If you’ve arrived here thinking this is going to have a happy ending, well.. I suppose it does. It’s just not the happy ending you’d expect. I haven’t landed some amazing book deal, I’m not on my way to the best seller list. But I have learned a lot about resilience and taking criticism with grace, and understanding that my novel wont be for everyone (and thats ok.)
I started writing my new adult fantasy novel with the feverish enthusiasm of someone who’s never been cut down for their work. I’d sit for hours each day, stealing time when my child was napping and then when she’d sleep at night. Staying up into the wee hours of the morning, learning more about my characters as I wrote and falling in love with them just a little bit more each chapter. I didn’t care what other people might think at that stage. I didn’t care that one day someone, anyone, might have to actually read it. I just wrote, and boy oh boy, did it feel amazing.
Flash forward about 5 months and I had completed my first draft. I sat looking it over, thinking it was amazing and ready for that first read through by someone who wasn’t me! But the more I thought about sending it off to my friends, the more I felt uneasy. The writing was clunky and it didn’t flow. I knew it wasn’t ready. So instead, I spent another few months going through my work and making changes.
Eventually I felt it was ready. I sent it off to my close friends and the feed back was actually positive! I was ecstatic! It was time to try my hand with the sharks, I mean… the publishers. (No offence to the publishers, but sending your novel in for the first time is kind of like jumping head first into a herd of hungry sharks with a bag of dead fish. It’s terrifying.)
I initially sent my novel to 10 different publishing companies. It wasn’t easy either, with each company wanting different things, the process to just get my applications sorted took months. You’d think I would have grown used to the slow process of book writing and publishing, but then came the longest wait of all. The one where you sit by your email, waiting for someone to accept or reject your baby.
Months go by and I eventually get a response from some of the publishing houses (not all, because most won’t reply if you’re unsuccessful.) Several were straight up rejections, but one, one, was promising. They wanted to see my full novel, not just the first three chapters, but the whole thing!
I send it in and more time goes by, I wait anxiously, checking my emails constantly for a response.
Then it comes…
The worst rejection of all.
The one where my childish enthusiasm finally took a dive.
Don’t get me wrong, they were right to reject the novel where it was at. It wasn’t where it needed to be to be published. I was given some feedback (which I can now appreciate more than anything, as it was proper, editor feedback, not best friend feedback.) It was interesting to see where things needed to change and how I needed to rework my novel to make it a more dynamic, fleshed out read.
Feeling disheartened, I decided to step away from publishing for a while and turned to Wattpad instead, a place I knew I would find a plethora of willing readers ready to give me feedback. I began uploading my novel one part at a time, reworking the story chapter by chapter. It turned out to be a really fun and fulfilling project. The novel changed in a lot of ways, scenes where added, characters where given more depth and the whole story just felt more… mature somehow. It became something I actually felt pretty dang proud of.
For now, the story will stay online and I’ll give people the opportunity to give me their feedback. Maybe one day I’ll try again and see if the publishers are willing to give a new adult fantasy novel a chance. But until then, you can find me plotting book number 2 and forever chasing that feverish enthusiasm I had prior to all the rejection.
If you’re interested in reading Daughters of Prophecy, you can read it here or by clicking the image below.