January 30, 2012

Made It Moment: Morgan Mandel

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 8:30 pm

Forever Young

What is it about the magic number 10? When I finally got my offer of publication and began tentatively murmuring, “It took me 11 years,” I felt  red-faced and ashamed. But then I was amazed by now many people came out of the woodwork to pipe up, “Nine for me!” And, “Twelve!” And the one most often repeated: “A whole decade.” In her Made It Moment, cross-genre novelist Morgan Mandel tells us what took her a decade to achieve, and the Moments that just keep coming.

Morgan Mandel

The thing about a dream coming true is you don’t believe it’s happening. I’d tried for ten years to get a book accepted, and kept getting rejections. The number was up to seventeen when I pitched my mystery, Two Wrongs, to Janice Strand, the senior editor for Hard Shell Word Factory at the Love is Murder Conference. I completely botched the job, and was sent on my way with guidelines of how to query by email. I studiously followed directions. After a request for a full manuscript, three months went by. Then I got a strange email from Janice asking me what kind of marketing plans I had in mind. I quickly thought up a bunch and sent in a list.

Wonder of wonders, within a few days I received a welcoming email, telling me my manuscript had been accepted. Then, within a year, my book was actually published. When I saw it on the shelf of my local library, I knew I’d made it! I was a real author. The book launch party, with close friends and family thronging around requesting autographs, reinforced that joy and taught me a valuable lesson. Never give up. After botching my pitch, I could have decided it was no use trying any more, yet I bravely took that extra step and sent in my email query.

That was my first Made It Moment. Since then I’ve written and published three more books. My current release, the romantic thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, took what seemed forever to get into shape. With some doing, it was ready for the public eye. Next, I had to go through the formatting hoops for submission to Kindle. When I saw the cover staring back on Amazon.com, another Made It Moment struck. I’m looking forward to one more soon when I hold the printed version in my hands.

The great thing about being an author is I can enjoy many Made It Moments. Still, the first one holds a special place in my heart.

Morgan Mandel is a former freelancer for the Daily Herald newspaper, and belongs to Sisters in Crime and EPIC. She enjoys writing thrillers, mysteries, romances and also enjoys combining them. Her latest paranormal romantic thriller is Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, Book One of the Always Young Series, available on Kindle and Smashwords. Other novels by Morgan Mandel include Killer CareerTwo Wrongs, and Girl of My Dreams. Morgan is now working on Book Two of the Always Young Seres, called Blessing or Curse: A Forever Young Anthology, where readers will learn what happens to others who have taken the Forever Young pill.


  1. Morgan, it’s so nice to meet you. Readers are the winners, I’m sure, since you continued your pursuit to get published. Good luck in all your future writing endeavors.

    Thanks Jenny. You’re a star act!

    Comment by "Doctor Barbara" - Barbara Ebel — January 30, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

  2. Thank you, Jenny, for letting me share my special moment, and a few others, with you and your blog readers.

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 30, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

  3. Thanks for the kind words, Doctor Barbara – Barbara Ebel.

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 30, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

  4. Congratulations! You’ve made your own success.

    Comment by L.J. Sellers — January 31, 2012 @ 1:43 am

  5. It’s so wonderful to hear the stories of someone who persevered and finally made it! So glad you did. It gives everyone else the incentive to try one more time. Thanks for sharing, and much success to you!!

    Comment by mountainmama — January 31, 2012 @ 6:25 am

  6. Thanks so much, L.J.!

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 31, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  7. About persevering – I hear more and more authors say to never give up and it’s very true!

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 31, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  8. Congratulations, Morgan! Thanks,Jenny. We really are all very fortunate to be doing the thing we love to do and some of us actually making a (near -:) living from it. How many people can say that? Absolutely never give up. We have so many more options today.


    Comment by Joan Hall Hovey — January 31, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  9. Thanks for sharing your story. Half the battle it being ready for that opportunity when it comes.

    Comment by Donna Tunney — January 31, 2012 @ 10:12 am

  10. Great post, Morgan. Speaking of the cover, I love this one. It captures the setting and the essence of the book well. That makes a huge difference.

    Keep up the great work.


    Comment by Cheryl Malandrinos — January 31, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  11. Hi, Morgan. I feel your pain about all those years you put in before things clicked. I’ve heard Elizabeth Lyon, author of Manuscript Makeover, say that the average journey to publication is 10 years and by that time an author has four manuscripts set aside on a shelf. I put in my ten and learned a lot in the process, but I wish I could have had the education without all those rejection slips. In this business, they seldom let you down easy.

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — January 31, 2012 @ 11:25 am

  12. Morgan, nothing comes easy. Your hardwork paid off. You’re a successful author, and I hope your story of perseverance will encourage others.

    Comment by Mona Risk — January 31, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  13. Yep, 10 years sounds about right to me. Congratulations!!

    Comment by SavvyBlue — January 31, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  14. Cheryl,
    I’m glad you like the cover. I visited Scottsdale and some of the sunsets had that same hue, although I didn’t see all the other vegetation like on the cover all at once. I took walks and saw them one at a time along the way.

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 31, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

  15. Carolyn,
    I’m glad you agree. Ten years seemed a long time to me to get published, yet the years went by really fast. Also, sometimes life happenings intrude on goals.

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 31, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  16. Thanks also, Savvy Blue, for thinking a 10 year wait is normal.

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 31, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  17. Morgan,

    It took me a decade of serious writing as well. Lots of meanderings through places that dead-ended. It taught me to be focused and to keep going. Believing in yourself is so important in this business!


    Comment by Maggie Toussaint — January 31, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

  18. Maggie,
    You’re right. Staying focused is very important, even after that first book. It’s even more difficult now, with everyone promoting online.

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 31, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

  19. Great success story, Morgan! It’s always wonderful to see how other authors have made it. Each journey is different, isn’t it?

    Comment by Susan — January 31, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  20. Very true, Susan. Each journey is different, just as each writer’s life isn’t the same. The main thing is to get where we’re going when we can!

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — January 31, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

  21. A great testament to perseverance, Morgan, and an inspiration to those just starting out. Good on you, girl, for not giving up.

    Comment by Earl Staggs — February 1, 2012 @ 7:58 am

  22. Part of being a successful writer is simply refusing to give up! Morgan, you’ve proven that. So many fine writers fall by the wayside because they
    allow themselves to get discouraged by rejection. You inspire others by


    Jacqueline Seewald

    Comment by Jacqueline Seewald — February 1, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  23. Congratulations on your Made it Moment, Morgan. It feels really, really good to hold a book you wrote in your hands. I’ll be on the look out for yours!

    Comment by Johanna — February 1, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  24. Thanks, Johanna.
    Yes, it is a heady feeling to hold my own book in my hands, one of the perks of being an author!

    Forever Young: Blessing or Curse is now in print also at Amazon.

    Morgan Mandel

    Comment by Morgan Mandel — February 1, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

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