Since I started actively promoting my novels in my local area, I found an increased number of people asking me how I managed to get published. For me it seems quite strange in this world of eBooks and DIY publishing. I have taken forgranted the fact that for many people, being a published author is still just a distant dream. It was my distant dream eleven years ago. My, how things change!
I did not fully self-publish my books. I didn’t have the time or the finances to enable me in that arena. I spent several months writing to agents and trying to secure support for my Redcliffe novels. I began to submit short stories to competitions. And I researched the industry to figure out what my options were. It was the short story competitions that got me my ‘big break.’ My very first short story was called The Teen Game and got accepted for the Devils, Demons and Werewolves anthology by Bridge House Publishing. I must have found the competition details online, but I cannot remember where. It was a long time ago.
I had submitted a short werewolf story, My New Master, to a partnership publisher in Somerset called Mirador. The editor was compiling stories for a new anthology entitled The Mirador Fantasmagoria. She accepted my story, and then asked if I had anything else to publish. Apparently my genre and style of writing appealed to their business model. I was so excited! I sent an eager reply and an attachment of my first Redcliffe novel Love Hurts. And that was how I got published.
My editor at Mirador very kindly worked out a practical financial agreement, and she gave me some guidance and advice on my manuscript at no extra cost. She really showed an interest in my work, and she gave me such a boost that my Muse went crazy! For the next eighteen months I spent every spare moment writing and editing, and soon had my first three Redcliffe novels published, all by Mirador. This followed a few years later with books 4 and 5 in the series, with book 6 still in progress.
I could not sustain the partnership publishing model without finding regular paid work. I have no access to what I would call ‘serious money’ that would enable me to continue publishing in this way. It is an expensive business, and we have to acknowledge that fact. Fortunately, I had a standalone novel accepted by a traditional publisher, Chances Press. I found their details in the monthly Writing Magazine that I subscribe to. Chances Press published The Darkness of Love and now here we are. My fiction writing has been neglected for the past three years, what with me moving house, being a single parent, working on our home, and coping with the pandemic. This year my novels are calling. They need some attention. I need to finish what I started, and then begin something new.
That was my story about becoming a published author. Now you tell me yours…
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