heartache, I will dream of when these literary babies find a home and become shared with the rest of the world. To me, that is what we write for…to share our stories with the world.

murder

Read Full Post »

This morning I went down to my local framer to have the cover for Shimmers of Stardust matted and framed. In a couple of weeks it will hang on the wall, opposite from the first cover (Whispers) that I took in last year to be preserved.

This is something I had promised myself a while ago when it first began to look like I might actually sell a book to a publisher. The queries were being rejected slower, they were coming back with personal comments that editors were taking the time and interest to write and more material was being requested in full before it was being rejected. I took all those signs to mean I was getting better at writing and closer to possible publication. So the pact with myself was made that should I sign a contract, I was going to mat and frame that cover. Now book # 2 has been taken in.

It is just as an exciting high for the second as for the first. But the whole experience got me to thinking– as events like this usually will. What about those authors who have 50 some or hundreds of published books? Do they get each cover framed? Do they donate a wall in their house just to showcase their covers? Probably not if they have that many. I suppose they might reach a point where they stop. Maybe they just frame the cover of the first big ones–the first sale, the first bestseller, the first record breaker, the first to do something really wonderful. A mile marker in their career.

Now how about the emotional firsts? The first book in which they learned a new writing technique? The first book they felt they really nailed something they had been trying to perfect? The first book that spoke to them in a whole new way? The first one that make they reach much deeper inside themselves than they thought they could ever go? In other words, the first book that really meant something to maybe no one else but the author, regardless of its selling performance.

I have one, a novella, I like. It’s not published but it is special because it was the first time I took the frustrations at my personal life and gave them to my heroine. For a while, I let her be me and deal with one aspect of life like I had too. Her struggles that came from that novella opened my eyes to how I cope with those frustrations. For that reason, the novella ‘Glimpse Eternity’ will always be special to me, regardless of what published status it achieves.

I have another novel in which the setting is very special to me, as are the selection of character names. I have one short story that was written solely at the happy place I travel to physically. I have one WIP that takes place at my mental happy place. If any of those are published one day, the covers will be special because of what parts of me are inside, between the covers.

I guess writing any book is an emotional endeavor, we struggle with all the same stuff; POV, setting, conflict, plot, tension, dialogue and so forth. But what about the emotional parts we take from ourselves and inject inside, gently and forcefully blowing life from us into our creation? Does the publication–the ultimate crowning achievement– make that cover worthy of framing on that merit alone?

Read Full Post »