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Archive for February 19th, 2018

Kathy Crouch: The Unpublished Writer
Monday, February 19th, 2018

Unlike a lot of writers, I haven’t been writing all my life. I didn’t start until 2004 or 2005, so that’s either fourteen or thirteen years ago. My aunt who was in her 70s had two books published through Publish America. After her first one, I had a light bulb moment. I thought if she can do it, I can too. I always made up stories in my head about the TV shows I watch, something I’ve learned is called Fan Fiction.

I sat down at the computer and gave it a shot. I wrote a Lord of the Rings fan fiction story. I took it to the next generation, used some of the characters, did lots of research, and wrote a never-ending story. But, my aunt helped with things she’d learned in the college writing class she’d taken.

I joined Romance Writers of America© and started taking workshops after attending my first meeting. My aunt didn’t see any need to join. She couldn’t afford the membership or the drive to Tyler, TX every month. I stuck it out, won a contest, submitted and was rejected. I polished all the romance out of the opening and it had an episodic plot. This was back when you used snail mail to send the partial—the first three chapters and a synopsis. At one point I had to write them and explain I had submitted the request, but I hadn’t heard anything. The publisher was nice enough to track it down. The editor that requested it had left. The person that replied to my letter apologized. She stated that it would be at the top of the list. When I got the letter of rejection, I truly wasn’t surprised to be rejected. If they had asked for the rest of it, I might have needed CPR.

Then on a whim, a few years later, I pitched online. I almost fell off my couch when the editor said send me a proposal. I had to ask what a proposal was, because I had never heard that term before. Seems it is the same thing that used to be called a partial. Ugh, the terminology change. I submitted, and was rejected because it didn’t fit. Okay, fine, why did you ask for it? I shrugged it off and spoke to a friend about what I was writing. She explained the story disrespected men who were heroes. Oh, I never thought about that. I got busy researching, thinking, reading other books about Navy SEALs, to include those written by SEALs. I have revamped the story, entered it into some contests and taken the suggestions from the contest judges who read it. It still isn’t ready to submit.

I keep telling my friends I’m not ready to put anything out there. I haven’t reached the stage of experience that I want to pitch and submit my writing. I figure I’ll reach it one day when I feel I’m ready. I’ve learned a lot since I submitted the first two times. This time I want it to be the, excuse the cliché, third time’s the charm submission.

I need help, once I write 50k or 100k or 80k, deciding what to do next. I’m learning that process by drops. I think authors “know” when their piece is ready. They have that confidence in their writing. I will get there. I hear authors telling how they’ve been writing since they were children. Well, I wasn’t that person.

So for anyone waiting for my first book, you’ll have to keep waiting for a while longer. I’m in the toddler stage still. Like the song by the Beatles says, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Delilah Devlin is one of those friends. I thank her for having me on her blog today. I hope you’ll check out her books and grab a couple of them.