I don’t usually get on my soap box—but I cannot hold my tongue. Or in this case, cannot keep my fingers from skating across the keyboard. I am going to address one of my pet peeves--those who do not appreciate the gift of writing. I have three short stories published by The Wild Rose Press which is now White Rose Publishing. After taking countless classes in creative writing, both at local colleges and online, attending workshops and conferences and putting in far longer than the average eight hour day, I fancied myself the next Nora Roberts. I sent out query letters and partial manuscripts to literary agents all over the state of New York, certain they’d be ringing my phone off the hook. No such luck. Those phone calls never came, but one rejection letter after the next filled my mailbox to the hilt. Devastated, my heart wept. Totally disillusioned, I was ready to throw my dream of writing out the window. But then I wised up and realized the only way to get what I wanted was to fight for it with all I was made of. And that’s when things changed.
When I want something, I develop a competitive edge. And perhaps that’s what it took to push me so hard. After pulling my head out of the clouds, I developed a stiff upper lip and some mighty tough skin. And you know what they say…when the going gets tough…the tough get going. So I buckled down and enrolled in as many writing classes as I could find, polishing my manuscript to the best of my ability. And after getting feedback on it from my critique group, I felt ready to pitch it to a New York agent at a writers conference.
Nervous but confident, I presented my ten minute pitch, feeling certain I’d be asked to submit the entire manuscript. Once more, my dreams were shattered. The agent handed me back my business card…and I sure didn’t need him to show me the door.
Feeling sorry for myself, I was once again thinking perhaps writing just wasn’t meant to be. But then someone sat beside me at Starbucks while I was drinking a cup of coffee. I was so upset I wound up pouring my heart out to this woman who I had never met before. She handed me her business card and told me to submit my manuscript to The Wild Rose Press. That woman was Liana Laverentz. And that’s how I got my foot in the door with The Wild Rose Press. Through God’s intercession, when one door closed…another door opened.
The editors are wonderful to work with and the authors are willing to go the extra mile to lend a helping hand. Lori Graham is my editor and the feedback she gives me makes my writing shine. And when I got my first contract one year ago, it was like hitting the lottery for a million bucks. It had nothing to do with money. It was the feeling of accomplishment after striving for it for so long. No one understands a writer like another writer. There is no comparison to those words, “I’d like to offer you a contract.”
So you might be asking yourself where this is going. After my first contract, Lori offered me two more contracts shortly thereafter. Nicola designed my beautiful book covers and Rae Monet designed a killer website for me. I have had three releases this year along with a free read, all in the White Rose line. And my heart swelled with pride. So when someone made the derogatory comment, “I’m sorry you didn’t get a good price for your books,” my heart dropped.
Certainly we don’t get the money the big publishing houses pay, but what we do get is a whole lot more. We have editors who give us the chance to resubmit our work by giving very beneficial feedback, a caring staff, some of the best artists and awesome authors. And we all connect to support, promote, and be there for one another through thick and thin. The bigger publishing houses more than likely wouldn’t have such a rapport. I am proud to be a member of the garden and very proud to write for White Rose Publishing.
writing is a gift, a God-given talent meant to be shared. And I’m proud of my talent and hope to leave my footprint on the world when I’m gone. The emotional rewards far outweigh the monetary. And I know I speak for all writers. Writing is in my blood. If I didn’t get paid a penny, I’d still write in my journal or my blog. I write for emotional healing and to help make this world a better place.
As you know, before the loss of my vision, my passion was painting. Blending colors into a rich palette of crimson, peach and indigo into a desert sunset filled me with peace and tranquility. When I lost my sight, I was devastated for the obvious reasons, but mostly, because I could no longer paint. But after a long and winding road, a new dream resurrected when I discovered I could paint just as vividly with words. I never want to forget the simple beauty of a rose or the exotic beauty of a wildflower. And describing what I used to see and paint in such vivid detail is my way of remembering. Can you put a price tag on that?