Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic: 
What has your writing road trip looked like so far? Excitement? Traffic Jams and detours? Where are you going next?

Warning sign: Full Disclosures Ahead

It all started with a strange, vivid pregnancy dream. Ever have any of those? I woke up thinking, That could be a novel. Unfortunately, motherhood being what it is, that thought only took me as far as a community college writing course.

Until three years later when I ended up in a flooded basement going through my high school things (the only stuff not in plastic totes). As I sifted through notes and programs and pieces of crepe paper from long forgotten events, I thought, This could be a novel.

Six weeks later it was.

It took another year where I revised and edited, got feedback from readers, then revised and edited again before I was ready to send out query letters. Yes, real snail-mail letters. I broke out in hives for the first and only time in my life when I did this.

A couple months later, I mailed out a hard copy of a full manuscript...yes, people used to have to do that...and in another month I had an agent.

All smooth driving, you think? Wrong. Six months later, I only had a close call with Simon And Schuster and a new novel my agent didn't like to show for it. Goodbye first agent.

It took me two more books to get my next and current wonderful agent, Suzie Townsend. By this time, I feel like I've been driving a well-worn vehicle past its limits. I'm so ready to crest the hill and cross the finish line. Get a publishing contract. A few months later we even have an auction set up with three publishers.

They all fall through.

We try a second round of submissions and a round with a second book. We have one revision request but, still, nothing comes through.

Where does that put me now? Working on a monster WIP that's taking far longer than any of my other books to finish. I'm not completely stalled, but sometimes I have to get out and push the car to keep it moving.

Now my agent has submitted my work to an e-publisher. I haven't decided if this route is right for me yet. Is this a fork in the road or something that can eventually lead to my original destination?

I don't know yet. All I know is that no matter how long the road is or how many bumps, potholes, detours, or dead ends I encounter, I'm on it for the long haul.
Congrats YA Highway on 100 Road Trips! And thanks! I so enjoy joining you each week! 

What about you? What would your writing journey road sign say?


  1. While e-publishing sounds a little scary, it's nice to know your agent loves your work so much she wants to see it "out there" in some form, even if it's not the traditional route. I wish you every success with this and all your future projects!

  2. Wow--thank you for sharing this. Being "in it for the long haul" provides some comfort. We write because we need to write--it's part of our being, right? Good luck with your current manuscripts!

  3. Lori- "We write because we need to write--it's part of our being, right?"

    Right. So true.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story with full disclosures. I feel like I'm pushing the car with my current WIP--and I'm a little afraid that I'm pushing a lemon? Time will tell, I guess.
    I think the gift in a bumpy road is that you do realize that you are doing this writing thing because you love it, and you wouldn't be happy not writing. I don't know if I would have realized that with an easy, quick trip.

  5. WOW what a journey! Talk about highs and lows--you've seen it all! And "All I know is that no matter how long the road is or how many bumps, potholes, detours, or dead ends I encounter, I'm on it for the long haul." ... wow, could never have said it better.

  6. Thanks for sharing your journey. I've learned a lot from experiences like yours :)

  7. That is some journey! I didn't know about the first agent! Hang in there and keep writing! I can't wait to read your stories. :)

  8. Wow--you've had every experience almost! But you're so close. One day I'll be buying your book at my local indie book store. :)

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I know there's a lot of people going the e-pub route, but I don't know much about it myself.

  10. Great post--I'm still at the stage where I think that once I get an agent I'll feel like I've made it. I'm not ready to think about the submission roller coaster that comes after.

    E-publishing is quickly losing its stigma, and I wish you every success no matter what publishing route you take. I think that quality writing speaks for itself, regardless of medium.

  11. Wowwwww I'm so glad you posted this. I can't tell you how comforted I am by hearing other writers' stories and the long roads they also take. Looking forward to hearing how it all works out for you!

  12. Listen, I haven't even gotten to the "taking a course" stage. I will. But in the meantime, I find even that stage impressive, and actually WRITING the number of novels you have seems downright heroic. I mean, dang. Way to go.

  13. Sounds like a bumpy road (aren't they all?), but your perseverance and positive attitude are such an inspiration. Keeping my fingers crossed for lots of good news in your future!

  14. Thanks for sharing your journey. Best of luck as you continue on!

  15. Amazing journey!

    Your time will come x