It is really fascinating how things manifest.
My first book, The Book of Obeah (website link) , was conceived early one morning, when I woke up with the first few words in my head.
Until that moment, I never really thought about writing a thriller, even if I have always been an avid reader of suspenseful fiction and my love for writing goes back to my teen years. Aside from writing a few poems, that love went quite unexplored until my late thirties, when my children were older and I was able to find some time.
After finally writing that first line – the one which unexpectedly popped in my mind that morning and wouldn’t leave me alone the rest of the day – I wrote the next one, and then the one after that. There was no turning back.
I feverishly wrote the first draft for a month,
using every moment at my disposal, especially after everyone in my family went to bed at night. When the first draft was finished, the really hard stuff began. I had to find an editor, an agent and a publisher, and of course, as all new authors, I envisioned the impossible, and I expected agents to knock down my door after they received the first queries. Of course, my hopes were shattered when my mailbox was filled with rejection letters instead. Most of the agents didn’t even explain why they were rejecting the book, and that part made the process even more difficult because I had no idea what I was doing wrong. But, I wasn’t about to abandon the battlefield so easily.
After a few more rounds of rejected letters, one kind agent sent me a letter and explained that I needed to hire an editor to clean the story, and also someone to teach me how to write a good query letter and synopsis. Things changed from that day on. I quite magically met an editor (that’s a story for another post, “How I Found My Literary Agent”) and she took me under her wing. About a year later, once all the rewrites and the editing was done, I started querying agents again, and a few months after that, I signed up with my current agent, Krista Goering of Krista Goering Literary Agency.
My agent asked if I could write nonfiction, since it is easier to sell for first-time authors.
During one of our first conversations, Krista asked me if I could also write nonfiction, since nonfiction is easier to
sell if one is a first-time author, and she inquired about my ability to create a platform. She sent the manuscript to a few publishers while I focused on bringing to life another project, a nonfiction self-help entitled Housekeeping for the Soul (Amazon link).
It only took about two months to sell the nonfiction to a publisher, who also decided to buy the novel to kick start a new line of spiritual fiction. Housekeeping for the Soul (trailer) and The Book of Obeah (trailer) were released last year, respectively in March and May 2010.
The Book of Obeah even went on to win an award in the category of multicultural fiction.
Right now, I am writing two new novels: The Rosaries which is the sequel to The Book of Obeah and book number two in the Crossroads Series, and another mystery for which I don’t have a title yet.
Children, writing and reading Tarot cards?
The rest of my time is spent and taking care of my three children, aged 16, 12 and 6, and reading Tarot cards (link to blog post) for family and friends. Now, I’ve opened it up for people I’ve yet to meet. I’d love it if you’d check out my Crossroads Facebook Page.
Breaking into the magical world of publishing is certainly not impossible– not easy, by any means, but possible.
As Carol Burnett once said when other girls were chosen during auditions instead of her, it just wasn’t her time to shine yet; entertainment history shows us that her time finally came, and her perseverance paid off. Like hers, my perseverance paid off as well, and I was happy to finally say that my turn also came.
Your turn can be next, as long as you don’t give up.
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Author Website: http://www.sandracarringtonsmith.com
Tarot Readings by phone. http://www.sandracarringtonsmith.com/consultations
Category: How to Get Published