I’d like to share with you the story of how I became an author. It began on a cold and dreary night. The rain was falling like cats and dogs…
Wait a minute. Wrong story.
Let me try again. In November of 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Two months later, I was informed that my department at work was closing and I was soon to be among the unemployed. Fortunately, it would take the better part of a year to transition my department’s work load to the new vendor.
Each spring, my son and I would take our annual fishing trip to Cape Hatteras. It was on one of these excursions that my son happened to mention that I should try writing after reading a few of my short stories.
The thought intrigued me. So much, in fact, that I began penning short stories as soon as I returned from our trip. After several months of writing, I began what would become my first novel, Rising Tide. I completed the raw manuscript in September of 2008 with much help from my wife and son. They are both avid readers and were nearly as valuable as a good editor.
After another six months of intense rewrites, edits and throwing errant objects against the wall, I finally had what I believed to be a completed manuscript. It was ready for the publisher and my adoring public, paving the way to fame and fortune.
Little did I know that publishers don’t like to publish books. And if by chance they do happen to accept your manuscript, you’re thrown into a bin with a quarter of a million other authors who were published that year.
By the grace of God, I found a publisher who would accept unsolicited manuscripts. After nine weeks, I received a contract and over the next year, completed my first novel.
The next rude awakening was that the marketing of the book fell (almost) entirely on my shoulders. After making contact with thousands of newspapers, magazines, book clubs, book stores and any other entity I felt could sell my book, I’m still busy marketing after three years.
Through this experience, I’ve met some of the nicest people that sincerely want to help advance sales of my book. But by the same token, I’ve run into a few that live thousands of miles away yet seem to despise me personally. For what reason, I cannot comprehend. Maybe they’re just very unhappy. I think I’ll say a prayer for them.
The best advice I can give is to take rejection with a pulverized grain of salt. Keep writing even if it’s just one sentence a day. And never, ever give up.
Looks like I don’t have to tie this post into writing.