See, several of us here at AYAP have been sprinkled with pixie dust - or at least that's my theory - and have incredible news. But we've also had a long, twisted road to travel to get here. We KNOW how hard it is to keep going sometimes and that's what we want to share with all of you. That we are living proof that if you persevere through the hard times, you can accomplish your goals.
Today I'm sharing my story with you. The REAL story. And my hope is that it will inspire you to persevere. I'll also be revealing my big prize pack that I'll be giving away to a lucky winner who shares his/her own story or advice at the FB party (so go click and attend if you haven't yet).
About six years ago, give or take, I decided to go for it and take writing seriously. I started by joining SCBWI, which I can't recommend enough, so I could learn the business side of things. I also sat down while the kids were at school and wrote. Soon enough I had my first novel. An actual completed novel. Which, as you may well guess, will never see the light of day. BUT I did it. I knew at that point that I was capable of it.
So what did I do with my *cough* masterpiece? Why I queried of course! Yup, full of typos and the most confusing pitch ever.
Then I joined a critique group. Some of my best friends are still with me from that. The group though is long disbanded.
Meanwhile I kept writing and by my third novel I somehow (through a connection so there was no formal query or I never could have done it at that point) landed an uber agent! WOW! I had it made, right???
Nope. Rubin was WONDERFUL. Don't get me wrong. Heck, I'm still with his agency, just not him. But we eventually realized that as much as we respected each other, we weren't a good match. So with many tears from me we separated and I felt like a total failure.
What I thought was my happily ever after turned out to be a detour that sent me back to the beginning. BUT the thing was it didn't. I'd grown so much, learned so much, shared so much, and kept writing. My friends tease me: "I blinked and Lisa wrote another book." But each one gets better. I keep challenging myself and I know I could never stop.
So I ate lots of chocolate and started querying for real. And guess what? I started getting full requests! But guess what else? Paranormal was no longer in style. DOH!
Then other things happened that I wasn't expecting.
I had a baby! I have three kids. Fifteen, Eleven, and TWO.
I was (and this is still hard for me to say to the world) diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. My finger swelled and hurt. But I type constantly, right? Then it got worse. I was misdiagnosed, I was allergic to meds, one hand wouldn't close all the way, the other wouldn't open all the way. I couldn't get off the couch. I was sleeping: All. The. Time.
Still I kept trying. I kept blogging, querying, writing, reading. I don't know how except to say I NEEDED to.
Then I found the right doctor. The right diagnosis. The right meds. And I'm almost normal again. PHEW. Also - Dragon software is great for emails and things. There are ways around things. Guess what else? My daughter is in preschool!
But at my darkest point, I was soooooo close to throwing in the proverbial towel. I was afraid to share my problems because who would want a writer that can't type? For the first time in forever I put something slightly negative on FB! That's big for me, because I believe in being supportive and positive no matter what.
Samantha called me and we talked for about an hour and half and I heard the words I've dreamed of: "We want to publish Lisa Green."
About the same time I was put in contact with Melissa Nasson, Rubin's newest addition. I sent her my work and she read EVERYTHING in a matter of days. We also scheduled a phone call and we were completely honest and answered each other's questions and I knew from that that I loved her. We clicked! She was everything I wanted in an agent and she LOVED my work! She offered representation. I'd come full circle in a way and time that I least expected.
And if you want to know more about Melissa, check out our agent post tomorrow because she'll answer some great questions and tell you all what she thinks of me. ;)
So now I feel better, I have my dream agent, my dream editor/deal, and have some time again to work. But I wouldn't have had all that if I'd given up at my darkest moment.
So DON'T GIVE UP. NEVER GIVE UP.
Oh yes - and prize pack!!!! I'm going to share my Support for Miserable Writer's Package. CHOCOLATE, a B&N gift card, journal, writing utensils, an iTunes gift card, and a secret uber cool bag to put it all in. I might even throw in a few more inspirational things as I find them!
I'll also be offering along with the others here, a half hour phone call so we can talk about whatever YOU want.
AND *drum roll* Melissa, my amazing agent, has graciously offered a chapter critique for someone who hasn't been so lucky and needs a pinch of pixie dust.
Thanks for listening to my story. I look forward to hearing YOURS. So join us for the party!!