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
Read how Beth's journey went on Sherrie Peterson's blog.
Read Beth's success story--with her query letter--on QT.