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My Best Advice

I have good news!

Cedar Fort Inc has offered to publish my third novel, Who I Am.

After weeks, and weeks, of re-writes to make the manuscript LDS/Christian friendly, I now have a book that is squeaky clean and ready to be published.

Squeaky

If a reader was worried he/she might find a reference to a woman’s breast, or the word breast in any context for that matter, they won’t find it in my book. So too, said reader will not have to endure any casual references to God. No one saying, “Good Lord,” “God Almighty,” not even a, “Thank You Jesus!” Don’t worry about having to skim over any uncomfortable heated scenes either. Anything romantic in this book is lukewarm at best. Like I said . . .

Squeaky

 

And if you’re expecting to find raunchy reality show contestants you’ve come to wrong place. The banter between the women on this reality show now resembles something more akin to a conversation at a church girl’s camp between two rival groups (posses), and not one word someone would expect from worldly, adult women. Let me say it again . . .

Squeaky

But all sarcasm aside, although I prefer reading and writing with a little more grit, I am very proud to be putting out a novel that may be read, and enjoyed, by anyone (provided they like my writing) no matter his/her age or religious affiliation, and thrilled that Cedar Fort is giving my book a change! And not to worry, there is still plenty of Southern flare mixed with humor and heartache.

While writing sample book club questions, to be included with this publication, I was searching for inspiration in the back of one of my favorite novels and stumbled upon yet another author offering advice to fledgling writers. Basically, it was the same old thing: keep reading, keep writing, keep submitting, and don’t give up. In other words, another lame, generic attempt by someone who has—by the grace of God—made their mark in the publishing world at not dashing the hopes of all those writers with dreams of becoming famous, published authors themselves.

Now I’m not famous, or arguably even a “good” author, but I still have some advice:

1st Keep reading even though now that you are writing you will rip every book to shreds wondering how in the world this person got published after breaking all the “rules” you kill yourself trying to follow. It’s a fact, I haven’t wholly enjoyed a book in years. But, I will say that I do glean inspiration and improvement with most every book I read.

2nd Keep writing but only because your characters wake you up in the morning screaming in your head to be released and brought to life on the page. Because a story that started as an intriguing idea, or a dream has continued to grow, mushrooming like the cloud of an atomic bomb until it consumed your every thought. Because inspiration comes to you at the most inconvenient times and you wish there was a way to safely type and drive, type and cook, type and shower, type and just about everything . . .

3rd Keep submitting not because you daydream about seeing your novel featured on the end cap at B&N (only first-time authors with impressive literary connections get those gigs), and definitely not because you have aspirations of becoming Stephenie Meyer, but because you have enjoyed bringing your story and characters to life and you want others to enjoy them as well. Because completing a manuscript is a huge accomplishment. Because you are proud of what you’ve written.

4th Don’t give up if you really love to write. If your greatest joy comes after crafting a well-written sentence, or when a scene comes together in a way you hadn’t intended, becoming more perfect than you’d ever anticipated. If you feel a rush of excitement unlike any other when the words flow from your head to your fingers tips as if they have a life of their own. If baring your very soul on the pages of your manuscript brings a freedom you’d never imagined.

Keep writing because to stop is not an option.

Because you still have stories to tell.

Because even if you never make a dime off your work the journey was well worth the effort.