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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

So painfully close...

To recap, this week I'm posting about my journey to become a published author. On Monday and Tuesday I talked about my first two unpublished novels, and now we move on to attempt #3.

I vividly remember the moment that I decided to write my third attempt. In 2009 I was going for a jog. The setting was perfect for inspiration - slightly stormy sunset sky, listening to good music, endorphins pumping. And it just hit me. I knew exactly what I should write, and I knew it would work this time.

I was sort of right. I sat down to write the novel that would eventually morph into The Charge, but the original concept was different enough I count them as two separate novels. Novel 2009 had a different title, (I'm leaving out the title because I'm thinking of using it again to title a new installment of The Charge series. ;) ) different MC, and even a different setting (no Texas! it was a fantasy world). So, yeah, it was pretty different, but my beta readers from that version will notice that the basic plot is the same and I even re-used a few scenes.

I got so, so, so close with Novel 2009. It won or got honorable mention in more than one agent judged contest, and I got a handful of partial and full requests. For me, being close, but not quite publication ready was harder than writing a crappy book that has no chance. It's this crazy roller coaster where you get contradictory feedback and have no idea how to proceed.

I had to accept the difficult fact that writing a good book is not enough to get published. I knew Novel 2009 had problems, but I also knew it had great things about it. Shelving a book you know is bad hurts like hell, but shelving a book you know is good is just horrible. It feels like such a waste and it's hard to know if you're doing the right thing.

But there is also a point where you've gone too far to turn back. I had put in so many hours, so much blood, sweat, and tears (okay, probably not any blood), I just had to keep trying.

Fortunately, my brilliant critique partners had given me all the insights I needed along the way to know where to go next, I just had to puzzle it all together and separate it from all the conflicting feedback noise.

And then...

*Spoiler alert* My debut novel, The Charge, comes out this Saturday! :)

Come back tomorrow to hear the best part, the story of my fourth novel and the one that would get published.


Mina Lobo said...

Ohmigosh, congrats on your most excellent news! I'm all agog as to how it all went down!!! :-)

Donna Hole said...

I'm sure there was also blood; you probably had a paper cut at some point :) I know how you felt about shelving a good novel; I had to shelve one for a while, until I could go back to it with renewed focus.

Congrats on the upcoming release. The cover looks great.


Sharon Bayliss said...

lol, I suppose there was probably a little blood at some point. Thanks ladies!

Sean McLachlan said...

Congratulations! I'll mention it on my next reader news. Um, remind me though!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congratulations!!! That's awesome! Way to stick it out.

Neil said...

Congratulations! This is an inspirational post for someone who is just beginning book #2. Book one, which I still believe has what it takes, is currently taking knock backs, but I've learnt a lot from it. I feel like I have some experience at least! I hope he launch goes well!