Today I’m excited to have Kim Turner hosting my blog and sharing her Path to Publication story. Without further ado, here’s Kim…
In 2001 I attended Georgia Romance Writers Moonlight and Magnolias conference so I could spend time with a friend of mine from childhood, Sherrilyn Kenyon. I had often thought about writing a novel but at that time a lot was going on in my life but I did go home thinking I would start on an idea for a story that I had been tossing around in my head for a long time. So I got home and started writing like a maniac…all three chapters and then it sat there.
Fast forward ten years and I had completed my Masters, got married, had a daughter, adopted a daughter from China, and life was rolling right along. But somehow that story continued to build inside my head and so in 2011 I pulled it back out determined to finish. And in eight months I had completed not only one story but three and they were all over 160,000 words each…little did I know about writing romance at that time.
So I called up Sherri and said , “Hey? Guess what? I have written three novels, a series of old west brothers. What do I do next?” I mean I was ready to take the world by storm…I had completed three stories and it had been great fun.
Well when I think of it now, she should have laughed at me but she didn’t. She listened to my ideas and what I had to tell her and then she suggested I join Romance Writer’s of America and Georgia Romance Writers so I could network and learn the craft. “Oh.” I remember saying but I was gonna take the world by surprise.
So I did what she said and joined and began going to meetings and taking notes and learning. And it didn’t take me long to realize those three stories were all right but in no way would be what romance editors would want. I knew this partly because when I attended M&M once more in 2012 I pitched the first story to two editors, one who bit my head clean off and handed it back to me and another who was incredibly nice–both of who asked for the manuscript that I never sent.
The reason was I had learned enough at GRW meetings to know my stories weren’t what they needed to be. So I opened a new word document and started on a mail-order-bride meets sheriff story with intentions of writing within the little box that romance editors preferred. I also went to meetings and conferences and learned from other writers and authors and I paid attention and studied the craft. I was determined to make it happen. That story is what is now Sawyer’s Rose.
I pitched that story about 13 times with the typical “we could not identify with your voice” rejections coming in one by one over the next two years.
But then on Jan. 12, 2015 I was at work on my lunch break glancing at emails…and there was one from The Wild Rose Press. I ignored it at first not sure I wanted the rest of my day suck because it was another rejection. But curiosity and wondering if there was an inkling of a chance got the better of me. I remember sitting there and reading the email over and over as it just would not compute in this brain of mine. I was being offered a contract on the story and no the rest of my day did not suck. Imagine my joy at being able to share this news with Sherri and thank her for pointing me in the right direction.
And after starting a new story and rewriting it nine times with three major story changes I was getting published. So dreams do come true but not without giving it all you have. I read and studied and listened and learned and pitched even when it scared the daylights out of me. I tell aspiring writers there are a few things I have learned along this road to getting published. The first thing is to never give up. The second is to listen and learn and study. The third one is to write what you write. Too many opinions on Sawyer’s Rose made it not even my story…so I went back and started over at an earlier point and did the story the way I wanted to–the contract came right after that. The last bit of advice I would like to offer is to keep learning and hang on tight because publication itself is quite a ride of its own!
Kim’s books can be found as ebooks at most book sellers and in print on Amazon and with The Wild Rose Press!
As if he doesn’t have enough to handle between running outlaws out of Cheyenne, keeping his brothers out of trouble, and avenging his father’s death, Sheriff Sawyer McCade’s meddling mother just dumped a mysterious mail-order bride on his doorstep. One woman can be more trouble than a band of renegades, and while this one has him all stirred up, he’d rather get to the bottom of the story she isn’t telling.
Rose Parker had it all—until a web of danger and deceit sends her running to Cheyenne posing as a mail-order bride. Escaping the evils of New York seems sensible until she meets the unsuspecting sheriff who didn’t ask for her, has no intention of marrying her, and won’t rest until he uncovers her secret and sends her back home.
Bounty hunter Wyatt McCade is taking down outlaws one at a time. He’s been in love with Tess Sullivan for years, but she refuses to give in to her feelings. Reeling from the rejection of his marriage proposal, he chases bounties with little concern for his own safety. When word reaches him that Tess never left for Boston, he rides for Cheyenne to confront her. Instead, he is ambushed and left for dead.
Doctor Tess Sullivan shattered her heart by refusing Wyatt McCade’s marriage proposal and making the biggest mistake of her life, by holding onto a secret. Pining for his return, she blames herself when he arrives in Cheyenne near death. Forgiveness comes quickly in his arms, but she finds herself a pawn in a deadly game of revenge.
When McCade lands are threatened, Tess is caught in the balance. On the bounty hunt of his life, Wyatt will risk everything to rescue the woman he loves.
Kim Turner writes western historical romance, and discovered her passion of writing at the age of eight by writing poems, short stories and journals. Kim graduated from Clayton State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and holds a Master’s Degree in Adult Education from Central Michigan University.
Working as a registered nurse educator for over twenty-seven years, she enjoys studying the medical treatments of the old west as well as keeping up with the latest western movies and television series. While she loves reading anything from highlanders to pirates, she claims to have an unquenchable thirst for the American Cowboy when choosing her reads.
Kim lives south of Atlanta with her husband and calls her greatest accomplishment the birth of one daughter and the adoption of another from China-neither of which came easy. Kim is a member of Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers. Kim’s Motto: It’s All About A Cowboy and the Woman He Loves.