I like inviting guests to blog here every now and then. It not only gives me a break, but I like the variety it offers our readers. Genreality is here to show all sides and aspects of the writing life, no matter what you write, and today I’ve got a special guest. Fran Mackey, otherwise known as my mother. *g*
Her very first story was released earlier this month, and I invited her to blog about her experiences so far. So without further ado….Fran Mackey.
Candy Canes & Stuffed Turkey, a Holiday Homecomeing story.
Boyd Devlin loved Tasha Cox. They had been raised together along with her brother Tommy. He’d wasted his leave last year but this Christmas he would make her his forever.
Well, here’s my first blog-ever. Sasha asked me to talk about my experience so far, as new author, so I’m starting from the beginning.
I have been a reader as long as I can remember. About three years ago I retired from work and after gaining fifty pounds and being bored silly for a few months I decided to try writing. My daughter, Sasha, was successful so I thought maybe it would run in the family.:)
After many false starts, I finally finished a short story. Well, one that I didn’t want to delete as soon as I finished reading it over. (That happened more often than I’ll admit to.) This one had started out with a Call For Submissions I saw on a small ePublisher site. They wanted Christmas stories for a collection, so that’s what I aimed for. A couple weeks later, I’d written a Christmas story that I actually liked so I sent it to Sasha, who read it for me. She gave me some valuable advice re head hopping, P.O.V. etc. and I rewrote it, cursing and at times, wanting to give up, then submitted to the e publisher. Then I waited, and waited. Then one day I opened my email, and there was an offer and a contract!!
Feeling proud, and happy, and all motivated to write more, I accepted the offer….then waited some more.
While I waited, I learned that there was so much more to being an author than the writing, and even the editing and re-writing. I decided on a penname, got a basic website started, and an email address for ‘work’. Since I am Canadian I needed an international tax number, so I applied for that then waited, and waited. Oh yeah, and I wrote another story in between all the waiting. Feeling brave, I submitted this one also and waited some more.
I finally received the tax number, fired it off to the e publisher and had to file another thing (E Ben -something) for Melange, my e publisher. When this was happening, a rejection letter for the second story arrived. But with it was a list of do’s and don’t’s, which I appreciated. Sasha told me this was a ‘positive rejection.’
Now I’m into learning and waiting. I took some writing courses, joined Romance Divas and learned more while still waiting. Next came a trip to to New Orleans for Authors after Dark, with Sasha as my guide. Had a really good time, learned a lot, met some fabulous ladies and got a request for a full from my very first pitch session with another Editor. Yay!
When we got home from New Orleans, it was time for the edits for the Christmas story which I also learned from.
So all forms and contracts, blurb (and yes, I know it’s short…I’m learning blurbs are harder to write than stories.) and synopsis, and edits done I waited some more. I’ve always been impatient and hate waiting but once again there I was, waiting.
I finally received my book cover last week along with the date it would be released. I was so excited. Seeing the cover with my name on it made the journey more than worthwhile. I emailed everyone I knew a copy of the cover. It’s called CANDY CANES AND TURKEY. and was released November 5th.
I learned about patience. Is it a virtue? No it’s frustrating. Did I learn? YES. The big plus was all the friends I made and the new skills I learned.
Now I have to learn how to promote. Oh yeah, I was also computer illiterate. Sasha gave me a Mac laptop and now I’m writing my third story but still waiting about the last submission.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to Sasha and all the friends in the writing industry that I’ve made. The big and best thing…….I am no longer bored and now enjoy retirement.
To celebrate my new release, I’d like to give away a download. To enter, just say hi in the comments, and Sasha will contact you on the weekend.