July 6, 2011

Made It Moment: Lyn Horner

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 8:55 am

Darlin' Druid

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.

Lyn Horner

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.


  1. Good for you, Lyn! Thanks for sharing your story. Always good to see people out there fighting the good fight.

    Comment by Gary Hoover — July 6, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  2. Thank you for another great made-it moment! what a great story!

    Comment by Connie — July 6, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  3. Good luck Lyn. keep doing what you do best.


    Comment by Arthur Levine — July 6, 2011 @ 10:26 am

  4. Lyn, good luck with the book. It just goes to show that you should never take no for an answer.

    Comment by Nancy Morse — July 6, 2011 @ 10:31 am

  5. Great post! Good luck and much success, Lyn, with your books! I took a peek at Amazon and it seems to be unanimous–everyone who reviewed there loves your Darlin’ Druid book! :) Rae

    Comment by Rae — July 6, 2011 @ 10:38 am

  6. What a great Made It Moment. I love westerns (John Wayne is my all time favorite). I love romance. And I love the paranormal. What more could I ask for in a book? This is wonderful.


    Comment by Sandy Wolters — July 6, 2011 @ 10:45 am

  7. One of my “Made It” moments was when I got a glowing Reader Review from Maggie O – who then introduced me to you, Lyn, and the gang. We write to be read so there is a magic moment when someone you don’t know buys your book and not only likes it – but lets the world know. Oh, and just so the world knows, I bought your book and I like it!

    Alison Bruce
    Author of Under A Texas Star

    Comment by Alison Bruce — July 6, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  8. What an inspiring story! I love westernS and would personally love to see more.

    Comment by doreen — July 6, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  9. Perseverance and the attitude you display are the marks of a good author.When you know your work is good keep going for it . The rejections may mount up but that’s often the case when a publisher is handling something similar or doesn’t often deal in that genre but knowing the readers approve is what we need. Don’t give up and my very best wishes to you for your success.

    Comment by David Prosser — July 6, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  10. Talk about turning lemons into lemonaide! You go, girl!


    Comment by Kristie Leigh Maguire — July 6, 2011 @ 11:37 am

  11. Terrific post. It takes guts to step out there on your own. I applaud you, Lyn. I’m glad you didn’t dump the paranormal elements. I am on my way over to Amazon now.


    Comment by E. Van Lowe — July 6, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  12. I thought I was looking in the mirror Lyn. The big rejection that changed things for me was from someone who stopped publishing fantasy and had left me hanging for months. Go figure, tell me sooner thank you.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

    Comment by N. R. Williams — July 6, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

  13. Clearly Lyn’s decision is a mirror for many writers’ current situation or debate. The other day, a writer friend of mine, someone who became the first real reader of my work and was part of one of the best writing groups I ever joined, wrote a very illuminating mathematical breakdown of her decision to go e. I will be posting it on Friday (as we hit the road, driving west, and the blog goes quiet for a while). I think it will provide more food for thought in this terrific discussion–thank you all for being here, and Lyn, for sharing this part of your journey.

    Comment by jenny — July 6, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

  14. Wow, y’all! I’m blushing over all your wonderful comments. It’s so nice to know my crazy “Made it Moment” touched each of you in some way. It was crushing for me at the time, but as Kristie said, I chose to make lemonaid instead of sucking on sour lemons.

    To be honest I probably would have crawled in my cave and given up if not for some very supportive people. First, my husband Ken, who has never told me I was foolish to keep trying. On the contrary, he has encouraged me to write time and again. (He’s currently nagging me to hurry up with book two in the Texas Druids series. It’s called Dashing Druid, by the way.)

    Then there’s my son Dan, without whose computer knowledge I never would have figured out how to get my books up on Amazon. And there’s my friend Sharla Rae, a multi-pubbed western romance author, who gently prodded me into checking out Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Now I’m trying to convince her to give it a shot herself.

    So, now you know more than you wanted to know! It doesn’t pay to get me started. Thanks to all of you for your kind, encouraging messages. If you’ve read Darlin’ Druid (Alison, I mean you! :) please consider rating the book and writing a review either on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. If you’re about to read DD, enjoy! And write me a review when you’re done. Pretty please!

    I’ll see some of you on the Amazon threads. Hugs to all,

    Comment by Lyn Horner — July 6, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

  15. It gives the rest of us hope Lyn. My co-author and I purposely went the self-pub route because we wanted the control over our body of work. Afraid they would take the safe route and change it up. So personally I don’t know about rejection from an traditional publishing editor. Although I was afraid our editor might tell us to pack it in…she didn’t instead, she thought the Military Writer’s Society might award it with something. There is always hope but only if you follow what you know is right.

    Comment by Lynn Hallbrooks — July 6, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

  16. Lyn, a great story! Thank goodness for those little boosts along the way or none of us would continue.

    Comment by mountainmama — July 6, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

  17. Jenny, thank you for giving me this opportunity to share! I’m looking forward to reading your friend’s thoughts about e-publishing. Enjoy your road trip!


    Comment by Lyn Horner — July 6, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  18. Lynn, wouldn’t that be something if you were to win an award from such an organization! I hope your editor is right. Lyn

    Comment by Lyn Horner — July 6, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  19. Great story Lyn! Glad you didn’t give up otherwise I’d never have gotten the chance to “meet” you. As a reader I have great respect for writers as you all do what I can’t, but I still get to reap the benefits.


    Comment by Maggie O' — July 6, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

  20. Maggie, you are so sweet! Thank you for supporting me and other Indie authors. I for one deeply appreciate it.

    Comment by Lyn Horner — July 7, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  21. Morning everyone,
    I hope Jenny won’t mind if I let you all know about a new series of blogs I will be hosting. Starting Monday, July 18, I and several talented authors will be blogging about the history and importance of the western romance genre. We will also be joined by some enthusiastic readers, including Maggie O’. If you’re interested, please stop by my home page: http://texasdruids.com/ Or my blog site: http://texasdruids.blogspot.com/

    I’ve picked up a rumor that western romance is on the upswing and New York editors are again on the lookout for good westerns. I hope my little blog project adds a bit more fuel to the fire. :)

    Comment by Lyn Horner — July 7, 2011 @ 9:47 am

  22. Hello again,
    Just want to let y’all know that I uploaded a new cover for Darlin’ Druid on Amazon yesterday. Also dropped the price. Not sure how long it will stay low; depends upon the response.

    Must head over to B&N to do the same. Have a great day!

    Comment by Lyn Horner — July 8, 2011 @ 8:45 am

  23. That comment by the one editor was wonderful–I’m glad you got into a headspace where it felt that way. 8) Must go see what the new cover looks like!


    Comment by Doranna — July 8, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

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