Monday, October 27, 2008
Please give a warm welcome to today's guest, Mary Ricksen, author Tripping Through Time a Faery Rose Release
On one very special day for me, I met an editor for the Wild Rose Press. Her name was Callie Lynn Wolfe and she is a very special friend.
It was at a meeting of my local RWA chapter, the Florida Romance Writers. The only reason I was there, was that Traci Hall, talented author and then president of the group, dragged me there. She pushed me and gave me the confidence to try. Traci even gave me a ride. She made me feel wanted and comfortable. And for an agoraphobic like me that is a feat. My friend Traci is very sweet, kind-hearted, and a good soul.
Well being shy and taking a deep breath, I sat at a table where the group always meets in Ft. Lauderdale. I always sit at Traci’s table and there I have met many talented authors. On that day, a new member happened to sit next to me. Callie at first was a bit bashful herself, but shortly we were talking and getting to know one another. In the conversation, Callie told me she was an editor. Well for one of the few times I have been gutsy, I asked her if she could look at the first three chapters of my book, if only to tell me whether I stunk at writing or not. So I emailed them to her that very same day.
At first Callie was not impressed. After reading my first chapter, she told me kindly that she didn’t think it was a publishable romance. It turns out that what I was doing in my first chapter was called back telling. A real no-no in writing. In my mind, I knew that there was more to it. I really started the story in the second chapter. So I asked her if she would read a little more, and she did.
This time she was a bit more excited. She told me I was very good at imagery and with her suggestions and criticisms in my head, I dropped the first chapter and added a lot more dialogue. I am not as good at that. After reading my rewrite, she told me she was forwarding it on to an editor in the Faery Line. I’d have to make or break on my own. I held my breath for quite a while, (figuratively for sure).
It was at the next meeting that I learned my now editor, Zanoni Rose, had decided to accept my story for publication. Now Zanoni is a very patient person, she had to eliminate about a thousand commas that didn’t belong there. Yes, commas are my nemesis. Knowing that she had more experience than I did, I accepted every change she suggested, without question. There was one big change I had to make at the end of the rewrite process that was hard for me to accept. But trusting in Zanoni’s judgment, I made the change, crossing my fingers that it would still work.
My book was born! Delivery will be in digital on 1/2/09 and in print on 3/27/09. The thrill of accomplishment and acceptance overwhelmed me and it still does. All of my life I have been trying to find my talent. I made stained glass pieces, I tried painting, I played guitar and sang in a band, the list of things I tried is endless. Finally, I had found my talent. I have been writing and throwing away my stories for years. But this time I didn’t throw it away.
My muse was there all along, and I ignored it. Now I embrace it. I only wish I had discovered it many years ago. I might be a real famous author today if I had known!
Now I have a book, Tripping Through Time, coming out. My heart is so filled it is about to burst. Me, I did it, I have made a small dent in history. Some day maybe someone will pick up my book and think. Who was she? What was she like? I have something to leave behind. I never was able to have children, but I still have a legacy.
Writing is so special. I have lost myself so may times in a good story. Escaping my troubles, I learned about new places and new people. Losing myself in a book is a gift, and there are so many of them, I will never have to give that gift back.
So that’s how I got my book published. For the first time in my life, Lady Luck was with me. I met Callie, she changed my life, and I will never forget it. She gave me a chance, and that is all we writers want, a chance. She is my very special friend, forever I hope.
Thanks Callie, now everyone knows how special you are to me.
My advice to those of you who are trying to get published is this. Never give up if it’s your dream, never stop trying, and network, that’s the secret. Give it your all. Listen to all the advice that other writers give to you and try not to cry when you’re critiqued, because
someday you might get your chance. You too might be saying the words that thrill me.
I am an author, how great is that!