Thank you Jen for having me over today. I’m overwhelmed at how supportive the writing community is and I hope to share a bit of hope with your followers today.
Well, I’m sure my journey looks a lot like every other writer’s journey to published author. There was a lot of writing, waiting, tears, more waiting, supportive friends and family, rejection, more tears and more waiting. Even after I found a home for my story there was a lot of work…and waiting.
The dream of seeing my name on the cover of a book started in my teens, but I didn’t get serious until my mid 30′s. Sad, I know. Let’s just focus on the fact that I DID decide to sit down and write that book I’d always dreamed of writing.
I put together a timeline and it was really long. All that waiting and practicing and such. So, I’ve cut it down to just the BIG decisions and moments that propelled me forward. Any time not mentioned was spent reading blogs on how to be a better writer and participating in blogfests.
I started working on a story about Elyzbeth Bynts. She was young, just heading off to University and nervous about leaving her family behind. Her mother worried that Elyzbeth would get caught “drinking” the sunsrise and then what would happen?
Well, nothing because I couldn’t figure out the main plot and I stalled with 40K of stuff.
I decided my idea wasn’t the problem. Elyzbeth was. So, I killed her family, made her 10 years older with a complete educational background and career, and changed her name to Talia Shannon. On the last day of the month I learned about Nanowrimo and signed up.
I knocked out 60K of Talia’s story and finally reached THE END of the story. My first complete novel was a stark and passive telling of what was in my head, but the bones were on the page. All I needed to do was flesh it out.
Cranked out another 50K of backstory on the Dragumon as way to get to know them better.
I started my writing blog with the hope of finding friends as crazy as me and learn how to become a better writer. It took a year for me to realize I couldn’t become a published author on my own.
I believe this is the time that I entered a contest at Karen Gowen’s blog. It was one of those deals where you submitted your first three chapters and the acquisitions editor from WiDo Publishing would critique it for you.
I got my feedback from WiDo. It floored me. Even though I didn’t win the contest, Allie liked my story in spite of …(she had a long list of things). Between her comments and one of my rejection letters, I had an idea of what I needed to do to get my story into better shape.
Cranked out 50K of what happens after The Magic Wakes ends. Some of it will be used in a sequel-The Search for Knowledge, but most will be thrown away.
Attended the Muse Online Writer’s Conference and pitched my book to an agent and three smaller publishers. This was nerve wracking but a wonderful experience. I finally got to talk to a professional about my idea. All three publishers requested fulls. One made an offer and the other two turned it down. I decided not to go with the one publisher even though I really liked them. It was one of those “cold feet” moments.
Decided to query two small publishers. WiDo and the other one that made an offer the year before.
I found a new home helping with a critique blog called Unicorn Bell. I made it past the first round of ABNA and received an offer from WiDo but had to wait until I was cut from ABNA. I was cut in March and learned the other publisher also wanted to work with me. In April I chose WiDo and signed a contract.
Worked with my editor to polish my story. It was a great experience but waiting was even harder than before!
Saw my cover and cried with relief because it was so beautiful! Started planning my blog tour and moved two states away from my home of 6 years.
And now, February 2013, my book is out there! People are reading it on their kindles. Others have ordered the print copies and are waiting for the 19th to get here so they can be mailed to them. Sometimes I don’t think it’s real. And then someone will say, “I just bought your book” or I just finished your book” and I do the happy dance.
I’m in the nice review stage because it’s friends and family posting them, but I know those 1 and 2 stars are coming. I wouldn’t be a real author if I didn’t get any. At least that’s what I’m telling myself in order to prepare.
About the Author:
Charity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. She’s the mother of four kids that keep her on her toes, constantly reminding her that imagination still makes the world go round. She lives in Arkansas with her hubby and children, and firmly believes that a smile can solve most problems. The Magic Wakes is her first novel.