Out With The Old… And Musings About Going Traditional (Publishing)

2014 has been an amazing year. Murder blog was born, I joined Prose & Cons, I wrote three full-length novels and began many others. The one I’m working on now is very exciting. (I know, I always say that) It’s entitled MAYHEM. I’ve posted it under novels in the sidebar. I’ve actually changed my views about posting a WIP– meaning, I don’t think you should until the manuscript is complete– but since I’m thinking this will be the final draft (besides editing and polishing) I’m breaking my own rule this one time. 


This year I’ve dealt with writing and rewriting query letters until my eyeballs bled, requests, rejection, more requests. And the waiting… Truly the hardest part of going traditional… the waiting. But that time can also be very exciting. It’s a time filled with so many possibilities: Will it finally happen, will I get “the call”? Is this the book that launches my career? I’d love to tell you this is something new that only happened this year, but it’s not. I’ve been querying for a while, on and off.

It’s funny, too, when I started getting requests– before I was really ready for them, I might add– each time the phone rang I would practically plow my husband over trying to reach the caller ID. Now, I don’t even get up half the time. A simple, “It’s probably for you,” over the shoulder and I keep on working. Man, what a difference a year makes.

this is dog

I’ve found myself in the waiting period many times throughout the year– and again now– and each time it gets better and better. Even when Ms. Agent doesn’t accept my manuscript(s) I’ve had the nicest compliments about my writing and some great conversations, so it somehow made it all worth while. I hang on to those times, try to learn from them and keep plugging along. I’ve also been invited to show more of my work. All in all, when I look back over this year I can honestly say I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve had others, published authors who went through it, tell me the same thing. For those of you just starting down the traditional road, there is a time when you’ll start to see that the rejections are worded differently. They are no longer about the agent not being able to connect with your story because of A, B, or C. They start to take on a different tone.

For instance, I just received this one the other day:

“Please don’t consider this a rejection, but a redirection to another agent. Right now my list is very full, and I’m fortunate that business is very good so I have to pass on projects that are not only good and publishable but ones I really like. That’s a good problem for me, but it just stinks from the writer’s viewpoint, yes indeed it does. I strongly encourage you to query widely. Other agents have more wiggle room on their lists and are able to take on more than I can.”

Is that not the best rejection/redirection ever? Totally different from what they sounded like in the early years.

Uh, no

This really is a very subjective business. You need to hit the right agent at the right time. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. And although this time can bring disappointment, I try to look at it as a time for improvement. A time to grow as a writer. A time to build my platform for when my début book– whichever book that might be– finally gets released. Time well spent, if you ask me.

I’ve also joined contests this year, won most of them, lost one. I’ve even joined a huge contest that’s very exciting, but I don’t want to jinx myself. Besides, I won’t know the outcome until 2015. Let’s just say that it could get me that coveted publishing contract with a big house. I’m sure the competition is stiff, but until I hear one way or another I can dream of getting the phone call telling me I won. To me that’s half the fun… the dream, the possibility of it happening. Knowing that I took the plunge and got my work out there, threw caution to the wind and exposed myself to defeat. That’s not an easy thing to learn, either. But if we stay in our safe little world– we writers have a tendency to hide out in– we can never flourish. We will never be more than we are now, today. And that, my dear friends, is very sad. Don’t you think?

In my person life, I’ve dealt with new life enriching my world– one granddaughter born, another grandchild on the way (I know, I’m too young, but them’s the facts, Jack)– and loss, grief. On Christmas day I discovered no one ever bothered to tell me that my Godmother passed away months before. That was a hard one. My mother battled cancer for ten plus years when I was a child and my Godmother often had to step into the mother role. When Mom passed in 1986, my Godmother was right there to pick up the pieces. We had a lovely visit a few months before she died, and I have pictures from that day that I will treasure forever. But getting that automated voice telling me her number was no longer in service felt like getting punched in the gut by an invisible fist. I’m still trying to process not having her in my life. All I can do is channel my grief into my writing and know that someday we will be together again. Hopefully not before I see my name on the New York Times’ Bestsellers list, though!

a good day

But I digress.

So, what will happen in 2015? Who knows, but I can’t wait to find out!

I can tell you what will happen in the blog. But first let me explain why I ran Murder Blog the way I did for its infancy year.

This year I wanted to hold it close, like a newborn baby, not do many reblogs and instead rewrite the posts in my own words and give credit to the original author, no guest posts, with the exception of the two I had recently, all original posts by yours truly. Why? I thought it was important that I got to know my audience and you got to know me. The only way I saw to really do that was to write all the posts myself. Please don’t be insulted if you did otherwise. Your way might have worked beautifully for you. It just wasn’t right for me.

But all that’s going to change in 2015. Now that the blog’s in its second year– a toddler– I feel it’s time for it to stand on its own two feet. I’ll be inviting more guest bloggers. I’ll be reblogging posts that I feel you’d like to read. Of course I’ll have to put my two-cents in– old habits are hard to break. And I’m toying with the idea of doing things like blogrolls and tours. I have lots of ideas for the upcoming year that I hope will both inspire and entertain.

It’ll be a fun ride, I can tell you that!

happy ny

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! Here’s wishing the upcoming year brings you good health, laughter, joy and success in all your endeavors.


8 thoughts on “Out With The Old… And Musings About Going Traditional (Publishing)

  1. Sue, I LOVE your new blog design, great job! 🙂 2015 will most definitely be your year! Your creative pot is bubbling over with SO much goodness. There is no doubt that your mastery is headed toward the NYT Bestsellers list for certain! I can barely wait to actually “buy” your first (notice I said “first”) bestseller and get an autographed copy! Your Mom and Godmother will be SO proud of and happy for you! ❤ Wishing you much joy, love, success and cheer in the new year my dear! ~ Rob

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. What a comment! I can’t wait to sign that autograph for you! As for the incredible confidence you have in me, all I can say is… from your lips to God’s ears.
      See, you’ve got me all flustered I can hardly write a response, never mind a clever one. I think I’ll stop trying and just say: Rob, YOU are the best!


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