Hard to believe, but a year ago today, I was on my way to being a contracted author! I'm taking the time this week to review the changes over the past year as well as give some of the aspects that I went through to create Azure Maris.
I submitted the manuscript of Azure Maris in June 2012 to Ambassador International then waited. For many submissions, you submit either the first three chapters or so many words (one submission I recently did was the first 500 words, roughly 2 pages). After submitting the manuscript I waited for two weeks give or take before Ambassador e-mailed me back requesting the entire manuscript. At that point, it went fairly quickly for within a week they had accepted Azure Maris for publication.
I will be the first to admit that the process of becoming a published author has not been without it's frustrations ... and fears. By nature, I'm an introvert so putting myself out here such as I have can overwhelm me sometimes. The irony is that I enjoy talking to people: learning from them and teaching them so while putting out thoughts on a blog can be frightening, author talks are less frightening.
Writing is a give and take process. Pouring your heart into a novel is one thing, and you hope and pray that someone understands after reading the novel. You hope they enjoy reading as much as you enjoyed writing; that they laugh when you have laughed; cried when you have cried; that they connect with the characters even as you have connected with the characters. Some of my favorite responses have related to people who have loved Azure and related to her struggles.
Having a reader tell me that they can't wait for the next book is fun. Having someone tell me that he hopes Azure makes it home is good as well. It means that they have enjoyed the books, and have connected to the characters. While I write in relation to my personal trials and growth, it is always enjoyable to find others who, through my book, realize that we're on the same path. Walking a path is always enjoyable, but when you have company, it makes it easier.
For a shameless plug here: I'll be at Picnic in the Park in Batavia NY on the 4th of July 2013. If you're in the immediate area (say Buffalo to Rochester) I'd love to have you come by and visit to talk about Azure, Eliam and all the others.