Today my fellow author at Crimson Romance, Erin Richards, tells us how her desire to write that could not be ignored led her to her first sale and beyond.
This is her story:
I wrote my first novel when I was eighteen years old—ages ago—and have always wanted to write. However, everyday life took its toll on my dreams of becoming an author. In 2003, I couldn’t ignore the writing bug any longer and began writing with the goal of publication in mind. Since then, I’ve walked, crawled, and then sprinted a long and twisty road to publication.
I joined RWA, took writing classes and polished my “first” adult novel, CHASING SHADOWS, until it shone. Then I submitted it to a few publishers and agents. Most authors write multiple books before they sell one. Imagine my excitement when the top eBook publisher in 2007 wanted to publish it! I had a gut feeling eBooks would be the wave of the future. I had already been reading them since 2002. Yet, I didn’t give up hope of getting a traditional print publishing deal someday. Regardless, I thought I was finally on my way and nothing could stop me from getting an agent and selling my next book within a year.
Wrong. My “crystal ball” failed me.
One year turned into four years of querying agents and even publishers. During that time, I wrote and revised three books. What kept me going were the characters in my head. They refused to be ignored. I knew I would find a home for one or all of my books. It was just a matter of time (or the proper alignment of the stars, sun, and moon!). I honed my craft with each book. I kept at it.
Early 2012, I heard about Crimson Romance, a new digital imprint of Adams/F+W Media, parent company of Writers Digest. It seemed like the perfect home for my fantasy romance WICKED PARADISE. What’s the worst that could happen if I submitted the book? Rejection? Been there, done that. I shot out my query letter, and the next day I received an email from the managing editor requesting the full manuscript! I didn’t want to get too excited…been down that road before.
Five weeks later, I received a second email from Jennifer. I stared at it without opening the email, prepared for another rejection. Finally, I clicked it open and read the fateful words, “I’d love to add WICKED PARADISE to Crimson’s lineup.” Stunned, I read the email three times before it sunk in. Did I just get an offer? After four years, my drought had ended.
WICKED PARADISE was published on August 13, 2012. Two weeks prior, my publisher for CHASING SHADOWS, released the print version, four long years after the eBook release. I thought it would never come out in print! Finally, a lifelong dream came true: I was able to hold one of my books in my hands.
You’ll have to read my blog as I race down that road to a traditional print publishing deal as I have more good news forthcoming!
People in the publishing business always say, “keep writing, your time will come.” I believe it now. If you’ve written a manuscript, edit it until it shines. Read everything you can about writing and revising (see my website for a list of the best writing reference books). Join the Absolute Write Forums, the best writing forum around, mingle and read the advice of published authors. Have patience. Remember, never give up, never surrender.
Readers can reach Erin at:
Check Wicked Paradise and other titles at: www.crimsonromance.com
Erin Richards lives in Northern California where she drafts and negotiates high-technology contracts during the day. When she’s not working or writing, she enjoys reading, photography, and American muscle cars.