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Success is for the Tireless

May 23, 2018

Joanna Evans

Success is for the Tireless

 

As I newly signed Pandamoon author, I’m so excited to join you via the blogosphere. Depending upon your point of view, my journey to publication is either an embarrassing one, or an inspirational one. Perhaps it’s both.

 

Along the way, it seems I did nearly everything wrong in my quest for publication. I queried too early because I thought, “It may take other authors 10 years to get published, but not me.” Ha! I think I jinxed myself because it took almost precisely 10 years. I also queried early bad drafts of my novel before I was skilled enough to know they were bad drafts. And, I queried with an only okay query letter, one missing the lightening bolt that creates the excitement a query letter should.

 

In the meantime, for years I remained fixated on the same novel. This novel will now become my debut novel. Sinai Unhinged, a thriller rooted in science. Sinai wrestles with the ridiculous level of violence, aggression, and just plain old meanness we see in the world today, while at the same reminding us of our unity at the most basic level. I couldn’t let that message go, and I couldn’t figure out a more entertaining way to illustrate this message other that Sinai. Publishing experts coach, “Move on to your next book.” No, this book was my mission. I believed in it, and knew my other books would follow in Sinai’s footsteps. I’m also stubborn.

 

So, after a lot of work, at some point, I felt confident that I had created a great query letter, and a great manuscript. At conferences and through other networking activities, I had received encouragement from enough editors, agents, or Beta readers to know that I had a good story with a bang up ending. And, I’d gotten enough requests for the full manuscript to know that I was on the right track, but in the end, those agents or editors didn’t “feel passionate enough” to take it on. Fellow rejected writers will relate to that all too familiar phrase. I needed a publisher willing to think differently.

 

The best choice I made along to the way was to actually use the Twitter account that I created in 2009. Last year, I participated in my very first pitch party, #PitDark, to be exact, hosted by fellow Pandamoon author, Jason Huebinger. In fact #PitDark was my first pitch party, and my first pitch at said pitch party earned a like from Pandamoon. Let me emphasize the firsts. Apparently if it’s meant to be, it will be. After years and years, and dozens and dozens of rejections, I am under contract with a fabulous publisher. Pandamoon arrived just as I was about to cross the threshold into self-publishing. As I write this, it occurs to me that Pandamoon is likely the best philosophical match possible, and well worth the wait.

 

The next #PitDark is May 2019. Drop in and drop a pitch, because I believe the only way to truly, officially, forever, it’s-done-and-over fail in the craft of writing, is to quit.  Otherwise, success is for the tireless.

 

 

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