Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stick To It

Helen Keller said, "We can do anything we want as long as we stick to it long enough." Let's face it, the road to publication is often pebbled with rejection, criticism, self doubt and frustration. Those who continue the journey will eventually find success. Just ask Terri Clark.

I'd been writing for over 11 years when I finally got THE CALL. I’d begun by writing romance and for several years I kept hearing “You’re sooo close,” but I never quite got over that hump. Well, that’s not exactly true. I actually had a Harlequin editor tell me she wanted to buy my book after reading it when I finaled in the Golden Heart for the second time. Then she got fired and the book was never bought. Needless to say, my frustration was overwhelming. I just didn’t know what I could do differently. Then my best friend, Lynda Sandoval, suggested that my voice was really well suited to YA. She started me reading Meg Cabot’s 1-800 and Mediator series’ and I immediately fell in love and knew that’s what I was supposed to write. For a year I read nothing but teen book after teen book. Not only did the books inspire me to write YA fiction, they inspired me to pursue working with teens at my library. The first YA I wrote was never bought, but my agent at the time had heard that HarperCollins was looking for gritty stories and she knew I’d just started one. She asked me to get something to her ASAP and I did. On December 19, 2006, while I was walking into my daughter’s orthodontist appointment, I got the call. After five complete adult romances and one YA I ended up selling SLEEPLESS on proposal. The long, long wait finally led to everything I imagined and more. You might not know exactly when your dream is within reach, but if you give up you'll never get there.

Isn't that the truth?
Guess we're learning two things writers must have are patience and persistence. (One may be easier to come by than the other.) Tommorow we're going to hear possibly one of the worst things ev-er. Imagine t his: you finally get that sale and pick up the phone to call everyone you know and no one is home! Could anything be worse?!?


PJ Hoover said...

Wow, on proposal! How awesome!

Jessica Burkhart said...

I got the call when my family was at the dentist. Go figure. :)

Barrie said...

Great story, Terri!