Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How it started.

It was June and the school where I taught was finished the year. After three years I was still tying to get published. When I went to the teacher's parking lot and opened the car door, I found a long steamed yellow rose with a note from my husband. An editor had requested the rest of the book from the proposal we'd sent.

I don't remember that drive home, because I was delirious. After three years, someone was asking to see the rest of my writing endeavor. I sent the rest of the book, waited for the phone call I knew would come, asking to buy my book. I waited and waited. I'd already written a second book and started a third.

My husband and I discussed the situation and decided to submit a proposal for the finished second book to that same editor. Again, nothing. I finished the third book, and sent a proposal for that book to the same person. I really don't know whether she got tired of getting my proposals, or if she really thought I could write romance, but one day in late fall, the phone call came. They wanted not only my first book, they were offering a contract for all three.

But, perhaps the best part - The publishing house I sent that first real proposal to, was the same house that had rejected it just a year before and now they wanted the rejected book and two more. For several years a framed copy of that first rejection letter, the acceptance letter and a copy of my advance check graced the wall of my new office.

I learned a lot trying to get published. I do believe if I hadn't read so much and didn't love books, I would never have tried to write, but perhaps the most important lesson is this -- You can never learn too much. If you don't continue to grow, to develop, to improve, you can not succeed. Looking at each of my books I can truthfully say, I have learned, I have grown, I have improved. Am I finished developing, learning? Nope, not a chance. There's still a lot more to learn.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Very inspiring story. I would never have thought to send anyting else to the first publisher who had turned me down.

Kudos to the rose-bearer, too.

Anonymous said...

Now thats a special guy. Hope you treated him extra special (g).

January Bain said...

Lovely story. You are a lucky woman! You are so right about keeping up the hard work to improve the craft.

Genius/talent if 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!!! (I totally agree with Edison on this one.)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Excellent lesson in perseverance, Allison!

Allison Knight said...

I've said before and I'll say it again. I have a special mate. And he's the reason I'm still writing and learning. He reads everything and always comments. He helps me improve.