After writing 'After the Mist' with my son Duaine we set out to find an agent. Any of you who have ever done that knows that can be a pretty discouraging task.
We knew we had an amazing story to tell. The characters in our book were real people to us, we knew them intimately. They were to us invisible friends we very much wanted to share with the rest of the world.
We finally decided to have our book edited by a professional. We chose Michael Garrett, we were impressed by his credentials and his 'no bull' attitude. Michael helped turn our great story into a great novel. After he finished we felt more equip to tackle the market.
We decided to switch directions and go toward finding a publisher, heck with those darn agents. When our book is topping the charts they’ll find us.
Another one of my sons, Deric, told me of a site where you put in your info and they send back publishers interested in the genre you are offering.
Within minutes we had the name of a publisher looking for just such a book as ours. They requested the first three chapters. I quickly sent them off, walked away and came back only an hour later to find a response. I figured it was some sort of a generated mail thing, but to my great surprise it was their Acquisitions Editor, Judy Gill saying she liked the book thus far and wanted me to send her the rest. I don’t have to tell you, my heart leaped right out of my chest. Or at least it felt like it did.
After what seemed like forever Judy finally got back with me. She requested I do some re-writes before they would consider a contract. Knowing there are a lot of hardheaded authors out there that do not want to make any changes to their novels, she approached it in this manner.
“If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'm here to help. If you choose not to make the changes I'm asking, I wish you all the best and encourage you to place your novel elsewhere.”
I chose to except her advice and make the revisions; after all she was the pro. After three weeks of intense re-writes I sent my revised novel back to Judy, again with the anxious waiting period. Then finally it came, the e-mail I had longed for, she loved the book and had attached to her e-mail our contract. Wow, what a high. I soon found that it takes a full year to get a book out on the market after you sign the contract. Unless of course you're Stephen King, I’m sure his gets the express line. But, I also found out there is a lot to do in that year.
I write these blogs to help others. The advice I give has all come from professionals. I started out just wanting to write about my book. Me-me-me. Then the more I found out the more I wanted to share. I will continue to help as I can, share info I receive. If you choose please follow this blog, it kind of encourages me to continue. Though I feel I must continue even if no one reads it. Someone out there is looking for the info I have to offer. So I will continue to give it.
By the way I will give that website where I found my publisher; I just need to locate it again.