What can I say? The getting-published process is on my mind right about now. You all know why. So when Lyn Horner sent me her Made It Moment I knew I had to feature it. Lyn faced much of the same roller coaster I did, you did, so many of us did. And her ultimate decision is a choice for these changing times–one that more and more writers will be considering, I suspect, in the months to come.
What was my “Made it Moment?” Have I experienced such a moment? That depends on how you look at the question. I’m not making big bucks from my writing. Maybe I never will, but from time to time I have received a boost that made my little old heart flutter.
The first moment that comes to mind was actually a big disappointment. I’d placed in the semi-finals of the Orange Rose Contest, one of the biggies in the romance genre. While my historical romance didn’t reach the finals, one of the editors who judged it asked to see more of my work. She couldn’t offer to buy the book I entered in the contest because her publishing house had recently contracted for a trilogy with a setting similar to mine. Bummer! Timing truly is everything.
With high hope, I shipped off a synopsis and the first three chapters of my western/paranormal romance, Darlin’ Druid, to the friendly editor. Anxious to make a sale after years of rejections, I assured her I was willing to dump the paranormal elements of the story if she preferred it as a conventional western romance. And then I waited. One month, two months, three…all authors know the drill. When at last I heard back, it was another rejection, but this one was different. The editor said westerns really weren’t her cup of tea. (Why she agreed to read it, I don’t know. Maybe she was just being nice to me.) However, she advised me NOT to take out the paranormal part because that’s what made the story unique.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She didn’t want my book, but she didn’t think I should change it. Go figure! My hopes were crushed again, but later, when I got to thinking about her comment, I realized it was really a backhanded compliment. I had written something unique. How ’bout that!
Long story short, I took my friend the editor’s advice, and eventually I decided to self-publish Darlin’ Druid as a Kindle book, and later as a Nook book. My sales are far from great but they are improving, and DD has received wonderful reviews. One, penned by Todd Fonseca of Tag My Book on Amazon, compares the book favorably to Steig Larsson’s books. Another, written by Harlequin Historical author Tori Phillips, declares, “DARLIN’ DRUID by Lyn Horner should be made into a movie!” Boy, those two really made my day!
As I see it, one upside-down “made it moment” can lead to several thrilling moments. Like precious gems, I keep them tucked away in my memory, to be brought out whenever I need a lift on the occasional dreary day.
Lyn Horner is a baby-boomer born in San Francisco, raised in Minnesota, and now residing in Texas with her husband and an ever-changing band of cantankerous, beloved cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn first worked as a fashion illustrator in Minneapolis, and later as an instructor for Art Instruction Schools (famous for their “Draw Me” heads.) After quitting work to raise her children, she took up writing as a creative outlet. This hobby grew into an enduring love of historical research and the art of crafting passionate love stories.