Submission Heaven

I just spent the last two weeks working 5-16 hours a day (yes, Saturday, I wrote for 16 hours not including food breaks!) to get my superhero book UNEXPECTED HERO polished and sent off to Harper Voyager. It’s done! Sent! YAY!!

I told you about this open submission window a couple times. Did any of you submit? Let me know so I can cheer for you!

Now I have to finish the polishing of a short story coming out in an anthology this year, then begin my submission to the Fast Track Event for Love Inspired Suspense. Then I’ll finally get back to my regularly scheduled writing and finish up LOVE AT THE FLUFF AND FOLD for you. Whew! What a month!

But if you’ll excuse me please, I have to go to bed! (I’m writing you at 10:30pm Sunday, having just sent off my submission a few minutes ago.) Monday I am only doing two things – making a desperately needed grocery run, and watching all the chick flicks I can in my queue on Netflix. Happy Sigh. And did I mention sleeping? Ahhh.

THANK YOU, GOD!! And thank you to all of you for being such great encouragers! Love and hugs to you all!

And happy writing! 🙂

Guest Blog: A Routine Path to Publication by Janice Cantore

My friend Janice is enjoying a milestone moment. A major traditional publisher will release her novel, Accused, tomorrow! I asked Janice if she would stop by and tell us a little about her journey.

Routine
1. A customary or regular course of procedure.
2. Commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity: the routine of an office.
3. Regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure.

I begin with the definition of ‘routine’ for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve always wondered if the path to publication for my novel Accused was routine. And second, I realized that the very thing that can make a book ready for publication is commonplace, regular, and unvarying.

Accused, my first book with Tyndale House Publishers, is set for release February 1. It’s ironic to me that Accused is also the first book I ever attempted to write, and the first to be rejected many times. This, I’ve learned, is routine; every writer experiences rejection at one time or another. Few writers can write a perfect first draft that is sold immediately to their first choice publisher. (Can anyone?)

I’ve always loved to read, and when I stepped over the line to try and write a novel, the biggest question in my mind was: Do I have the talent to be a writer?  When I attended a small writer’s conference and heard a speaker say that anyone willing to work hard and study their craft could be a writer, I set about learning the craft, and I dreamed of having a novel bearing my name published by a traditional publishing house.

I’d been writing police reports for a few years and I had to unlearn “the facts, please, only the facts.” To learn the craft of writing novels, I read a lot of books by successful authors on how to write a novel. I read books by successful authors in my genre, Chandler, Block, Crais, Grafton etc. I also read best sellers in all genres, wondering if there were a similar thread in the prose, a trick there I could learn to help me be successful.

Alongside the reading, I was writing. I had an idea for a suspense novel and I wrote and rewrote, wrote and rewrote. I probably drove friends crazy with, “Can you read this bit and tell me how it sounds?” What helped me the most was finding a mentor who was a published author and then a group of writers to talk to and work with through the learning process.

When I thought I’d finally gotten it all down, and printed out what I was sure was the final, perfect draft of my novel, I was certain publishers would fall all over themselves to buy it. I’d followed directions, hadn’t I? Surely that meant success.

It wasn’t success, it was the beginning of a lot of rejection and a lot more hard work. Now came the commonplace, the regular and the unvarying routine of revision, revision, and revision. I’d read in one writing book that a writer needed to go through their manuscript until they were sick of it, then go through it one more time.

A lot of people at this point might say, “What is the point? Why didn’t you just self-publish and forget traditional publishers?”

Because that wasn’t my dream.

Back to routine. The path to publication for me was a lot of hard work, a lot of study and a lot of writing and rewriting. Now, on February 1, 2012, the dream I pursued will come to fruition. My novel will be published by a large, traditional publisher. But what I’ve found even more gratifying than a publishing contract is when someone says to me, “I picked up your book and couldn’t put it down!”

It was a routine of study, reading, writing and re-writing that produced a book I can’t wait to see in bookstores.

If you have any questions for Janice, please leave a comment. She’d love to hear from you!

 

A retired Long Beach, California, police officer of 22 years (16 in uniform and 6 as a non-career officer), Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments – patrol, administration, juvenile investigations and training. During the course of her career in uniform Janice found that faith was indispensable to every aspect of the job. She published articles on faith at work, one for a quarterly newspaper called “Cop and Christ”, and another for the monthly magazine “Today’s Christian Woman”.

With retirement, Janice began to write longer pieces and several novels were born. She has a two-book suspense series in print that she calls Brinna’s Heart Series, The Kevlar Heart and A Heart of Justice (Oaktara Publishing). Janice is excited and honored to now be a part of the Tyndale House Publishing family. Accused, the first installment in her new suspense offering, The Pacific Coast Justice Series, is set to be released February 1, 2012, and will kick off a brand new chapter in her writing career. In addition to suspense and action, her books feature strong female leads. Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep you engrossed and leave you inspired.

You can connect with Janice on Facebook and on her web site.

Success From Failure

          Here it is Monday again. Each week I promise myself I’m going to write and post this blog before Monday. Each week I think of it, considering different topics. And each week I put off the task until Sunday. Each week sees Monday dawn and my blog still waiting to be finished. (And you wondered why I needed “do over” days. 🙂 )

          But!

          Each Monday I finish and post a blog. And dare I say a helpful a one?

          So my assessment is not that I am constantly failing. No. I am succeeding. I am consistently attempting to reach a desired goal. I am consistently accomplishing that desired goal. And in the process, I am consistently growing through the pain and confusion and fear of this life-season. I am succeeding.

          It’s all in perspective. And in the self-talk you listen to.

          In case, like me, you are almost succumbing failure self-talk, I present some famous quotes that might change your perspective.

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely. ~ Henry Ford

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~ Thomas Alva Edison

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. ~ Sir Winston Churchill

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. ~ Michael Jordan

          So take heart that those seeming failures, when you missed accomplishing a desired goal, are actually the very stepping stones to success. Remember, along with me and these famous successful people . . .

There is no failure except in no longer trying. ~ Elbert Hubbard

The only time you don’t fail is the last time you try anything – and it works. ” ~ William Strong

          And most importantly . . .

“There is no failure. Only feedback. ~ Robert Allen

          Using that feedback, may we truly absorb the truth of this next quote and may it become real in our lives.

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. ~ Sir Winston Churchill

Define Your Own Success

Participating in any kind of challenge has pros and cons. Are you competitive enough to be inspired by others’ progress, or will their success discourage you? Do you create goals for yourself that you have a shot at, or are your goals too lofty so they lead only to failure?

November was to be a month of challenges for me. First there was NaNoWriMo. I found last year that I am physically and mentally capable of writing 50,000 or more words in a novel in one month. This year, however, I had to make some choices about how I spent my time. It was difficult, but I decided against the hard-core approach so I could finish some other pressing projects. What I did do was to modify my goal to “write on my novel every day” because I haven’t done that in months. I won’t make it to the 50,000 word NaNo goal, but it looks like I will succeed with my modified goal.

My second goal for November was more like a culmination – my husband and I were to run our first half marathon in Pasadena, CA, on November 16. Unfortunately, fires in nearby towns worsened the night before and the marathon was called off due to extremely poor air quality. I ache for those who lost everything they owned, I really do. But it doesn’t make us any less disappointed. Regardless of the reason, we did not make our goal. So we have to modify this one, too. We will probably run a different half marathon in February. (In a silly side note, we decided today that overeating during the Thanksgiving weekend will likely spur us into action and back into training on Monday morning. I don’t usually like using guilt as a motivator, but in this case, it will be fun to overindulge enough to get to that point!)

It has taken me a long time to learn that it’s natural and healthy to adjust your goals as necessary. Part of that learning curve came through years of doing the same thing over and over – creating lofty goals I couldn’t reach, then beating myself up with guilt over the failures – and expecting that one day I would eventually succeed. You’ve heard this before – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a sign of insanity!

In my experience, you are the only person who can create healthy, sometimes challenging goals for yourself. I’m the only one who can figure out what healthy, sometimes challenging goals are best for me. But together we can encourage each other in our goals, help pick each other up when we fall, and offer each other advice on making the goals more achievable.

So tell me – what kinds of successes are you having now? What kinds of goals are you making or modifying for the future? What are you doing to actively see yourself as a success? Because that’s part of how you’ll become one.