05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Interview: 4x GH Finalist MJ Frederick, Long Contemporary

  Entry Title, category, year:
Hot Shot, long contemporary, 2003 and 2004
Don’t Look Back, 2006
Beneath the Surface, 2007

Were you the overall Winner that year?  
Website and/or Blog Links:
     Why did you decide to enter your manuscript in the GH Contest?
I had been a member of RWA for about five years, but didn’t have the confidence to enter until after I’d finalled in a few chapter contests. I also had a story that I believed in, something different than I’d written before, an alpha hero, an exciting storyline. So I entered.
     Where were you and what were you doing when you got the GH call?
I love telling this. I’d just told my husband that the calls would be going out the following week and for him to expect me to be a bit down. Not an hour later, the phone rang. The calls went out early that year. I didn’t hear anything after, “Hot Shot is a Golden Heart finalist.” All I could think of was that I HAD to call my critique partner.
The following year, I was teaching when the call came. They called the school phone, and I’d told the secretary to let me know if I got a call. She forgot, and told me later over the intercom that she’d told them to call back. That was the longest morning ever! I sat in the office until they called!
The next time, I was in my classroom but had a cell phone. And the final time, my friend Trish Milburn was the one to call me, the minute the calls were to be made, to tell me Beneath the Surface finalled.
     How has being a GH Finalist/Winner affected you as a writer?
Initially it was a huge confidence boost. I was dancing on air at my chapter’s conference a few weeks later. My critique partner told me my career was made. Well, no. I didn’t sell Hot Shot for 3 and a half more years, but being a finalist got me closer looks from editors and agents. When I thought about hanging it up and walking away, I’d remember that I beat some pretty steep odds before, and if I kept working, I could do it again.


Judith Ashley said...

MJ, I see the Perseverance and Dedication in your post. I can only imagine how being a GH Finalist/Winner boosted you confidence. Congratulations on now being a published author!

MJFredrick said...

Thanks so much, Judith! You say perseverance, my husband says STUBBORN ;) Same results, though!

Sarah Raplee said...

MJ, what an interesting journey! I believe that 90% of success as a writer can be attributed to perseverance. :)

SamMarie Ashe said...

Great post, love your story about how it can take a while, but stick with it!! *grin*

MJFredrick said...

Thanks, y'all. The other good thing about perseverance is that I had quite a number of books done when I did finally get a contract!

ElaineCharton said...

I am loving everyone's stories. Congratulations!

Tam Linsey said...

I'm impressed you finaled so many times, didn't get a contract, and kept on writing. That is a true writer. Thanks for visiting us!