October 29, 2010

Made It Moment: Vicki Lane

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 7:00 am

The Day of Small Things

I first encountered Vicki Lane through Lelia Taylor’s wonderful blog, and Vicki’s latest release quickly moved up my Pile. (You know the one. That irreplaceable stack of soon-to-be-reads, at which even a partial glance generates its own unique breed of Christmas morning excitement.) Anyway, I am thrilled to have found Vicki’s work, and honored that she shares her Moment here.

Vicki Lane

The question — How did I know that I’d made it? – immediately made me think – Whoa! Who says I’ve made it? And what does it mean anyway, to ‘make it’?

Here’s the thing — my experience in the writing world has been a sort of roller coaster ride, a series of hills and valleys, ups and downs, in which, at the height of the ride, ‘making it’ seems almost in sight — only to disappear as the roller coaster turns downward again.

I thought I’d made it when after sixty-some query letters and three months of rejection replies, a real live agent called and offered to represent me. Riding high, I was — but then no one wanted that first novel.

I thought I’d made it when my second attempt got me a two-book contract with Kate Miciak at Random House. And a second and a third contract. But I’m still not earning a living with my books.

I thought I’d made it when my fourth book was nominated for an Anthony. But the prize eluded me.

What would it take for me to feel I’d really made it? A major award? The NYT Bestseller list? A slot on Oprah? A lucrative contract?

I wonder. Is it human nature always to see yet another goal? Is Lee Child fretting because he hasn’t gotten a Pulitzer prize? Is J.K.Rowling holding her breath when the Nobel prizes are announced? Is the blockbuster author with a six million dollar contract miffed that he didn’t get twelve?

Are we all awaiting the coming of a heavenly messenger, naming us The Grand Hooyah and Master of the Universe?

I don’t know.

I do know I’m happy to have gotten as far as I have, riding that roller coaster. And I hope the ride continues.

Vicki Lane is the author The Day of Small Things and of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries which include Signs in the Blood, Art’s Blood, Old Wounds, Anthony-nominated In A Dark Season, and Under the Skin (coming from Bantam Dell in 2011.) Vicki draws her inspiration from the rural western NC county where she and her family have lived on a mountainside farm since 1975. Visit Vicki at her daily blog or her website.


  1. Well, yay yay – I love this!
    I’ve been a huge fan of Vicki’s since her first book and see nothing but bright things in her future. It’s lovely to see her getting the attention she and her writing deserve.
    Thanks for this, Jenny!

    Comment by Kaye Barley — October 29, 2010 @ 8:29 am

  2. Kaye, I think M&M was the other blog where I first found Vicki. Yes, she’s a wonderful writer and if I can bring even a few more readers her way, I will feel proud!

    Comment by jenny — October 29, 2010 @ 8:36 am

  3. Are we always searching for a higher goal–? I hope not!! lol. I hope to be content with what I get–whatever I get. I think more than a few of us writers can identify with the whole “Yay! I got an agent! I ‘made it’!” feeling, only to find the first novel doesn’t sell. I am so glad yours did–it is now on MY “list!” Lovely. Congratulations!

    Comment by Savvy — October 29, 2010 @ 8:50 am

  4. Vicki, you definitely sound like you’ve “made it” to me!

    Comment by Judy — October 29, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  5. Hey, folks, thanks for the comments! I really didn’t mean to come off sounding ungrateful for the success I HAVE had — it’s just that I’ve been amused to realize that what once seemed like that biggest deal of all — just completing a novel — was only the first step.

    Comment by Vicki Lane — October 29, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  6. I didn’t think you sounded ungrateful at all, Vicki–just struck by the relativism of this crazy biz. As am I.

    We’ve all been discussing how gorgeous your cover is, btw. I’m sure that will lure many people to your wonderful story!

    Comment by jenny — October 29, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  7. Vicki, you’ve certainly made it in my mind!!! Keep up the great work!! LOVE your books!!!

    Comment by Coco Ihle — October 29, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

  8. I think you may be onto something, Ms. Lane! There’s a saying that “You never get it done.” Then, there’s also, “Ugh.” :)

    Comment by susan — October 29, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

  9. In many ways, it’s the excitement of the roller coaster ride that gives us the ‘buzz’. If I was suddenly tied up in multi-million pound business contracts, pressurised to meet conditions and make uncomfortable compromises, I think my creativity would definitely suffer.

    I think many writers want to have their work recognised by seeing it in print, and receiving a cheque in the post. I’m not sure how many writers would sincerely welcome all the attention and intrusion that goes hand in hand with the ‘big time’. Suddenly, the demands of the media circus could supersede the very lifestyle that fostered the writing gift in the first place. In the end, I guess it depends why a writer writes.

    Comment by Martin H — October 30, 2010 @ 3:35 am

  10. nice answer…if we ever think we have arrived, we are probably going backward…and that holds true in many facets of life…enjoying the ride…that is important…

    Comment by brian — October 30, 2010 @ 6:46 am

  11. Interesting points, Martin. I suspect more writers feel as you do…an interesting topic for a blog post actually!

    Hope we can all enjoy the ride, as Brian says, and welcome to Suspense Your Disbelief, everybody!

    Thanks again for appearing, Vicki, and hope many new readers find you!

    Comment by jenny — October 30, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  12. Thanks for stopping by, Brian and Martin. Yes, the need to get out and self-promote (whether in person on on the Internet) isn’t always congenial to the reclusive types some writers are. Nor is is conducive to unbroken writing time. I’ve found I enjoy it a lot more than I would have thought but I do begrudge the time it takes takes away from writing and my life on the farm.

    Comment by Vicki Lane — October 30, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  13. I think it’s a positive thing to keep raising the bar or moving the finish line tape. That way your keep challenging yourself and you and your characters don’t drop deep into that comfortable run.

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — October 30, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  14. Several books published, nominated for an Anthony…I’d say you’ve definitely made it! I hope your books will
    continue to be published for as long as you write them. I hope your publishers know you have a lot of readers
    who eagerly await each new book, myself included.

    Comment by Victoria — October 30, 2010 @ 9:53 pm

  15. Thanks, Carolyn and Victoria! There are lots of moments for sure!

    Comment by Vicki Lane — November 2, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

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