Hello everyone! Today I’m featuring the Path to Publication story of fellow Clean Reads author, Jane McGarry…
My journey was not the typical “major in English, then attain an MFA” route many writers take. In fact, if someone had told me a decade ago I would now be a published author, I would never have believed it.
Growing up, I loved to read and the passion only increased with age. While I have a soft spot for the classics, I explored just about every genre of fiction I could get my hands on. There was something about the themes in Young Adult books—the countless possibilities of life at this age—that spoke to me. The more YA I read, the more ideas for stories I had.
The problem was I wasn’t a writer. My whole life, I had made up stories, but always kept them to myself. While reading was encouraged in my home, the arts were not mentioned as a possible career path. No one ever told me I couldn’t pursue a career as a writer, but the obvious undertone was one could not actually make a living in any artistic endeavor. As expected, I majored in business, and upon graduating from college, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a decade. My job was interesting and allowed me many wonderful opportunities, but I cannot honestly say I was passionate about it.
When my first son was born, I left work to become a full-time mom. A few years later, son number two came along. While I was passionate about this job, it was exhausting on every level. In the rare quiet moments I found, writing became an escape. Never did I feel as authentic as when I was putting words on paper. The idea for Not Every Girl was formed and I would jot down notes on random scraps, napkins, whatever I could find. Still, the thought of sitting down to pen a full novel seemed too overwhelming, especially while chasing after two kids all day long.
But then, I had a milestone birthday and did an inventory of my life to that point. Finally, I asked myself the questions I should have asked way back when—Why not give it a try? What is the worst that could happen? And so, I wrote and wrote some more, squeezing it in at naptime, in the car at school pick-up, at sports practice, and after bedtime. If I had a free minute, I used it to write. Then miraculously one day, it was finished—a horrible mess of a first draft, but hey, finished nonetheless. While I worked on editing the manuscript, I learned everything I could about the publishing industry. My revisions and research took me literally over a year to complete, but by the time the story was ready, I felt prepared to send it out into the world.
Thus began the dreaded cycle of query, rejection, revision, repeat—and believe me there was a whole lot of rejection. But, the advice I constantly came across was to not give up, to believe in your work and eventually the right fit would present itself. When I discovered Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press), I was impressed with their philosophy. So once again, I sent out a query. A few weeks later I was thrilled to be offered a contract and I was on my way. Despite the detours and bumps in the road, I am both humbled and grateful my path has led here. Now, I look forward to the journey that awaits.
She is going through with it anyway, of course. After all, it is the chance of a lifetime. The unreasonable rules of others should not stand in her way.
In her small kingdom of Stewartsland, Olivia trains with the squires and harbors a secret dream. She longs to become a knight under the command of the Master-of–Arms, who just happens to be her father. He has indulged her passion so far, but they both know a simple fact – girls may not attain knighthood. Dismayed by the constant discouragement of her ambitions, she makes an impetuous decision to disguise herself as a boy in order to sneak on a mission. The consequences are not at all what she anticipated.
When her deception is revealed, she is sent home in disgrace; however, an unexpected turn of events puts her at the center of a dangerous plot against the King. The ensuing adventure finds her grappling with mercenaries and outlaws, yet these pale in comparison to her newly awakened emotions. She finds not only her life at risk, but also her heart, when the aloof Prince Liam begins to affect her in ways she never thought possible. In the end, it is her courage and unique spirit which must guide her through the challenges she encounters both physical and emotional.
About Jane: Reading was always a big part of Jane’s life. Over the years, creating stories developed out of this love. Finally, she decided to try her hand at writing a novel and that was when Not Every Girl was conceived.
She lives in New Jersey in a house full of boys, including one over-indulged cat. When she is not running around with her family or writing, she can be found curled up with a good book and said cat. It is her belief that a good book, a loyal pet and anything made of chocolate can brighten just about any day.
You can visit her online at: www.janemcgarrybooks.com
Connect with Jane:
You Tube Book Trailer: