On some of my earlier posts I delved into the nitty gritty aspects of writing, what motivates and inspires me to write, and my desire to keep improving my ability to write. I also mentioned that I was determined to continue to seek publication of my novel, Hands Full of Ashes. Well, at last, I did achieve that goal! I had a handful of literary agents ‘sitting on the fence’ with regards to my manuscript. Their ultimate response of ‘no’ was not without a lot of positive comments about my ‘voice’ as a writer, and their enjoyment of the material. I even received compliments on the strength of my writing. All well and good, but I was looking for more than compliments (nice as they are). My goal was to get published.
As many previously published authors attested, patience and determination are virtues not to be underestimated. I had to keep perfecting my query letter and send it off. Again and again. Just when I thought my manuscript would accumulate cobwebs, there was a flurry of activity in my inbox. Two small, traditional presses showed interest. One big publisher showed interest but was concerned about the genre of my book. No surprise there. Hands Full of Ashes is a cross-genre story, encompassing many aspects, romance, adventure, crime and suspense among them.
After researching the smaller presses, and making some small changes, I chose to publish with Soul Mate Publishing, a small, traditional e-book and print publisher in the U.S. My story seemed firmly anchored in a grey area between women’s fiction and romance. Soul Mate Publishing seemed an ideal match.
So after two years, a story that was born during the long, hot days I spent in Rwanda, is going to see the light of day. The release date for Hands Full of Ashes is January 14, 2015! Over the past few months, I have signed the contract, received the book’s cover art, and joined a wonderful group of authors known as ‘Soulies’.
It has been quite a journey, with many lessons learned – perhaps the best lesson being that fellow writers and authors are the best source of information and support.