This project is on hold after several rewrites, submissions several publishers and to ACFW contests. I received great input from the latter, but I also learned a great deal about the publishing world for fiction. Discouraged is not the word for what I learned, more like disappointment. I really don’t want to put myself out there on the growing list of social media in an effort to sell books. Plus, traveling around even my home state is not possible physically or financially. So my marketing efforts would not meet what most publishers expect. I have decided to shelve the work for now and keep my eyes open to new possibilities. It’s possible God gave me the novel for my own enjoyment!
In 2015, I completed my first fiction novel. It was a journey like no other. I have always written non-fiction – first as a columnist, next as freelance writer for Hearing Health Magazine, as a reporter, and a few other venues. It came as a surprise how much fun it was to write fiction. Developing the story and characters, editing and editing some more, reading and re-reading never seemed like work. A friend in Tennessee helped with early editing and I had a friend and my daughter read the book for believe-ability.
After two rejections and two letters with encouraging suggestions, early in 2017, I began a major rewrite. I’m letting the story and characters take me on a twisty path until the story ends.
January 2018 update
Since I first wrote about this, I had another rejection suggesting I write in third person. I am doing that now and am almost done. I am learning and loving it.
April 2018 update
I see in January I said I was almost done with the rewrite! To do it right, it took six months, but the rewrite is complete in third person with a lot more narrative and not as much dialogue. I resubmitted and will wait and see what the publisher thinks this time. Writing is fun for me and I like this version much more than before.
Another rejection. This is a part of the writing life and I’m not discouraged. I have prayed for help throughout the process. This time, God answered by waking me up to many things I was doing wrong. I had way too many characters and did a literary kill on several that did not move the plot. I honed in on my POV (Point of View) skill, but I know I have more to learn. I deleted many words that were pete and repeat. This month, I deleted more than 5,000 words.
At the good advice of my second publisher and Lisa Wingate, a beloved author I follow and am an early reader for, I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and will make use of their resources. These same two women encouraged me to find a content editor before submitting my work anywhere else. I’m hopeful my membership in ACFW will help me find someone.
BLURB for The Music of Life
Ella Rose Story dreamed of being a singer and songwriter most of her young life. Raised in small town Ohio in the 50s and 60s, her musical family supports her dream. When a connection between family, old friends and the music studio where Ella works intersect, at 18 her first recording becomes reality. Her experience with a Gospel and Bluegrass band opens up new worlds for her.
When her daughter, Abbie, becomes deafened due to illness, Ella’s music becomes silenced as well. In time, friends and family pull her back into the world of music,
Years later, she realizes when she’s not using sign language, conversations are difficult. She leans on music memory, written music, and feeling the beat of music. Inspiration for new songs has ceased.
What would she do without music in her life? As her faith is tested, and friends and family surround her, she begins to see life taking a new turn.