Good news! AMMON has been officially accepted and slated for release in June 2011!
Read Part 1 Here.
My Publishing Journey
With my husband moving out of our home office, things quickly came together. I had an office, a computer, and an imagination. My grandmother had finally consented for “someone in the family” to write her personal history. That someone turned out to be me. I spent time with her each week going over questions and various aspects of her life. She was a young woman during the WWII era, and some of the things she shared catapulted me into my first story.
I wrote during naptime and in the evenings when the kids were in bed. My husband was currently traveling a lot, and my usual evening hobbies slowly disintegrated as I became more and more involved in writing.
Summer came and I signed up for a couple of creative writing extension courses through a local college. I had my degree, but not in creative writing, or English for that matter. The only thing that was holding my story together was my love for reading and general understanding of what made a decent book.
The first creative writing course was a let-down. The instructor began by telling the group of adults that we had little chance of getting published. He also told us that he was tired of the stay-at-home mother who thought she could make an extra dollar or two by publishing a novel.
Moving on. The next creative writing course was better. The instructor, Rachel Nunes, had actually published several novels (unlike the previous instructor) and was a mother as well. Part of her advice was how to balance family and writing time. My eyes were opened, and I came out of the workshop feeling very motivated.
I had no idea how to find a publisher. Through some internet searches, I discovered a book called The Writers Market. I spent time in the library writing down names and addresses and submission guidelines. Impatient, I finally purchased my own copy and proceeded to highlight all of the publishers I wanted to submit to.
I bought paper, envelopes, stamps, labels and started submitting. The rejections started coming in. Well, that wasn’t working so well. Another plan maybe. I decided to start smaller. I wrote a couple of short stories and sent them to magazines. One reply was, “This story is too sad.” Another reply was, “There is a glaring error in your work, and we don’t publish sub-standard submissions.”
Mostly the replies were form letters. Maybe I didn’t have what it took after all. I searched the internet again, looking for more workshops when I found the League of Utah Writers. It was November, and the next meeting wouldn’t be until January. I eagerly went to the Wednesday night meeting in January at the Provo Library. Jeff Savage was the speaker. Annette Lyon was the Chapter President who ran the meeting. Jeff shared how he got published. Little did I know but within a few months’ time, I would replace Annette as Chapter President and I would join Jeff and Annette’s critique group.
The one message I came away from Jeff’s presentation was that it was possible to get published if only I persevered. Jeff was published with a local publisher, Covenant, something I hadn’t considered before. So I decided that since I loved reading mysteries, I’d consider writing a mystery for the Utah market. I’d continue submitting my WWII novel, but I was willing to try other avenues as well.
So I began what I now call the great mystery-novel failure.