05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A funny thing happened on the way to publication…

A funny thing happened on the way to publication. That’s this month’s writing prompt. Well…for the life of me, I can’t think of a single “funny” thing that happened. Perturbing, frustrating, heart-breaking, humiliating, wonderful, unbelievable, holy-cow-I’m-gonna-explode-I’m-so-happy—now those words come to mind when I look over my writing journey.

For me, the main message that emerges when I think back is that if you want to be a writer, you better be resilient, cautious, adventurous, selectively inquisitive, and patient. And perhaps, most important of all, don’t expect your writing experience to be like anyone else’s.

Before my first book was published, I tried for years (seemed like eons) to find an agent. I got enough “I just don’t feel a connection to your story” letters to wallpaper my entire house—twice. But then, I finally received a rejection where the agent told me, “You don’t need an agent for this story. Submit to some of the small presses and go ebook with it.” Bless her generous advice-giving heart! I submitted the book to The Wild Rose Press and after a bazillion revisions under the tutelage of a wonderfully talented and patient editor, they published it! Beyond a Highland Whisper was born.

Then I won RT Book Review’s Writing with the Stars contest and published Eternity’s Mark with Kensington. That process was a rollercoaster ride of gut-wrenching highs and lows. But I learned a lot.

Then I heard about Loveswept, a digital only imprint for Penguin Random House. I’m an Outlander fanatic aka time travel back to the Highlands addict and I had an idea for this series…so I pitched it through Loveswept’s website and they loved it! That’s how my four book Highland Hearts series found a home.

So far, I’ve worked with three publishers: one small press, and two traditional houses. I still don’t have an agent. After being laid off from my day job of twenty-nine years, I’m toying with some other writerly options to pursue.

I guess what I’ve really discovered along this bumpy road is that everyone’s writing path is different and the only time that’s a bad thing is when you compare your path to someone else’s and get upset because your results aren’t the same. Stay focused on your path. It’ll keep the “nauseating crazies” away and let you write the stories that can only be written by you.

Maeve’s Bio:

No one has the power to shatter your dreams unless you give it to them. That’s Maeve Greyson’s mantra. She and her hubby of nearly thirty-eight years were stationed all over while in the U.S. Air Force before returning to their five-acre wood in rural Kentucky where she writes about her beloved Highlanders and the sassy women who tame them.

Find out more about Maeve at these places on the web:


Lynn Lovegreen said...

Great advice, Maeve! I enjoyed your post.

Barb said...

I love this blog and all the interesting authors I am meeting. Some great advice.

Sarah Raplee said...

This is very sage advice, Maeve. Writers often drive themselves to distraction comparing themselves and their careers to other writers. This is a crazy business. We need to focus on our own careers instead.

Maggie Lynch said...

Very well said, Maeve. I think the writer's natural fear of "I'm not good enough" get's the best of them. And they feed that fear by comparing to others. Good timing on this as the new year begins and so many writers have their hopes very high.

Pippa Jay said...

Thanks for sharing your journey. A fellow author was the one who directed me to try small presses for my work too.

Judith Ashley said...

I totally agree with you, Maeve. We each have our own journey and the truth is we can do something exactly like another author and not get the same results. Staying focused on writing the best book we can using the writing process that works best for us is the most outwardly peaceful way forward. I say "outwardly peaceful way forward" because I do believe that we need to have emotions within ourselves as we write. Those emotions drive our story forward and bring our characters to life.

Glad you have the time to pursue other writerly pursuits.

Lauren James said...

Wonderful advice! It's hard not to compare yourself to other authors, especially if most of your writing friends have gone on to be published and you're still toiling away with your first novel.

I'm trying to focus on the journey of writing the best novel I can, rather than stress myself out over getting published as quickly as possible.

Thanks for sharing.