Being an author has always been my dream. When I was little, I wanted to be just like Beverly Cleary, or Roald Dahl, or Judy Blume, or whoever my favorite author of the week happened to be.
I started querying Candlelight in early February, landed my agent in April, and got the publishing deal in late May. I’ve been incredibly blessed, but don’t let the quick turnaround time fool you. My journey started a whole year before, back when I was querying other (now trunked) novels, and I’ve been writing stories on and off for a lot longer.
The road has not always been as smooth as it seems. I’ve received many rejections over the years from agents. Yes, for Candlelight too! (One agent didn’t like the historical element, one agent loved the historical element but didn’t like the narrator, one agent loved the narrator but didn’t like this and that… so on and so forth… It’s 100% true when they say publishing is subjective.)
The good part about writing is none of it’s ever wasted. Not your first three trunked novels, not your unpublished short stories that never found a home. With each word, each sentence, each page, you become a stronger writer. You learn what differentiates a mediocre plot from an outstanding plot. You learn how to develop your characters so they’re well-rounded. You learn how to captivate an audience.
To the aspiring authors: don’t give up.