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All my life, I've wanted to be a novelist. From the time I sat in the window seat of an Indiana farmhouse and wrote a blow by blow description of my cat chasing down and eating a mouse, other people have commented on my work and how they liked it.

In a few short months, I'll be a novelist. Not a newspaper reporter; that I did in the 1980s in south Florida. I interviewed governors, senators, drug dealers and won awards for my series a Day in the Life. In 1998, I had a book on divorce published called 101 Little Instructions for Surviving Your Divorce, a book with thought-provoking statements about mental health and wellness during the process. I didn't know very much about what an author was expected to do to promote a book in those days, though I sent out copies and did some radio interviews.

Since then, I've had many other pieces published, online and off, newspapers, magazines, even two stories in the Cup of Comfort Volumes for Divorced Women and Adoptive Families. Most of those stories promoted themselves for as far as they went. I didn't have to do much.

But I've come to the conclusion that after twenty years of really pushing at it, trying to score that agent and hit that big sale just isn't going to happen for me at this time. I want people to read my writing. I could just post it all here. But realistically, I'd like to make some money off it too.

In looking at small press, I've met several editors who deal right with the authors, no go-between needed, and even discouraged! Marketing support, suggestions for promotion are shared, and we get the chance to one-on-one with people who share our enthusiasm. It's wonderful. It's creative. It's....time consuming....

At the same time, consider, that at this moment I have five manuscripts IN THE HANDS of an editor.

Not lying around some agent's slush pile. Not waiting for some spring intern to find that I have no references to fashionable shoes in chapter three, so the entire book should be tossed. Not waiting for the interminable back and forth of mail exchanges. I am blessed and fortunate, and by using this, my best shot at contact with a live person, I have in fact been offered and signed a contract for my first novel. I have two unique promotion ideas that we'll be fleshing out as we're closer to the book release in September, in addition to all the items the publisher has already created.

It's happening. Along with her request for the rest of the series to be known as The Clan Elves of the Bitterroot. But I'm still trying to connect with other editors, find homes for my other "children." It's happening. I have no time to sleep any more. *L* But maybe I'll catch up on that later, between stops in the book tour, hmm?

1 comments to “Be careful what you ask for”

  1. Babs, I'm so excited for you as you enter into this new phase of the writing life. I can't wait to buy a copy of The Elf Queen and have the author autograph it for me when the author makes the southern leg of her book tour.

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