Wednesday, January 13, 2016

A – An Acceptance Story




May 2013 I had sent a query letter for Hurricane Crimes to The Wild Rose Press. It was a decision I made when I struggled to find a willing agent to even want to read a chapter of the first book in my series. I couldn’t even get acceptances from magazines or ezines for my flash fiction. I was depressed and desperate. I knew I had to do something to break into publishing, and that’s how I decided to write a hurricane story set in Florida.

On Christmas Day 2011, I started writing it. It took me a year to write and edit it because I was also writing the last book in my series. But when it was done and I created a list of possible publishers, I sent off the email query to the first place on my list with all off my hopes and dreams attached to it.

Then something amazing happened. The senior editor from The Wild Rose Press wanted to see the manuscript! I sent her the short forty-odd pages with about a dozen prayers and crossed fingers.

In June, I got a reply back. The editor said the story was good and that she enjoyed the characters as well as the plot but the manuscript needed a tad bit more work. They were easy fixes and I sent it back more nervous than ever. Everything was riding on this manuscript…this moment. The fear of rejection loomed over my head like an anvil hanging from a strand of hair.



This is an actual entry from my journal:

August 8th 2013,
Message to my best friend: 
“…I’m not optimistic. Nothing ever works out for me. I know, I know, have to be positive but I’m in a very depressed state right now…I don’t want to be in this situation much longer, so God better hurry things along!...I’m done with people thinking I’m a bump-on-the-log. I’m over [people] not understanding my situation. I don’t know how much more I can feel like a failure at this point and at this stage of my life.” 
I was so depressed that day that I didn’t even bother checking my email that night before I turned off the computer. Well, the next morning I found an email waiting for me from the editor, which was sent the night before. I started to panic, thinking it was a denial. It wasn’t! She offered me a contract!

What did I learn from that experience? When you ask God to hurry things along, he will. And sometimes you just need a few more hours of patience to have your wish come true.

This is my acceptance story for Hurricane Crimes, the start of my publishing career. I hope to have many more acceptance stories in the future. Including books 3-5 in the Disaster Crimes series. :)


QUESTION: What’s your acceptance story? If you don’t have one yet…don’t worry. You will one day. :)

74 comments:

  1. If you'd gotten that email the night before, you wouldn't have been able to sleep anyway.
    I certainly didn't get an acceptance from my first place on the list, but I didn't give up. Plus after a while, I tried a new angle, and that's when I hit success.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're probably right about me not getting any sleep that night if I had known.

      Delete
  2. Love this, Chrys! We often just have to keep hanging on and hanging in.

    I still have a framed copy of the first check I ever received for a short story. It was many years ago, and for very little money, but it makes me proud every time I look at it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never got money for a short story. All of mine were published with no pay. I would've framed a copy of my check too if I had recieved one.

      Delete
  3. Yay!!! I love it. Thank you so much for sharing, Chrys. My story was all about cold querying and rejections after being given hope by one literary agent who was kind enough to review my first pages (long, long before they were viable). Thank goodness for Pitch Wars, an amazing writing coach, and everything that followed. Now I'm drowning beneath deadlines and constantly questioning how to respond to readers in person, but hey, it's an awesome life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that Pitch Wars help so many writers. I know another who got attention from her now editor at a small press from a Twitter chat.

      Delete
  4. I bet along the way too God taught you patience as you were waiting for your acceptance letter :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not the best at being patient...obviously, but He did teach me how to be more patient.

      Delete
  5. It is sure a process and makes it all the better when a yes comes indeed. He hurries things up you say, lol, hmm still hasn`t let me win the lottery, hmph lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He hasn't let me win the lottery either. :p

      Delete
  6. I don't know if I have or will have an acceptance story, considering I went the self-publishing route. Oh well. I'm happy for you! Hurricane Crimes was great. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I decided to make my own happy ending by going indie, but the real acceptance will be when serious, regular money begins rolling in. My dream acceptance letter is from the Nobel Prize committee, telling me I've won the Nobel Prize in Literature!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winning the Nobel Prize would be something.

      Delete
  8. I love stories with happy endings. =) Since I self publish I don't really have an acceptance story. Well, I could say I accept myself or something cheesy. =P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Giving yourself an acceptance is the best form of acceptance.

      Delete
  9. I've had some exciting ones. The best one I received was an actual phone call when a publisher accepted my first fantasy novel. Of course, they closed that line a few years later but at the moment it was terrific.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A phone call? Gosh I'd be so excited and nervous I'd want to barf. lol

      Delete
  10. Just because one didn't like doesn't mean another one. Reading is subjective and it's all about getting your manuscript in front of the right person. I loved the story and cover and want more. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right about that. That's why we shouldn't give up when we get rejections.

      Delete
  11. Nope, no acceptance story. Glad it's worked out for you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. How wonderful it all worked out! I remember when I got my first short story accepted. I still have that dollar I earned in a frame to remind me to persevere. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that! I never got paid for anything until Hurricane Crimes.

      Delete
  13. I'm fortunate in that I've had lots of acceptances - I've had far more rejections though and collected a good stack of them before the first 'yes'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rejection pile is always bigger but that means we're trying and not giving up.

      Delete
  14. That is a great story! I'm so glad you had success in finding a publisher. What a great feeling! I'm sure it gave you a huge boost of confidence, and has helped you continue down your writing path.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope to land an agent one day but my publisher has opened the door for me. They've published all of my ebooks and upcoming print book.

      Delete
  15. What a great acceptance story! Getting that email is such a great feeling. I still have all my rejections letters in a box somewhere. Not sure why I saved those, but I did. :)

    Wishing you many more happy acceptance stories in the near future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still have all of my rejections too. I should count them some time. ;)

      Delete
  16. I think writing is one of the most emotionally-challenged careers out there. It colors and consumes everything in its path.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's a great story. All the rejection is tough. My life is more than a little chaotic so for the last few years I've focused on learning and improving the craft. Hoping to start getting myself out there one day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Learning and improving your craft is the best thing you can do.

      Delete
  18. How wonderful of you to share your own personal trials and victories with us Chrys. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sometimes we feel so defeated but that is a test of our strength. There are some things we can change to make it better and others, we may not be able to change the predicament but we can change our attitude towards it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right. It's a test of our strength and back then I had been really tested. I proud to say I pulled through. :)

      Delete
  20. How great, Chrys! So glad for you! Isn't it funny how things turn out? I hope you celebrated.

    I had a children's story accepted by LadyBug, and I thought the same things before opening the letter. I'd had so many stories turned down here and there, and everywhere. I told my husband (with a big sigh), "Oh, another rejection letter!" And then, no, it wasn't! They wanted the story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Other than dancing around the house I didn't really celebrate.

      I bet that was a shock. I know my mom tried to get into Ladybug but couldn't.

      Delete
  21. A great story, Chrys. It's so easy to get discouraged, but we have to keep hoping and praying. Look at you now. My first acceptance was from a TV guide magazine called Happiness. I sent my article to them and heard nothing for months. I wrote other stories/articles and sent them off and didn't think much about the first one. One day I came home from school and a surprise awaited me in the mail: A copy of Happiness magazine, a nice letter, and a check for $50.00, for my article in the magazine. I was really excited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A $50.00 check? How nice! That's more than most magazines pay nowadays. Congrats!

      Delete
  22. I love hearing stories like this one. It is a great reminder to everyone that acceptance will come. Being patient isn't always easy! So glad you had such a great outcome. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, being patient isn't always easy but it is worth it. :)

      Delete
  23. Congratulations! I'm so glad that your pessimism was misplaced. I tend to try and protect myself with pessimism sometimes, too. I guess I think that if I'm expecting failure, then any success is a bonus surprise. Very Eeyore of me, I know.

    My own story is pretty straightforward. After finding rejection many places, I had some good luck combined with good research and found a small publisher who wanted the first book and is working with me on the series. Perseverance won the day, after losing a lot of other days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I do the same thing. It's a habit to brace myself for upset.

      Perseverance pays off!

      Delete
  24. Hi Chrys - perseverance is the key ... and belief ... so well done - great to know it all worked out ... cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for sharing this great post.
    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
  26. That is so encouraging to hear you say those words. I like your journal, sounds a bit like mine. So negative, and yet trying to be positive. But, you've got me thinking. For whatever reason, I keep thinking I need to complete my entire series before I even think of sending it out. I have two complete stories done. Perhaps I should start looking. You know, start collecting those rejection letters. Maybe this will be the year I start doing that. Your posts are always so encouraging to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same thought...that I had to complete my series. And I did and I'm glad I did because I was able to focus on each book. I did submit the first book during that time though and got many rejections so I've been rewriting my book with the help of a beta reader. I'll be submitting it again soon. So it's up to you. You can spend this time writing all the books or perfecting the first to submit.

      Delete
  27. This is so inspiring, Chrys! I recall when you were struggling and I think that year you did your first A-Z challenge but you mentioned that you were waiting on some news that you needed badly. Unless I have the year mixed up...Your story is a great reminder to always put our work out there even though we feel vulnerable. We also know we'll get plenty of rejection before that coveted acceptance. I really enjoyed Hurricane Crimes! I look forward to the next series. Breaking into the publishing world is daunting. I got tons of rejections from potential publishers. I finally got acceptance AFTER I published and promoted my book. I also had some people take advantage of me in that regard. Look out for agents...that's all I'll say. ;) Congrats Chrys and thanks for sharing your story and inspiring me!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised you remember that! The news actually had to do with something more private that was taking all my attention and depressing me great. Actually the situation I mentioned in my journal entry is that.

      Look out for agents? Oh boy. You may have to tell me about that story....

      Delete
  28. What an uplifting account of your journey! Though the impact was mighty when a poem appeared in Scholastic magazine (long ago), when I an online magazine offered $5.00 for a short story I felt a supreme (if silly) sort of vindication; as if my heart was singing "See, I told you so!" I think there will always be ups and downs, it's just a matter of hanging on for the ride ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Getting any bit of money for our work is uplifting. :)

      Delete
  29. I can imagine that waiting to hear back about something like this is the hardest part.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Congratulations! My story... Well, in the days when the internet was in the infancy, even though I had an email address... My first submission was a fairly serious history article that I mailed to the editor of a academic journal in which all the articles were peer-review. The editor didn't send my article to review, but responded with a number of good points and suggestions, saying he thought it was something they'd be interested in publishing but felt it needed work before it was sent out to others in the field. I worked on it some more and it was accepted and published six months later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's great that the editor gave you such a detailed reply. Not many do that nowadays.

      Delete
  31. Chrys, I loved reading your acceptance story and I enjoyed the book big time when I read it. I've only ever sent off one romance ms, which was rejected, even though with sweet encouraging words. I have bought several books from Wild Rose Press, and I definitely will submit to them when I'm ready. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you'll submit to TWRP in the future. I have a feeling you'd meet success with them. :)

      Delete
  32. I can't wait to have a novel acceptance story! This is a good one. It sounds like you got the acceptance when you most needed one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure did, and I can't wait for you to have a novel acceptance too. :)

      Delete
  33. I don't have an acceptance story yet, maybe someday! I have some journal entries like that, because writing it out and praying really does help me calm down. Thanks for sharing your acceptance story :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You certainly will. :) If I didn't write out my most desperate feelinfo I'd burst.

      Delete
  34. Congratulations on the acceptance! That's awesome! I don't have an acceptance story yet, but I have had encouraging rejections; those do make me feel better, because they encourage me to keep writing and sending my work out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! :) Encouraging rejections are the best rejections.

      Delete
  35. That's an awesome story, Chrys, but I'm sorry to hear things ever got that dreary for you - I think we talked some around that time, and I hope you never go through that again. <3

    When I got my first agent, the acceptance letter looked exactly like a rejection. I came thisclose to throwing it in the recycling bin!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, J.H.!

      Thank goodness you didn't throw it away. Jeez, they should make acceptances different from rejections.

      Delete
  36. Can't begin to tell you how much that message you sent your friend sounds like something I'd written in my journal, Chrys. For me, it is also about my freelance jobs, and I know how people say to be patient but things just don't seem to be happening. Or something seems to happen then it fizzles out. And I am over how relatives perceive me (as someone not serious about her work, therefore her future ...). The only thing we can do is to keep trying. My motto on the vision board this year: Make It Happen. :) I'm glad you have!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's comforting to know others have the same sorts of thoughts and feelings.

      I wish our families could be 100% supportive and not judgmental about what we do.

      Make it Happen is a great motto!

      Delete
  37. I think Patience is one trait that we all have to learn as a writer. I'm still working on that. Don't get me wrong, I do have a lot of patience but on entering the world of writing, I found that I need a whole lot more. So pleased things are working out for you Fey and I wish you success and happiness throughout 2016. Thanks for a great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trying to get published definitely helped me to be more patient. But I tend to be very impatient. haha

      Thank you so much, Nicola!

      Delete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

Popular Posts!