Guest blogger Ann Harrison on being a ‘pantser’ and overcoming rejection.
Ever since I could remember I’ve loved books. I would read anything I could get my hands on and it’s only now that my taste has really settled on certain genres. I love a good romance. Who doesn’t love a happy ending and all the angst in between? I greedily absorb as much young adult (YA) as I can, and I can’t pass up a good suspense and murder mystery.
'I wish I had started writing years ago,' is a cry you probably hear from many a writer. I think I was always too busy reading to sort out the voices in my head. Four years ago, it all got too much and I had no choice. My first seven books spewed forth at a rate of speed that literally scared me half to death. I started with YA because that came to the surface first. You might gather from this that I am a pantser (writing by the ‘seat of my pants’ instead of planning every twist of the story). I can’t do it any other way and am in awe of those that do plot every part of their manuscript.
YA books one through three (and notes for the fourth) in a series were very quickly written. After having book one rejected, (six times), I thought I wasn’t cut out for YA and tried my hand at romance. Three books were written in as many months and sat while I entered competitions and took the judges’ comments to heart.
What scared me most was the almost impenetrable wall you hit when you start submitting your work. It is nearly impossible to get traditionally published in the current market. Many print publishers will only take on repeat authors they already have a connection with. This is the time that many good authors will give up and throw it all away. I almost did after another three rejections.
It wasn’t until I met freelance editor Annie Seaton, who pointed out the flaws in my stories (in a way that I understood) that I took heart. I polished them until I was happy to submit them. It was the turning point for me; within 48 hours I had three contracts on my desk. I feel I chose wisely and carried on writing. Three weeks later I signed my second contract with Breathless Press.
Taming the Outback will be out in August and Mistress for Magnus will be released in September. With my success I felt brave enough to resubmit Book One of my YA series. Witchling has now been signed with Lycaon Press and I know that all of the hard work has paid off.
Check out Ann at her website or on Facebook and Twitter.