Happy New Year! I’m Dianne Hartsock, one of the lucky authors here at MuseItUp. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking back to a year ago. I was probably sitting at the keyboard like I am now, chin on hand, debating whether or not to hit the send key and whisk Trials of a Lonely Specter off to Lea. I’m so glad I did. That was the first story of mine to be accepted.
Keep in mind, I’d never had anything published before, and my confidence wasn’t at its highest. But if I’d learned anything raising two energetic kids, it was patience and stubbornness. I was going to keep submitting and filing away those rejection letters until my hands were too arthritic to type. Then I’d probably hire someone to transcribe for me.
I wish I could tell you there was a magic formula to follow, do A then B then C, and you’ll be published. But it just doesn’t work that way. I’ve been submitting for years. This time last year I was putting the finishing touches to my paranormal/thriller novel ALEX before submitting to Solstice Publishing. The previous year, this same story was set to be released with another publishing house, but they filed for bankruptcy along with the many other small publishers we lost that year.
I have to admit I was heartbroken. I’d been trying for so long! I got the ‘dear John’ letter one month before the release date. I wanted to give up. But after a few days of grieving, I opened my computer and started looking for a new publisher to try. I found Solstice and several other places that accepted that genre, and my story now has a home.
Even as I dotted the last ‘i’ and mailed ALEX off, a scene kept playing over in my mind. At one point Alex is at an art festival in the park. He’s looking at some sketches from local artists when he glances up and meets a lovely set of amber eyes. He blinks as a jolt of electricity passes between them.
I sat up in my chair. Whoa! What just happened? There was something sensual about this exchange, a heat I’d only touched on before. I know I smiled as my first m/m erotic began to take shape in my mind. That story and several others have now been published with Breathless Press.
Do you see what I’m doing here? I didn’t stop with one story, working to get that one published. I write one and send it out. I write another and send it out. When one’s rejected, I go back over it, searching for what was missing. I rework it and try again.
I just sold an erotic fantasy to Etopia Press. Was it easy to do? No! They were the third publisher I tried and they rejected my first try. But I was lucky enough to have them point out where the story had fallen short. I rewrote the story, paying attention to their suggestions. I really had to push my imagination. But I resubmitted, and this time around it was taken.
So here I am at the beginning of 2012, with four stories and one novel published, and two romances coming out soon. Do you think I’m done? No way! I promote these stories EVERY DAY. I socialize with readers EVERY DAY. And I work on my current WIP, yes, every day. I’m also a full time floral designer with a husband and two college age children. The only way I’m managing is by using a day planner. I keep track of my blog tour dates and meet the deadlines for interviews/blogs. I meet the timelines set by my editors. And I priorities. Family first, creative writing second, promos third. And I’ve gotten very good at juggling!
But you know what, there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing with my time. I think the only way to survive as an author is to love what you do. And I’m head-over-heels. Seeing my name on a beautiful book cover is one of the most fulfilling things in my life.
Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to contact me with any questions.