It seemed only fitting to do my first entry post about writing African-American romance on Valentine's Day. So...here it goes!
I think there is a good percentage of readers out there who want to be writers. I was certainly one of them. I devour books. Romance, horror, science fiction, biographies – it doesn’t matter. And just as much as I love reading, I’ve felt compelled to put pen to paper and fingers to QWERTY keys to write my own stories. Some girls want to grow up to be a Hollywood star, the next Mariah Carey, or the President of the United States, but from an early age, I’ve wanted to see my name on a book cover. With luck and lots of perseverance, I was able to achieve that goal with the publishing of my first short story when I was 20 in All That and Then Some and my first novel, The Right Maneuver, when I was 30. (Notice the 10-year gap – I’ll explain that in a later post.) But I know for many of you guys out there, making the leap from reader to author is still the item on your “bucket” list you’ve yet to scratch off.
For that reason, this blog will not only be about my literary works (though thanks to those who are interested). It will also be about the writing process, how to submit to publishers and agents (I’ve done both and have been rejected by both), and going through the whole publishing process.
Some of you may decide to skip most of this and take, in my humble opinion, the much easier route: self-publishing. That method probably saves you a lot of heartache. (The only way that publisher can reject you is if your credit card doesn’t clear.) Also, it serves as a great tool for authors who really do believe in their work, but keep getting ignored by editors and agents. At least this is a way to make sure your voice is heard by someone.
But I think there is something to be said about taking the harder route. Admittedly, I could have saved myself a lot of pain and agony if I had self-published. But just as much as I believed my writer’s voice needed to be heard, I felt that someone out there somewhere would eventually hear it. After four years of submissions and rejections, slivers of hope and total discouragement, it happened.
Here is my journey and please, don't hesitate to share stories about journeys you've also taken (or are still taking) in the quest to become a published author.