As a pre-pubbed author I was always curious about what happened once you received THE CALL and stepped into the world of publishing.
What did it involve? How did they handled the day to day pressures? Did they developed routines, set goals etc.? What did they like/dislike about the process?
So I asked my special guests these questions and many of them have offered some intriguing insights into their lives. Maybe they'll even give you a heads up on what to expect if you're thinking of entering the world of "getting published".
Please welcome my next guest...
USA Today Bestselling author, YVONNE LINDSAY, took 13 years and multiple rejections before she sold her first story to Harlequin Desire in April of 2005.
Her first book rose to #1 on the Borders/Waldenbooks Series Bestseller list and in 2007 was also nominated for the prestigious Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award. Her books are distributed in more than 27 countries and in almost as many languages.
With 23 contracted titles through Harlequin, Yvonne is thrilled to be living the life she always dreamed of bringing her stories to her readers.
Pseudonym or Given Name on the cover? Why a pseudonym?
Given name. My family and I discussed this at length when I sold my first book and, while I’d always thought I’d take a pseudonym, they convinced me to write as who I am.
Location: Auckland, New Zealand.
First published in: October 2006.
Number of books published: By end of 2012, 20 books and 1 novella plus 2 online titles with eHarlequin.
The Nitty Gritty
List up to 5 significant events in your journey to publication.
- Hearing Susan Napier speak at a local community centre guided me toward joining RWNZ in it’s first year or so. After that,
- Robyn Donald influenced me to finish a book when she spoke at an RWNZ conference back when I was a three chapters and synopsis queen.
- Fiona Brand then influenced me to enter competitions with that finished book, which won the RWAustralia 1999 Emma Darcy Award and led to the opportunity to submit directly to an editor for four years.
- During that time I benefitted hugely from the mentorship of Bronwyn Jameson, and the friendship of Trish Morey who I’d finalled in the Emma Darcy with, and both of them kept me sane when I didn’t make it with that editor and through more rejections after winning the 2004 RWNZ Clendon Award.
- The combination of the years of advice and support all helped to make me and my writing stronger, which eventually led to my first sale in 2005.
As to events, conferences in New Zealand and eventually in Australia as well. The richness of the experience of an intense weekend with likeminded people and learning from other writers and specialists in their fields is priceless for any writer.
Can you share the special moment when you received THE CALL/THE EMAIL?
In early February 2005 I’d had an email, followed by a phone call, from the editor I’d been working with and submitting to for four years after I won the 1999 Emma Darcy award.
During the phone call the editor said she felt that no matter which way we tried to push my work, I just didn’t quite fit in with either of the category romance lines they published at the time and she suggested looking elsewhere. Totally devastated, I felt as if all the work I’d done up until then had been a waste of time.
To me, my dream was dead. I gave up writing altogether...for two whole weeks. But, as many people know, you can’t just give up something that has been a driving goal for a good part of your life.
Bronwyn Jameson had been prodding me for some time to query Silhouette (now Harlequin) Desire—so I did. To my shock, I very quickly received a letter back in response to my query letter and synopsis, requesting my full manuscript. I was lucky enough to attend a weekend at Kara School of Writing with Robyn Donald and Daphne Claire where they gave me guidance on how to improve the work.
It was magical—the moment I had waited for, for what felt like forever. I had always thought myself prepared for such an eventuality and even had a checklist of what I should ask and information I should know next to every phone in our house should “The Call” ever eventuate. I always thought I could be cool, calm, collected and professional but I was soooo wrong.
I cried, I gushed, I cried some more, I told my editor that it was the happiest day of my life. I felt like I’d finally, finally, reached an incredible milestone—something I’d actively strived for, for thirteen years. It was amazing.
How important is it to set career goals? Can you give an example of one you have for yourself?
For me it’s important to set career goals on a regular basis, otherwise I feel like I’m a bit of a gerbil running on a wheel. My current goal is to complete a single title manuscript that’s been ticking away in the back of my mind for several years now. Personally, I want to write this book to prove to myself that I can. Professionally, I’d like to widen my horizons and my readership while still writing for Desire.
Is there anything you think pre-published writers need to know about the business/industry before they're published?
I think people need to remember this is a business and you need to behave professionally with everyone you deal with—all along the road to publication. Respect is hard-earned and easily lost, so once you’ve earned that respect, hold onto it and treasure it and nurture it for all you’re worth.
A Bit of Fun
Favorite color: Blue, no, purple, no, blue, no, purple. Purply blue? :-)
Most daring thing you've done in your life: White water rafting. I’ve done it, now I don’t ever have to do it again.
Greatest love: My family.
Timeout/relaxation for me includes: Reading and not having to cook or do dishes.
Special quote/saying you like: "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." – Goethe