This Time Last Year…

As June’s been flying by, I’ve had several reminders of where I was a year ago (my website’s domain just renewed, triggering my nostalgia). The summer of 2017 wasn’t one I’d like to relive, but I recount it today to encourage any of you who are frustrated with where your career or personal aspirations aren’t going. I’ve kept my discouragement mostly to myself, but now, I’m ready to reveal a glimpse into it in hopes it’ll show those disappointed spirits that matters can turn around in ways you couldn’t expect.

You may wonder why renewing my domain would bring back memories. Well, last year, I didn’t know if I even needed a website. My confidence in my career as an author was very low. For over a year, I’d been awaiting a response from my former publisher on whether or not they wanted to accept the sequel to my first novel. As time went by, communication slowed to a complete stop, and it became clear something was off. Sure enough, word came in July that the company was restructuring and would be letting go of some authors. A few weeks later, I proved to be one of them. Sprinkle in some other personal disappointments I won’t detail, and it makes for a bummer of summer.

Having seen it coming for a while, however, I’d put my focus on Forgetting My Way Back to You that spring, and it was ready to go out to the publishing world by late July. Given the circumstances surrounding it, I wasn’t too motivated to subject myself to the game of seemingly endless rejections that come along with shopping a manuscript. I confided in a couple close friends about my hesitation, and they all encouraged me not to quit. My former teacher, who’s proofread every work I’ve written, even told me Forgetting My Way Back to You HAD to be shared.

Thus, I overcame my despair and commenced my quest for publishers. During a casual browsing session, I came across a company named Vinspire. Their submission guidelines stated they only worked with agented authors, so having not found one to contract me yet, I almost closed the page. Upon giving it a last look, though, I found a box that announced their one-day event of opening their inbox to unagented submissions. It was less than two weeks away, so I had no choice but to mark both my paper and electronic calendars…and hope!

They welcomed queries from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., so I sent mine in along with the full manuscript at 9:06 that morning. Since I’m now with them, you know the outcome. I received an acceptance letter in October and signed the contract early the next month.

All said and done, while I wish I could redo some of my choices, they led to this moment this year—working with a new company I enjoy and prepping for a new book release. No, I haven’t exactly gone from rags to riches, but I’m so much farther than I expected to be twelve short months ago. Again, I hope reading this inspires any who are off to not-such-a-great summer to stay strong and undeterred. One day—or just twelve hours!—can change everything.

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