Today, I’m thrilled to have author D.L. Richardson on the blog with a guest post on her journey to publication – along with a giveaway for her latest book, LITTLE RED GEM! Here’s a little bit about the gem, er, book ;)
Love can make you do crazy things as Ruby Parker discovers when she dies and returns from the grave to unearth how much Leo Culver loved her. With the aid of bad advice from a ghost who is trapped by a curse, a little bit of magic courtesy of her unsuspecting half-sister, and a televised music talent show coming to town to hold auditions, Ruby Parker makes more of a mess in death than she ever did in life. Can she fix everything before it’s too late? Or will she spend eternity as a ghost, haunted by the unknown depths of love? Either way, one thing Ruby learns is that while love can make you do crazy things, it can make you do amazing things too. But at what cost?
I’ve often been asked if I’m a plotter or a panster – a plotter outlines their book and a panster sits down and waits to see where they end up. There are pros and cons for both styles of writing. I’m a plotter when I type and a panster when I walk. Plotting helps me get the first draft written, and walking lets the ideas fly freely.
People who travel fall into these two categories as well. There are those who turn up to a place and just go with the flow. And there are those who carry every travel guide imaginable with them.
Whether you use both styles for writing and travelling, the journey to publication is something I believe needs to have some sort of formal plan. Otherwise, how can you measure success if you don’t have something to measure against?
Here is how the journey to publication began for me. I was 26 and realized that I wanted to be a writer. Great. Except that I was singer in a band and I’d never undertaken a degree in journalism nor was I a school teacher which seemed the two most common professions popular authors at that time held prior to becoming published.
Regardless, I pressed on and started writing, short stories at first, then countless first chapters afterwards. The problem was that I had no idea about the publishing industry and no access to the information. Public libraries had outdated books on writing and it was a few years until every house had internet access.
So I fumbled around in the dark writing short stories that never got read. I attempted novels. I wrote all my ideas down in notebooks. Finally, I joined the local writers centre and attended a course on pitching a novel. At this seminar I learned a lot, yet I learned one of the most valuable writing lessons ever!!!
Nobody asked me to do this.
This little gem of knowledge was given by the teacher to a little old lady who was almost in tears at how nobody wanted to publish her poems. It seemed blunt and almost cruel at the time to hear the teacher say this to the little old lady but it was the truth. Nobody had asked her to spend years writing poetry so she shouldn’t be upset that nobody wanted to publish it.
From that moment on I got serious about writing and saw it as a business. I took courses. I attended conferences. I became a sponge. I wrote personal goals. I wrote marketing plans. And I got published! All because that little gem of knowledge kicked my butt into action.
I’m still on my writer’s journey. The market is ever evolving so I may never finish this journey unless I give up writing. Yet, while I saunter along the sun-filled streets gazing at the sights, marveling at how well I have planned my trip, and as I pass a traveler who is lost and stumbles down an unknown street and re-emerges with something akin to the Holy Grail, I’m reminded that sometimes it is not talent or dedication that gets a writer published, but luck.
My advice to anyone who wants to succeed in getting their work published is to write what you know and love, yet at the same time treat your writing career like a business, because the publishers will.
About the Author
Music first captured the creative interest of young adult author D L Richardson. From choir, to her first acoustic guitar at age ten, to singing with the school band and performed in main roles in two school musicals. When she left school she helped form her own rock band where she sang lead vocals, played bass guitar, and wrote all the lyrics. At age 26 she sold her equipment and focused on writing instead.
She lives in Australia on the NSW South Coast with her husband and dog. When she’s not writing or reading she can be found playing her piano or guitars, renovating the house, or walking the dog.
Add LITTLE RED GEM to Goodreads
Buy LITTLE RED GEM on Amazon
Thanks to D.L. Richardson, I have one e-copy of LITTLE RED GEM to giveaway to one lucky international resident. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway