Frequently Asked Questions #5

How did you get published?
I did something no one should do — I quit my day job (teaching elementary school) and started writing. Well, first I took a three week camping trip to Colorado to decompress then I started writing. But I digress. I had no idea what I was doing. First person? Third? Present tense? Past? And what should it look like on the page? Single spaced? Double?

Thankfully, I took a class which really got me started. Three years and 8 books later, I sold my first book. Sounds easy, right? Wrong.

During those three years, I immersed myself in writing and reading. I joined a critique group and went to as many writers conferences as I could afford. Unfortunately, I had to do temp work for Kelly services for a while, then found a receptionist job that wasn’t too demanding. I was not very successful in writing query letters, so I entered contests.

Contests gave me a foot in the door. The first few gave me some good feedback on how to improve my writing or my synopsis. After a while, I began to final in contests, editors were requesting my work, agents began to take notice. My first book to be published, Strong, Silent Cowboy, won RWA’s Golden Heart award.

The writing road to publication is long and arduous. It takes sacrifices but it is a journey I am blessed to have taken.

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