Guest host day!
Quick recap on guest hosts: Dear Hubby handled the 50th, Lydia Sharp took the 100th, Margo Kelly brought in the 150th, and to celebrate the 175th post on my blog I thought I’d celebrate and have the wonderfully funny Florence Fois over to guest host!
Florence and I met when I was the guest host over at Pimp My Novel. She came to visit my blog that day, subscribed, and has been a regular reader and commentor ever since.
And now, without further ado, here’s Florence…
I am Florence Fois. My blog is Ramblings From The Left. Ramblings is about the characters in my life. That strange mix of personalities who blend together in the stories and in The City where they take place. The City? The Big Apple herself, of course.
I write humorous women’s fiction in the genres of romance, paranormal and mystery and there is little mystery where all my stories take place.
Thanks for the opportunity to do a guest post on your blog today, Christi. I hope your readers enjoy.
My journey as a writer …
I have been writing in different ways all of my life. Like so many others, my early stories center around the family; that unit of people in their varied combinations who mold and shape our thinking. I write the memories that linger and leave footprints in the sand.
Early on a Saturday and not wanting to get too involved with one of my “gals” … I sat back and wondered about the first, second and third time I found myself squirreling away the hours with words.
What if I had been able to continue writing when I was eighteen, and my only desire was to go to college and drown in words, mine and others? I never got to college until much later than most of my contemporaries and I was a twenty-nine year old freshman with one infant and one toddler.
What if I had taken the advice of college professors and friends when I was in my thirties? If I had been able to get my first outrageous, stream of consciousness novel published?
Aw, the list of what if goes on and brings me to my third and most recent attempt. This is when I finally decided to dust off the journals, convert the yellow pages and floppy disks to CDs and flash drives and offer several agents the honor of representing me.
In the privacy of “a room of my own,” I began to read some of my earlier stories, the prosaic and boring prose, the over the top hyperboles, the less than stellar language mistakes, repeating myself over and over as though the reader didn’t get it the first or fourth time.
People tell me they “love” my voice and that I can tell a damn good story, laced with humor, poignant panache and brilliant dialogue. However, these are the gifts I was given. The gifts we are given are what we come in with. What we do with them is something else again.
My first critique group began to ask if I was afraid to send a query. Me, afraid?
So, I took the first book, dipped my foot into the waters and sent out ONE query. In two years, I have sent SIX queries. Okay, so I was not all that confident.
Last year another author introduced me to a New York agent, who based solely on the referral, asked for the first 50 pages of a mystery. Wow, a partial!
I was already planning the book cover and the movie deal … until I got the rejection.
The book was not ready and my one chance at “it’s not what you know, but who you know” was blown.
The other six were either dead silence or rejections. Lucky that I am, three of these rejections had comments. Again, I was not ready.
What I have come to know from different writer’s groups, workshops, writer’s blogs, web pages and dozens of reference books, is not just who I am, but how to express who I am.
How to edit myself, search and destroy that which is redundant; rewrite, revise, edit and polish the draft until it is squeaky clean. After great pains and much hard work, I now have a novel that is ready.
Not being a fool and reading Eric on Pimp My Novel each day, I am aware that going cold query may not work. Social networking might get attention. But with thousands of other blogs similar, better and more polished, who am I kidding?
I’ve decided to save for a conference. It’s on my home turf and that is a charm. New York City, The Big Apple, and my hometown is calling this home girl back to the roost.
In the meantime, I will begin sending queries once more. Each rejection that came with “comments” was like a beacon in the dark, guiding me on my journey. Each suggestion, I now know, were the kind thoughts of a professional that knew better what it takes to get into traditional publishing.
I listened and I learned. I also kept writing new material. Yes, I am still unpublished. The big difference today is I am closer to realizing my dream.
My novels are about NYC women on the edge of discovery, danger and fun. I am learning how to write the perfect query and synopsis, the best first sentence, the tightest first twenty-five pages and ultimately the best ready-to-wear manuscript.
It has been a long journey, traveling in different directions at each crossroad.
One thing I have never forgotten … we never travel further than our heart and that is a journey worth taking.
See you in print.