Fulfilling a lifetime dream has become a reality. Perhaps “almost there” is closer to the truth.
How did this journey begin?
Getting an A on a short story in freshman English hooked me. Sweeter still, the teacher had written “I doubt the originality of this work” beside my name.
My closest friend laughed because the same bold statement graced her page. But unlike her, I penned this one alone. Talk about exuberance. Not even my father and mother’s outrage at the suggestion that I stole someone else’s work bothered me. In fact, I was overjoyed. A person who recognized good writing thought my short story was scribed by a pro.
In my twenties, I wrote and produced a play entitled Pajama Party.
Too many years later, I placed my fingers on the keyboard and wrote the first sentence. The story flowed. I crossed a significant milestone in July 2013 by typing those words. Eight months later, I proudly entered a few pages of my 101k-word romance novel into two contests, only to discover none of the judges shared my opinion that a bestseller was in the making.
At first, discouragement overwhelmed me. How could anyone find a manuscript that I’d slaved over for eight months unacceptable? But once the initial shock wore off, I reread the critiques and helpful suggestions.
I had a lot to think about and hard work ahead of me.
Revisions. Revisions. Revisions.
The next four months were spent incorporating the judges’ advice into the storyline while remaining faithful to my vision.
Also, the task of querying agents and preparing for a writer’s conference loomed ahead.
But many significant challenges caught my attention quickly. Finding an agent who would like my query enough to request three chapters seemed unattainable. And even if it was, my agent would then shop the manuscript to publishing houses. Unfortunately, reliving the contest results dampened my enthusiasm in case of a repeat performance.
Then I wondered if contracting an editor would prove more beneficial than spending money to attend the writer’s conference; self-publishing came to mind. Of course, that thought unsettled the person who for years dreamed of being traditionally published.
After much prayer and lots of research, I took the bold step and sent the almost 93k-word draft to an editor.
Nine months later, A Gateway to Hope has undergone development, line, and copy edits. Now the manuscript is undergoing the proofread by a different editor.
Expected release date: May 2015!
In my next post, we’ll take a journey through finding a book-cover designer, formatter, and a host of related services.
Please visit my resources page for a list of companies who assisted me. I hope budding authors will find the information helpful.
The book trailer and a separate video featuring chapter one will be available soon.