Publishers, agents, & fans-o my!

When I started writing book-length fiction – 9+ years ago now – it seemed to me the easiest thing in the world. That was before I understood the tedium of editing, of course, and the sting of rejection and the circling of the shark-agents that smelled author-blood & thought they might profit – in the most literal sense – from impatience. But the writing itself, the story-telling, was easy for me (& still is.) I loved my 1st book Lily’s Sister, loved the characters & the setting, & I thought well, who wouldn’t love Louisa & John Rock Davis? I wrote the kind of book I wanted to read, created the kind of characters I wanted to be around & consequently expected in a simplistic but very honest way that others would feel the same. But I was wrong – or so literary agents on both coasts told me (if they deigned to respond to my queries at all)…”can’t get excited about it,” “no audience for it,” “industry is too competitive to take a chance on it,” etc. etc. That was a hard lesson for me – but from it I took away one truth: I still had to write the kinds of books I would enjoy reading. I don’t read fantasy so I’m not going to write fantasy. I am a bazillion percent UNinterested in vampires & werewolves so I’m not going to write about them. I don’t read explicit, road-map-style sex & gruesome violence so I don’t write that, either. Despite the rejections & the dismissals, the one constant I held onto with both ink-stained hands was: I must write what I love. In the end, passion will out. Publishers & agents may someday see the light (or not.) Fame & fortune may come or not come but for really good story-telling 1 true thing must hold firm: write what you love. I did. I do. I will.

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