"And it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise."
Frodo, upon his first glimpse of the Uttermost West from J. R. R. Tolkien's, Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter IX: The Grey Havens.
Like many of you, I have been hurling myself against that great and seemingly insurmountable wall that separates the unpublished writer from the published. After years of struggle and a sizable pile of rejection letters, I have, at long last, gotten a glimpse of that fair and distant shore. On March 11th, I received the call we all hope and wait for, an offer of publication from Kensington.
Good thing I wasn’t driving at the time or my wonderful, shiny-new career as a published writer might have come to a swift and ignominious end.
To say that I was in a state of shock (and still am!) is to say nothing. Though I’ve dreamed and hoped and schemed and fought the good fight to get published for a number of years, I knew the odds.
Of course, I hoped to be among the lucky few. But I know that talent and persistence are sometimes not enough, that there are thousands of writers out there working to better their craft in the hopes of catching the attention of an editor or an agent. Still, knowing my chances were slim did not stop me from dreaming.
I’ve heard that luck sometimes plays a part in getting an editor or an agent. Now, I am a very blessed person, but I’ve never considered myself ‘lucky.’ I’m not good at games of chance and I’m not the kind of person who is likely to win the lottery.
Before now, that is.
My ‘luck’ came in the form of a smiling, blonde haired member of Southern Magic. Carla Swafford caught a comment I made on the Romance Magicians loop that I was having buzzard luck in the querying process, because I was being told by agents that light paranormal romance is ‘very difficult to sell.’ After reading my lament, Carla emailed me at home. She’d read an interview with Megan Records, an editor at Kensington, on the Southern Sizzle Romance blog. In the interview, Megan said dark paranormal is hot. No surprise there. But then she said something that made me sit up and pay attention. She said, “I hardly ever see funny paranormals. Shame, because I like those too!”
I queried Megan, referencing the interview and her comment, and she sent me back an email requesting the full. Two weeks later, I got The Call.
Needless to say, I owe Carla Swafford Big Time. If not for her, I might not have queried Megan. If not for Megan, God bless her sweet heart and her funny bone, I would not have a publishing contract.
Turns out I’m lucky after all.
Lucky to be doing something I love so much.
Lucky to have that elusive publishing contract and, finally, at long last, my very own agent!
Lucky to have a husband and a family that supports me in my madness.
Lucky to have my friends in my writing group and at Southern Magic.
Networking is essential. I cannot stress enough how important it is to make connections with other writers. Without my connection to Southern Magic and my guardian angel, Carla, I might not be where I am today, looking into the distance at that glistening shore called Publication.
So work hard. Believe. Don’t give up. Keep pounding your head against that wall.
If it happened for me, it can happen for you, too.
Lightning strikes, dreams can come true, and there's plenty of luck to go around.