My journey to become a published author has been fraught with failures, even today, with five books under my belt, I still fail....YET I achieve as well. The trick is to understand that even though the journey is long, and even if you fail, time and time again....you can keep going.
I have fifty-five rejection letters I keep in my filing cabinet. One must remember that I wrote my first book when I was seventeen, and this was long before self-publishing. I wrote nearly every day from fifteen to seventeen, finishing off Vexation and Castigate My Sins, then called Exzavier and Stairway In-between Heaven and Hell. I thought Stairway or Castigate My sins was a bit too dark so I thought I would take my chances with Vexation. I went to the library, checked out the book: Writer's Market...and away I went. I used every penny I had to make copies of my book and mail them out...boy was I in for a cruel awakening.
To be fair, some of the rejections were very nice, while others were down right cruel: "Do you know what the slush pile is? Well that's where your story belongs and that's where it will stay." Some letters brought me to tears, I don't know if you know this but writing a book is hard, I put my heart and soul into them, I exposed my deepest secrets, fears, and hope...and what did it amount to: You can't write your work belongs in the garbage.
What did I do? I put it aside and worked on other goals, yet the story-telling, at least in my mind never stopped. When I was older I started working on Running With Chaos, because screw those people...I'm going to write for me...I didn't care if anyone read it...writing it became what was important to me. Then something strange happened in 2009. Deavan was bored, really bored, on and on she went...I have nothing to do. I said read a book...she said I've read so many and I'm bored with it. Well then, why don't you read my book: Vexation. (She was old enough then) And to my amazement she read it, more amazing: she liked it. She asked me why I didn't try to get it published. I rolled my eyes...I didn't think I could take that kind of rejection again. Deavan, bless the child, reminded me that I told her never to give up...why should she listen...if I didn't practice it. So I swallowed my pride and sent it out again. My query letter was GREAT...probably too great...and I got a bite.
As I read the acceptance letter I cried so hard...but good tears...I did it! I accomplished my goal, I was a published Author...someone believed in me. :) (Thank you Deavan!)
This is not where the journey ends my friend. I didn't realize there was more tears to come...yet I was stronger now...and I know...even though I stumble and fall...I get back up and with each book I write...I get better!!! Vexation was a mess, the editor, if you can call it that...didn't edit it at all...and as we know: I am HORRIFIC at grammar and spelling. YIKES...The reviews were: Great Story, if you can get past the spelling and grammar mistakes. OOPS!
Then it happened again...Running With Chaos...still mistakes...a little less, but still there. Castigate My Sins...critics loved it...the population...not so much (It is very dark) Soul Distortion...Great...A person on GoodReads.com says: I couldn't even read it, The first page misplaced so many commas I wouldn't even bother with it. NICE!!! Then we come to my finest work: Stygian. I worked on it, sent it to two editors, read it over and over again...Still some mistakes...But people took notice, they could see I was trying harder to not only tell a great story, but deliver it in a manner an educated person would.
My promise to any person who reads my books: I will always be honest. I will pour my very being into my words, and though I might make mistakes here and there, I am continually perfecting my craft. I am reading grammar books and making list after list of words that I mess up on (I am particularly bad with homophones: I blame the LOOK SEE METHOD (...but I am not going to let that stop me! I am reteaching myself) and in time I believe I will write a book that will become a classic that will stand the test of time.
Thank you for joining me today!!! And Thank You For Reading My Work!!!! xoxo Elicia