Any seasoned writer knows it takes a tribe to make a novel happen. Mine is no different. But like Deb Lori, I have to start at the beginning. The most important person in this novel-making process was…
Yep, me. My own sheer will, utter devotion and obsession tunnel vision of focus on the end game, THE BIG GOAL. I scoured the internet to research agents and editors, what’s selling, the industry faux pas. I attended conferences and writer groups to build my tribe. And, of course, I WROTE MY ASS OFF. When all of my friends (family) were off from work or nestled in their beds and I had wrapped a long day of playing mom, I researched, wrote, revised. Without fail. My writing time was non-negotiable. So yes, ME. I made this possible. I did not rest until I had done everything I could to understand this wacky business. I did not rest until I felt I had poured every ounce of hard work and soul into my novel.
But there are so many others that helped along the way…
It goes without saying that my parents supported me. After a lifetime of devouring books, they weren’t surprised when I went down this path. But my biggest thanks in this category go to…
My husband, Chris scraped me off of the floor and strapped me into my office chair when I tumbled into the darkest depths of self-doubt. He took on extra jobs and juggled five million things to keep the children happy and me writing.
My sister, Jennifer is an actor living in Hollywood, fighting for her dreams in a fickle industry. She gets it. And she listened to hours of me rambling about the publishing industry, my strategies, my struggles, my fears and inspired me to see it through.
Believe it or not, many agents made my novel possible—those I met at conferences who probed me with questions to help me find the heart of my story, and most of all, those who wrote little notes in their rejection emails or on my R &Rs (rejection & rewrite) that spurred me on. In particular, Kevan Lyon and Carrie Pestritto come to mind. Both women took their precious time to write me detailed notes about what needed tweaking and they also gave me a hearty push of encouragement. And then of course there’s my own agent…
Michelle Brower has a sharp editing eye and pinpointed exactly what needed fixing in my manuscript. She pats me on the back when I need a little TLC and she’s a warrior in the trenches of publishing, all on my behalf. Most importantly, she believes in BECOMING JOSEPHINE and in me. My book would be NOWHERE without her.
There are at least fifty people I could list in this category. Suffice it to say this collective group of beloved critique partners, writer buddies, and friends cheered me and challenged me every step of the way.
So writers, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Look around you and give thanks to those who support you in your passion. And if you’re a beginner in search of a tribe, look no further. The Debutante Ball welcomes you with open arms, as do I. (Seriously, contact me if you need help.) Because we have to stick together in all this and because no writer can be a success alone.