Linda Covella’s Path to Publication Story

Today fellow Astraea Press author, Linda Covella, is sharing her Path to Publication story!

Without further ado, here’s Linda…


Linda CLike most writers, I had a dream to be a published author.

I’ve always loved to write, but never thought of it as a career until later in life. I started out in college as an art major, and then decided I needed to actually make some money. After receiving different degrees, I came back to my original desire to do something creative with my life. I started doing freelance writing on the side on all sorts of topics, and after publishing a few articles in children’s magazines, I realized I’d found my niche, how I really wanted to unleash my creativity: writing for kids and teens.

I was bitten big time by the publishing bug as I started crafting picture books and novels. I had a dream to publish one of my children’s books, and I started pursuing it full force.

I took online writing classes, some specifically for children’s writing.

I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

And I (finally) joined a critique group. It took me a while to take that step. I was The Lone Writer, afraid to let others read my work, afraid of criticism. I met a woman in one of my online children’s writing classes who tried to convince me to form a critique group with her. I eventually realized I couldn’t achieve my dream on my own, and together we created the rules for the group and chose four other children’s writers.

This was probably one of the best things I’ve done for my writing. Together, we’ve learned the ropes of writing, submitting, and how the whole publishing process works. We’ve been together now for over 10 years, supporting each other not only with our writing, but through personal triumphs and tragedies.

For years, I wrote, received rejections, cried, revised. Wrote some more, received more rejections, wept, and revised. I could go on, but you get the idea. (The crying jags stopped after the, oh, 50th rejection.)

But I didn’t give up, and one day, “the call” came. One of my novels was going to be published. I bought Negotiating a Book Contract by Mark L. Levine (an excellent book, by the way). I negotiated by myself and got most of my requests written into the contract. The publisher and I started discussing covers, etc.

Then, bam, it was all snatched away from me when the publisher went out of business.

It was shocking, devastating, and I sank into a hole of depression. But I climbed back out. I didn’t give up. I started submitting to agents and publishers—again.

Now my dream has really and truly come true. Not only once, but twice. Two of my novels were published one week apart this July 2014: Yakimali’s Gift published by Astraea Press and The Castle Blues Quake published by Beau Coup Publishing.

It can be a tough path to publication. You need a thick skin. You need to face the rejections and learn from them. You need support from other writers and professionals in the field. I learned all this on my own road to publication.

I wish all the best to other authors, and to aspiring writers, my little piece of advice is:

Don’t Go It Alone and Don’t Ever Ever Give Up!

How is your own path to publication going?

Yakimali GiftYakimali’s Gift

In 1775 Mexico, New Spain, 15-year-old Fernanda Marquina, of Spanish and Pima Indian ancestry, can’t seem to fit into the limited female roles of her culture. Fernanda grabs any opportunity to ride the horses she loves, dreaming of adventure in faraway lands. But when a tragic accident presents her with the adventure she longed for, it’s at a greater price than she could ever have imagined. With her family, Fernanda joins Juan Bautista de Anza’s historic colonization expedition to California.

On the four-month journey, Fernanda makes friends with Feliciana, the young widow Fernanda entrust with her deepest thoughts; Gloria, who becomes the sister Fernanda always wished for; and Gloria’s seductive brother Miguel, gentle one moment, angry the next and, like Fernanda, a mestizo—half Indian and half Spanish. As Fernanda penetrates Miguel’s layers of hidden feelings, she’s torn between him and Nicolas, the handsome soldier pursuing her.

But propelling Fernanda along the journey is her search for Mama’s Pima Indian past, a past Mama refused to talk about, a past with secrets that Fernanda is determined to learn. The truths she discovers will change the way she sees her ancestry, her family, and herself. See the trailer, read an excerpt and historical information

Yakimali’s Gift is available at Amazon, Barnes & NobleSmashwords, iTunes, and Kobo.


Linda Covella’s varied job experience and education (associate degrees in art, business and mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.

A writer for over 30 years, her first official publication was a restaurant review column in a local newspaper, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children’s magazines (“Games and Toys in Ancient Rome” and “Traveling the Tokaido in 17th Century Japan,” in Learning Through History magazine, and “Barry’s Very Grown Up Day” in Zootles magazine), she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books:  the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Yakimali’s Gift, a historical novel for young adults published by Astraea Press, and middle grade paranormal The Castle Blues Quake published by Beau Coup Publishing are her first novels.

She’s a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).



19 thoughts on “Linda Covella’s Path to Publication Story

  1. Christi hope your family, and writing is doing well.Thanks for Linda’s story I’m going to start reading her book about the 15 year old Indian girl.If Christi is supporting you that’s good enough for me! I’ll post my comments on Amazon, because I don’t care for good reads I don’t think they are far to the author. But that’s my opinion, because people use them to traded books, and not buy them.I just don’t think it far to y’all (authors) after all the hard work you’ve gone through! Linda i’m glad you didn’t give up.I will post my review on Amazon after I read the book (I bought! )good luck to you both. All though I know you don’t need it. Christi I will be waiting for a email when part 2 is done.Happy writing! Penny

    • Penny,

      Hello again! I love that you enjoyed Linda’s path to publication story, and are going to support her writing by buying and reviewing her book!

      I’m not a huge fan of Goodreads either 😀

      I’m hoping to send you the “Part 2” email soon *scrambles off to writing cave*


  2. Penny, thank you so much for reading my path to publication! And for reading and reviewing Yakimali’s Gift! I hope you enjoy it and look forward to hearing what you think about the story.

    If you’re interested, on my website, I have a lot of historic information about the journey as well as author notes on writing it.

    I really appreciate your support of authors. We do work hard 😀 and it means a lot when readers acknowledge that. Besides the book swapping on Goodreads, it’s just so un-user friendly that I don’t use it that much, although I have my books there. Thanks again for everything!!

  3. Linda – goodness, but you’re tenacious! I’m so glad you finally got there. Yakimali’s gift sounds like a great story (and I love that cover!)
    Penny – I agree with Linda – it’s great that you’re willing to take the time write a review when you’ve read a book 🙂 Every little helps!

  4. Two releases in the same month has got to be tough. I just went through three in three months and that was difficult enough.
    That first contract ending with the publ. going out of business must have been total heart-break. Something similar happened to my brother, also a published author. And I have a good friend who had a handful of books publ. by one particular outfit and suddenly wham, the main CEO (&, I guess founder) died and the company evaporated. She had her rights back, of course, but the titles were no longer available. That’s got to hurt.
    I love reading children’s books and used to think maybe I could write them some day. Not so sure any more.

    • Jeff, thanks so much for reading about my path. Since that happened to me with my first chance at publication, I’ve heard about it happening to other authors, and though it’s not uncommon, you’re right, it is heart-breaking. At first. Then you have to get back up and keep going, right? 🙂 If you love reading children’s stories, you should give writing one a try. Read as many as you can in the genre and age group you’d like to write for. That’s an invaluable way to educate yourself and help with your own writing. Best wishes!!

          • For the children’s stories I really need an early reader to help me shape them. One of them, which I thought was basically complete, was shown to a fellow writer who said it wasn’t a children’s story unless it had some specific message at the end. I’m going, “What?”
            I’ve read probably 100 or more children’s stories. Some of them are just entertainment. Right?

          • What I have learned, from classes and from reading lots of children’s books, is the message should not be blatant, hit you over the head. All fiction has some “message” and it should (I think) help us think about life, ourselves, our relationships, whatever the conflict is–even in kids books. (I’ll bet some of the books that may seem like pure entertainment have some “message” in them, however subtle.) BUT, BUT, BUT!! especially for kids, it has to first be about the story, yes, it has to entertain them. The message, whatever it is, should be presented very subtly.

          • well, in the case of that (basically complete) story I showed a colleague, I thought it had a “point” … which was the experience of viewing that experience with the eyes of another. Guess that wasn’t enough of a message for my colleague, though.
            Since it was also based on a true event which happened right in front of me, I guess I took it to heart that it wasn’t supposedly any good. [sob]

    • Hello, Voila! Lovely. Thanks for reading my path to publication. 🙂 There are several online places where you can find courses on writing children’s books. Writers Digest has excellent classes, but they can be a bit pricey. In the same price range is Gotham Writers’ Workshop I haven’t taken any classes from them, but I know they have a good reputation. You’ll have to search their websites for children’s writing classes. Anastasia Suen offers classes specifically for children’s writing and they’re very reasonably priced. I know there are other online classes offered through certain universities, but I don’t have that info. If none of the above work for you, do a search on google. Best of luck!!

  5. Christi, imagine my surprise to find this lovely post in my email. Sorry I am so late in responding.
    Linda’s story is one of the most inspirational of your fellow Astraea writers.

    Linda, it is a pleasure to read your journey to publication. Your determination and grit are what we all need to learn. Continue with a long and fruitful life as a published author 🙂

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