Shannon here: Louise M. Gouge shares the ups and downs of her writing journey, plus a chance to win an e-book or print copy of her latest Contemporary Romance, Winning Amber. Print for US only. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing. Deadline: Sept 26th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Louise:
We writers might compare our writing careers to a voyage. It can be either smooth sailing, or it can face turbulent seas like the ships on Deadliest Catch. There’s the setting out to sea when we launch our beloved, carefully crafted book. This can be sending it to an agent requesting representation or directly to an editor we met at conference. Or, should we happen to secure that agent or editor or that coveted contract, our voyage can involve launching a newly published book. We’ve got it made. Should be smooth sailing from then on, right?
I wrote my master’s thesis as a novel, Ahab’s Bride, but when I sought a publisher, I found out a major publishing house was about to launch Ahab’s Wife. For several years, no one would touch my book. So just when I thought this book would launch me into a great writing career, I was caught in the doldrums, like the ship in Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. And I hadn’t even killed an albatross!
Eventually my agent found a publisher for me, and I caught a trade wind and sailed merrily out of the doldrums. But some accused me of stealing the other book’s premise, even though I wrote it long before hers came out and I’d never heard of the author.
Many other things can happen to scuttle our vessel. In my case, I have had two publishers drop me, three publishers go defunct before they fulfilled our contracts, and one publisher still like me but drop the line I was writing for.
These days, when such disappointments happen, the persistent writer can branch out into indie publishing. That way, the writer determines the topic, the story, the cover, everything. Sometimes it gets pricey, but if she believes in her story, it should work out just fine. Sail on!
When I rewrote my first two published novels from the 1990s, combining the stories into one, updating them, adding the technology we all take for granted these days, and improving my storyline and characters, I figured I had a winner.
In fact, Winning Amber is the culmination of many years of hoping and dreaming, plus encouragement from loved ones. I traded work with two fellow authors for my copyedits. I paid my beautiful, talented daughter-in-law to design the cover. A clever friend taught me how to format the interiors of both print and e-book. I had it made. Smooth sailing ahead. I should sell millions.
You see, my hero is a handsome, popular NFL quarterback, so the background of my novel is football. And for some people, football, once the most popular sport in the U.S.A., isn’t so popular anymore. Will anyone want to read my story?
Sometimes, in the voyage of a writer’s life, as in any other life, devastating storms can and do happen. In my writing voyage, is this just another storm of disappointment to weather?
Will readers see my gorgeous cover and compelling back cover copy and decide they want to read about the romantic ups and downs of a famous quarterback and a small-town waitress?
About Louise: Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes contemporary and historical romance fiction, winning the prestigious IRCA for Hannah Rose (2005) and placing as a finalist four times, and placing the 2012 Laurel Wreath contest. A former college English and humanities professor, Louise is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian PEN. She is the author of twenty-six traditionally published novels.
About the book – Winning Amber:
Winning is all important to him, in the game…and in love.
Single mother Amber works hard to raise her son, Noah, on her wages and tips at a small Colorado diner. With medical bills to pay, they both wear secondhand clothes and do without the modern technology Noah’s classmates have. The last thing Amber ever expected was for Noah’s father to show up and preach at her about his newfound religion, especially since Drew didn’t even know Noah existed. Now will the rich and famous NFL quarterback try to take her son away from her? With no one to defend her, is it time for her to run away…again?
Drew Buxton has always gotten what he wants. Money, girls, a successful career as the NFL’s most popular quarterback, he’s had it all…until a family betrayal and tragedy caused him to rethink his entire life and turn to God. Now he seeks to make amends to the people he’s harmed on his road to success, including the high school classmate who tutored him through his toughest classes. He doesn’t expect her to welcome his visit, nor does he expect the shock of learning he has a son. This changes everything. Now there isn’t anything he won’t do to improve his son’s life, no matter how much Amber resists.
Can’t wait for the drawing or worried you won’t win? Get your copy now!
Question for Readers: How about you? What kind of storms have come along in your life? Do they scuttle your ship or cast you into doldrums? Or do you lift your sails to catch a trade wind and ask the Lord to be the Captain of your ship?
Come back Sept 18th for Lori Ramsey!