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.
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.