When I was eight, my mom gave me a subscription to Writer’s Digest Magazine. Yes, I was already writing then, with an eye to publication. I had accumulated more rejections by the time I was 10 than many folks do in a lifetime. I already knew the difference between ‘bad’ and ‘good’ rejections in my teens, and I had a few national publications.
I experimented with POD—which I will chronicle some day—and I had a few more publications. I self-published an anthology, La Llorona (The Wailing Woman) which continues to sell well. Based on the Mexican folktale of a mother driven to kill by despair—or for revenge, depending on the version—my anthology crosses a number of genres. NBC’s Grimm did a remarkably similar version, but happily—my La Llorona had been out way before theirs. And with the judge from the Casey Anthony trial saying much what I do in one of the essays, I have to admit my “little book that can” continues to please me.
But in my heart, none of my successes mattered enough. After all, I started seeking a “real” publishing house for my novel length work when I was 8. It’s been a long road.
My family disowned me, although I’m not a rich heiress like Dell, the heroine in Unattainable. After the dissolution of our family roadside amusement park, I didn’t get on another horse for about 38 years. I did get myself to college, got an education and a job teaching, which I love, and I never completely quit writing. All good things.
I also realized that self-publishing isn’t any less real than having a traditional house pick you up—although many of my author friends who self publish are best-selling authors for big houses before they independently put out works that aren’t quite right for their own commercial publishers.
But my goal of signing my name on the dotted line seemed unreachable—unattainable, almost—until by a mere quirk of fate, Crimson Romance contracted by south Texas romance, Unattainable.
Crimson Romance is the brand new imprint of F&W Media, publisher of (drum roll, please) Writer’s Digest.
The world makes sense.
Of course, I quickly realized simply having a book with a great story and a beautiful cover isn’t enough. I need folks to read it. If you’re so inclined, I’d be grateful, and would love to know what you think.
Meanwhile, since goal posts keep moving—I’m working on what I hope is the next.
But to everyone out there, I say—keep on keeping on. Crossing a goal gives new life. It creates new goals…but I guess that’s basically the same as giving new life, isn’t it?