Guest Host: Margo Kelly

Today marks a momentous occasion… my 150th post.

For my 50th post I had my husband host, and for the 100th post the lovely Lydia Sharp kindly agreed to host.  And now, my wonderful critique partner has agreed to be my guest host for the 150th post.

Margo Kelly writes for the YA market and also keeps a very informative blog. She recently jumped on the query train and received two FULL requests! (insert round of applause here).

And now, without further ado, here’s Margo…

Wahoo! YAY! Christi’s blog is awesome, consistent, and helpful. And, I’m thrilled to be asked to guest host today. Thanks.

January 2009, I found myself flat in bed with a back injury. I had to cancel everything in my life. Everything. As a self-employed person and a busy mom of three, I thought there was no way the world would continue to spin if I stepped off for awhile. But, I found out that while I stayed in bed, the world continued on without me. My children learned to ride the bus (instead of me driving them to school every day). The parents of my cub scouts learned it was actually their job to help their boys advance and they could do it without me. My husband and children picked up all the slack around the house. Friends brought in meals. I read a lot of books. Really, the only thing that suffered from this experience was my business. As I was forced to stay in bed for weeks and weeks, I wondered what I would do with my life, and how I would rebuild my business. Frankly, I wondered if I even wanted to rebuild my business!

During these long periods of self-reflection, I remembered what I wanted to be when I grew up: a writer!  How could I have forgotten that childhood dream? 

So, I began to read books on writing and to study the craft. I finished my first novel in four months and decided this was going to be a piece of cake! No problem. (Oh… how little did I know!)

Then, I started the query process.  To this day, I feel like the query process is a jigsaw puzzle… but the pieces keep moving, and the picture keeps changing. How can anyone be successful with so many pieces changing constantly?

Some say it’s luck. It may be. I believe luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Sometimes, the opportunity comes more quickly for certain people (not me). And, they appear very lucky.

Often, people decide it is a game of chance, and they decide to quit.

Other people don’t even want to face the risk of rejection, because they fear the rejection is equivalent to failure.

These are the people who will probably never be published in the traditional market… because they quit the process.

I won’t quit. I figure if I stick to that decision, eventually, my preparation will meet with opportunity and I will be the lucky one who gets published.

The two keys are: preparation and opportunity.  First, I must prepare by writing, writing, writing, and researching and improving my craft. Second, I must seek out the opportunities. This means submitting my work, sending query letters, and attending conferences. It will happen.  Because I’m determined.

If you are a writer, join with others who have your same (or higher) level of determination. Hang out with people who are supportive. Forget the negative people who say you’re wasting your time. You (and I) can do this!

I’ve received sixty-three rejections for my first manuscript, MANIFESTED, and two requests for additional material.  Statistics show that most first manuscripts never get published. So, what have I done? I’ve written a second novel.

My second novel, THE EDUCATION OF THIA, has received fifteen rejections and three requests for full manuscripts. My odds are improving.  🙂 So, what will I do now? I will start a third novel. I’m continuing the process and moving forward with my goals. The odds will just keep getting better.

Hang in there, and your odds will improve as well!

If you’d like to read the first chapters of these stories, feel free to check out my website:

If you’d like to follow my journey on the road to publishing, join me on Facebook and/or Blogspot:

Leave a message when you stop by. I look forward to sharing the journey with you!

Margo Kelly


13 thoughts on “Guest Host: Margo Kelly

  1. Hello Margo: I am so pleased that Christi has asked you to be her guest today. I remember you from WD community.

    Since I began networking with other writers from WD and those I found on various web pages, so many wonderful things have happened to me. It was through Christi Corbett that I met so many new people and began following different blogs. It has been a tremendous help to me.

    I think your courage and determination is an inspiration to all of us, regardless of where we are on this magnificent journey.

    All the best of everything and keep writing 🙂

  2. Florence (aka Ramblings),

    So glad you stopped by today…and I’m looking forward to YOU guest hosting my 175th blog post sometime in October!

    Margo and I found each other from the Critique partner forum over at Writer’s Digest and it’s been a great relationship ever since…she tells me what’s wrong/right with my novel and vice versa me for hers.

    Thanks again for all your support,
    Christi Corbett

  3. EJ,

    Thanks again for setting up such a wonderful group over at Writer’s Digest. Writing is such a solitary venture and it always helps to have other opinions from the “real world”.

    For anyone looking for a critique partner/beta reader (I’m such a loser I really don’t know what the difference is) be sure to check out the group EJ set up…

    And EJ, thanks for the love about my blog! Stop by often and stay awhile :). Oh, and don’t forget to check out my book trailer!

    Christi Corbett

  4. Margaret,
    Thanks for stopping by and saying such lovely things about my blog. It’s been a learning process, but isn’t everything related to writing 🙂 ?

    Anyway, I snooped around your blog and I’ll be back.


  5. Great advice, Margo! That’s a surefire way to deal with rejection…. start your next project! Isn’t it amazing what it does for you?? Wishing you all the best with your full requests! I read the query and I think it sounds really great…. would love to read the story about Thia.

    And Christi, good luck with kindergarten!!!! It makes them seem so much older, but in a really good way. 🙂

  6. PK,
    Thanks for visiting and for the encouragement about kindergarten. I figure I’ll either cheer from happiness for my upcoming freedom or dissolve in a pile of tears at the school door. I’ll keep everyone posted :).


  7. Pingback: Guest Post: Florence Fois « Christi Corbett's Blog

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