Posted at Mar 2, 2015 9:00 am
Thanks for having me today, Laura!
The day before Valentine’s Day of this year, I published a novel – Dying Embers. It was a novel I originally started writing almost seven years ago. Then it was called Manhunter. The earliest file date I can find for the first incarnation of this book is dated March 30, 2008. I finished the first draft in May and the final draft in September.
And then I began the journey toward publication. I gave it a catchy title, because, let’s face it, Manhunter was lame. I created query materials like I was supposed to – a query letter with a catchy blurb, a couple of synopses (a long one and a short one). I sent out dozens of queries and received dozens of rejections. I rewrote the query letter and tried again, with the same results.
In the interim, I continued to write. After all Manhunter wasn’t my first book and it sure wasn’t about to be my last.
I got a couple of really good nibbles that Fall. I even got the nicest rejection letter ever to a request for full (when an agent asks to see the whole book), but it wasn’t what she needed. Since she was my best hope, I set the book aside and went on to the next book, and the next, and the next—each time facing the same hurdles and doing my darnedest to jump them.
Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to take my writing more seriously. I would up my game. I would spend as much time and money as it took to find myself an agent and get a publishing contract. Except the more I did, the farther I felt from my goal. And the closer the brick walls I’d been bashing my head against for years seemed to get, until I felt like I was standing in a coat closet.
Then I remembered something my husband once told me. It was a tale of a rat in a rice paper maze. The rat would run and run through the maze to reach its goals, when really all the rat had to do was rip through the super-thin paper. It never did, because it never saw how easy it could be free. All it saw was the walls.
It still took a while for me to stop fearing the walls, though. One day last summer, when Hubs and I were discussing budgets, I found the courage and floated the idea of self-publishing. I feared he’d tell me it wasn’t possible because we’re on limited fundage, but instead, he jumped on the idea. Not only did he jump on it, he ran with it. We researched every aspect and discovered self-publishing didn’t have to be nearly as expensive as we’d made it out to be. Sure, it’s not cheap if you want to do it right, but it wouldn’t break the bank either.
Then next step was going through all the manuscripts I’d written over the course of ten years and deciding which one would be the most marketable out of the gate. And then came a bunch of other steps I won’t bore you with. Needless to say, I did the work, I ticked all the steps off, and I launched my own book.
It wasn’t easy. But every little thing I did was something I accomplished and I knew the end result would be a published novel with my name on it. No one else had control over my destiny and I saw that the brick walls I’d been fighting all those years were only so much rice paper.
If you’re interested in reading Dying Embers, it’s available now for Kindle and in paperback format.
Good girls don’t play with fire.
Emma Sweet is tired of being a good girl. When she catches her husband cheating, she hits on the perfect plan to pay back all the men who ever broke her heart. Revenge isn’t as simple as seducing her old lovers and tossing a match, but watching them burn is deliciously satisfying.
The one time in her life Agent Jace Douglas wasn’t a good girl, she lost her family. Now she would rather run far and fast when it comes to fire. Too bad for her, she can’t walk away from a case where fire is the killer’s signature. Jace needs to face her fears and catch this murderer before the flames of her past—and the smoldering heat she feels for Detective Ben Yancy—reduce her life, her career and her self-control to ash.
And to celebrate being on Laura’s blog, I’ve made Dying Embers Kindle edition free for today only (March 2nd from 12am PST to 11:59pm PST – according to Amazon). Thanks again for having me, Laura, and thanks everyone else for stopping by!
And if you want to know a little more about me, here’s my official author bio:
Former sales ‘road warrior’ and corporate ‘Jack of all trades’, B.E. Sanderson now lives the hermit’s life in southwest Missouri, where she divides her time between doing writerly things, inhaling books, networking on the internet, and enjoying the ‘retired’ life with her husband and her crazy cats.
You can learn more and connect with me at:
The Writing Spectacle
B.E.’s Writerly Space
B.E. on Facebook
B.E. on Twitter