Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Author Success Story: Beth Revis

This week I'm bringing in the big guns: People who've traveled down this long and winding road toward publication. Some of them already have book deals. Some have agents. Some have both. They've "made" it.

I want to spotlight someone each day this week to hopefully inspire you, provide a beam of hope along your way, and really prove that you CAN succeed in this crazy business.

But I'm not the only one on-board this positivity wagon. Join us this week for 75 (yes 75!) success stories! Then dream big. Go forth and query. Conquer.

Click here for more inspiration: Lisa and Laura Roecker, Beth Revis, Leah Clifford, Victoria Schwab, Kirsten Hubbard, Susan Adrian, Dawn Metcalf, Kim Harrington, Carrie Harris, Amy Holder, Kathy McCullough, Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggins, Gretchen McNeil and Tiffany Schmidt.

I will be featured on Lisa and Laura Roecker's blog this Friday (and just so you know, I asked LiLa to do an interview and they had the idea to spread it across the Interwebz. They are genius personified. So yeah). Please go check out all the posts this week, because you never know who's going to say exactly what you need to hear to keep moving forward.



Today I've got the majorly-impressive Beth Revis.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE in a tweet: Agatha Christie meets Orson Scott Card in a murder mystery…set in space!!

Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?

Yeah. YEAH. Actually…with this book. I’ve written other novels. I have more trunk novels than I really care to own up to. I mean…a LOT. But I was also aware that they weren’t my level best. A few of them I only queried a few times before not bothering any more; I knew they weren’t good enough.

But when I finished Across the Universe, I looked at it and thought: I can’t do better than this. I hesitated to send it out—something I had never done before—because the thought of rejections on this one hurt more than the others. I thought if I couldn’t get anywhere with this one, I might as well give up because I couldn’t do better than this.

What has been the hardest part of your road to publication so far? And why?

Dealing with rejection, hands down. It was so frustrating. [Elana interrupts to say that Beth had multiple offers and signed with Merrilee Heifetz of Writer's House. And have you heard her book deal news? Elana's sure you have, but if not...click here.] I’m not afraid to work—but the rejections were so empty. I would look at a form rejection and say, “Why?” Learning to write well was a lot of trial and error—starting with doing everything wrong before I could do anything right.

What's your best advice to aspiring authors?

Practice. Oh, I have 25 words? Then: practice x 25. [Elana interrupts to say she gave her people 25 words to dispel wisdom.]

Super Secret: If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

Martin Luther. (Not the civil right’s leader, though he’s cool—I mean the Protestant Reformer of the Middle Ages.)

Find Beth online:
Her blog, writing it out
Beth tweets!
Beth's website
Read how Beth's journey went on Sherrie Peterson's blog.
Read Beth's success story--with her query letter--on QT.

70 comments:

Candyland said...

Beth is my hero. Great interview, E:)

Piedmont Writer said...

Great interview Elana. Congratulations Beth!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Love Beth! Great interview!

Yvonne said...

Thanks Elana and thanks, Beth, for sharing your experience. It's always nice to hear how other authors have forged ahead in the face of rejection. Sometimes that can feel pretty lonely.

Matthew Rush said...

Once again - pure gold. Thanks Elana (and Beth). I'll be following your publishing progress and looking forward to picking up your book.

Cheree said...

great interview. Very inspiring.

Christina Lee said...

OOOH I know what you mean about being afraid to query the one that you think is your best!! GREAT interview!

beth said...

Thanks everyone! And thanks for having me, Elana! :)

Christina Farley said...

Fun interview. I love inspiration stories!

Linda Kage said...

Yay, Beth!! You're so inspiring. It's been an honor to follow your blog and watch you go from unpublished to a "Writer's House" author!!

Theresa Milstein said...

Beth, why Martin Luther?

Carrie Harris said...

Yeah, why Martin Luther? Now I've gotta know. ;)

Liza said...

I've never queried a novel, but I've had plenty of articles and essays rejected. The part about rejections being empty struck me...in my dream world, every rejection would be accompanied by thoughtful comments designed to help the writer improve. Wouldn't that be great? Thanks for the interview Elana, and Yea Beth!

Lisa said...

Congratulations, Beth! Your story is inspiring, and it makes me feel better about all the rejections I've received along the way. Can't wait to read your story!

Tamika: said...

Awesome interview ladies! These interviews are teaching us the power to perserve. Many thanks Beth and congratulations!

L.J. Boldyrev said...

Great interview! Congrats again, Beth. *skips off to practice*

Elana, the twitter link doesn't work because of the "e" on the end.

Christine Fonseca said...

Love Beth! Great interview

Ian said...

Agathe Christie plus Orson Scott Card sounds like an awesome combo!

It's good to hear people breaking through and not giving up - gives hope to poor schlubs like me.

Jen said...

Elana I love that you are doing this! What an inspiration to all of us each time we open up your blog and see the latest Success story! With hard work we know it is all possible!!

Your Rock & so does Beth!!!

Elana Johnson said...

L.J. Thank you for notifying me of the twitter link. I think I fixed it now.

:)

Paul Greci said...

Elana,I'm loving all these interviews! I love to hear success stories. And a big congrats to Beth! Her book sounds fascinating!

Kim Harrington said...

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE sounds incredible!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Awesome interview. Love this Success Story week idea. :)

Kristi said...

Beth, your story is SO inspiring and you deserve all your success!

Elana, thanks for another fabulous interview!

Susan R. Mills said...

Congrats to Beth, and thanks for the interview.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Hey Elana! Hay Beth!
Okay, Agatha Christie in space...you had me there. I want to read lol!

Sara B. Larson said...

I did see this announcement on PM, and I thought it sounded really intriguing! I can't wait to read it. Thanks for a great interview Beth (and Elana) and way to go on an amazing deal!! :-)

Kayeleen said...

I'm really enjoying these interviews. Beth's story is really inspiring. Thanks Beth and Elana.

Lydia Kang said...

Beth! Love your blog, love your story. Go girl!

Crystal Cook said...

I'm so glad you're doing this, it's so encouraging! And I'm so happy for Beth, congrats!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Congrats, Elana, on hitting 1000 followers. :D

And great interview. It's awesome to read about writers who DIDN'T land an agent or book deal on their first book. Gives the rest of us hope. :)

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Hi Beth!
I was really impressed with the story of your journey, then I was FABULOUSLY impressed when you chose M. Luther as the person you'd most want to meet.
Can you tell us why you would go back in time and meet this reformer?? I'm really curious now.
THANKS ELANA...( how are the shoes doing? Any worn patches yet???)

Carolyn V. said...

Beth is so cool! I can't wait for her book. Great interview Elana! =)

VR Barkowski said...

Thanks Beth and Elana. Incredible interview - so inspiring!

Congratulations all around!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Beth, your road to publication is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing it.

B. Miller said...

Very cool! I'm loving the series of blogs this week, Elana! I keep finding new people to follow! :D

Portia said...

That's a great interview. I love that Beth talked about her other works that weren't successful—and about practice. Both of these are key, because I think sometimes we assume someone's first published work is the first thing they ever wrote. I'm beginning to realize this is rarely true.

T. Anne said...

I love, love, love, LOVE Beth! I cannot wait to get my hands on her awesome book so I prostelitize it to the YA world at my feet. You go girl!

kathrynjankowski said...

Maybe it's because I spent years in the classroom, but I love it when a teacher finds success with writing! Thanks for the interview.

Solvang Sherrie said...

I love Beth's story :)

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Yay-I was looking forward to this interview! Beth is a sweetheart and she deserves every single drop of success she's gotten!

And great interview Elana. I love when you interrupt with your little notes. :)

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Beth~ I am SO looking forward to buying your books. How cool does that sound? Your BOOKSSSSS!

Elana~ Love ya, babe! Thanks again for these awesome peeks into the lives of the authors whose paths all aspiring authors like me hope to follow.

Lola Sharp said...

Elana, I am enjoying this series of posts.
(and CONGRATS on hitting 1,000 followers! Go you!)

CONGRATS Beth! I look forward to buying and reading your book.

Carol Kilgore said...

"practice x 25"
Perfect. And so true.

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for another great interview, Elana! I can't wait to read Beth's books.

Talli Roland said...

I'm loving this series - thanks Elana! Great interview, Beth.

Sandy Shin said...

Awesome interview, Elena! And congratulations, Beth! I started following your blog when you got your agent, and thought ACROSS THE UNIVERSE an awesome book. I'm so glad I'll be able to buy it in a bookstore very, very soon!

Learning to write well was a lot of trial and error—starting with doing everything wrong before I could do anything right.

This is actually very, very heartening. Thank you. :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

Thanks for the success story. Martin Luther would be interesting to meet.

Kathy McCullough said...

Practice x 25 is great advice! And I agree about the rejections.
Great interview! Thanks!

Michelle McLean said...

Huge congrats, Beth! Wonderful interview. And awesome word of wisdom ;-D Practice! Love it :)

~Jamie said...

She's just SUCH a Cool cat. I love this interview, and I love BEth!

Squee.

Crimey said...

Across the Universe sounds great. Definitely at the top of my 'want to read' list.

Erica Chapman said...

Another great one guys ;o) And OMG that book sounds awesome Beth!

This is a great series - thanks Elana ;o)

PJ Hoover said...

Yay, Beth! And Martin Luther is certainly a unique answer :)

Kat Harris said...

Beth probably doesn't remember it, but she gave me some incredible words of encouragement once that help push me back when I start getting close to "The Ledge."

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm loving these interviews :)

Great advice from Beth!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love to read success stories--such an encouragement!

Kimberly Franklin said...

Great interview! I love to hear stories like this. :)

Bish Denham said...

I'm looking forward to reading her book! Congratulations (again) to Beth. And thanks Elana for hosting these authors.

Jennie Englund said...

All these success stories are really inspiring.

I love that Beth would like to meet Martin Luther. Because he was a ginormous rebel?

Nichole Giles said...

Encouraging for sure! Thanks for the words of wisdom.

Um, dude, you've totally passed up 1000 followers. Congrats!

Heidi Willis said...

What a great, great idea!! I love dreaming big... and knowing others before me have done so and conquered!

Congrats Beth! And thanks Elana for organizing and spreading the hope!

beth said...

WOW! You guys freaking rock. I am SO printing this out and saving it for a rainy day--for reals.

And since so many of you asked about Martin Luther--I posted a larger answer further explaining it on my blog :)

Thanks again Elana, for having me--and thanks everyone for your kind words!!

Lisa and Laura said...

This will never get old. NEVER. I can't wait to read this book! Thanks for the interview Elana.

Alyssa said...

These interviews are wonderful. Thanks to Beth and all who are sharing. Congrats as well!

juliakarr said...

Great interview! These are all such fun to read!

juliakarr said...

Great interview! These are all such fun to read!

elizabeth mueller said...

Elana, thank you for this interview--it's always nice to find out how others hang in there and pursue their dreams! :D

Amy Holder said...

I can't even begin to explain how excited I am to read this book! It sounds more than amazing!

Also, I totally agree with your practice x25 advice. So important!

Liz H. Allen said...

I <3 Beth's story. BUT... ::green-eyed monster::

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