When I was an aspiring writer (seven years ago) and sitting in my first Oklahoma Romance Writers of America meeting at the Belle Isle Library in Oklahoma City, I listened to some thirty authors (both published and unpublished) introduce themselves, and talk about the different agents, editors and other people they knew in the industry. I was terrified. I
- Author of Contemporary and Historical Romance
thought, “How will I ever learn all of this?”
It was overwhelming, to say the least. But now, indeed, seven years later, I have, viola, seven books out to date.
Am I successful? Yes! Okay, so it’s not overnight—but ,then, is anyone’s success overnight? I think not, it just may appear so. (The best of my journey is still ahead.)
Receiving rejection after rejection can be disheartening, certainly, but what are you going to do? Quit? Of course not. (Jayne Ann Krentz says you are allowed one day to mope then get rid of the letter. Great advice, btw.)
Instead, I set out to enhance my understanding of the craft, attend conferences, put my stories out for obliteration critique, meet other authors, visit other readers (because first and foremost I am a reader), and complete each manuscript to the best of my (and my critique partners) ability. Even when the darn things refuse to cooperate from the images in my brain to the dexterity of my fingers. (You see, on some occasions they do not see eye to eye.)
In correlation, it sort of reminded me of something I heard on the sports radio network. The analysts are quite annoying on most occasions, but they were speaking about the NBA draft and what good any particular player might be if he was not one of the first seven players selected.
Let’s think about that for a moment. There are thirty-two teams in the NBA. That means that only thirty-two players per year are selected in the first round. And out of those thirty-two, only seven are outstanding per year? Really?
I think it might be interesting to see where certain players were drafted in their careers.
Here are a few examples you might find interesting:
Dallas Maverick, Dirk Nowitzki – 1998 #9
LA Lakers, Kobe Bryant – 1996 #13
Memphis Grizzly, Marc Gasol – 1997 #30
San Antonio Spur, Tony Parker – 2001 #28
OKC Thunder, Kevin Durant – 2007 # 2 (Okay, I threw him in because he’s my favorite. He should have been #1—but I digress. . .)
My point is this, even if you weren’t one of the first twelve picks does not mean you aren’t great at what you do.
The same applies to writing, if not more so, just because of the sheer volume of books in any one particular area, not to mention the self publishing phenomenon we are experiencing. Our stories in different genres, subgenres, styles, fiction, non-fiction. . . the list is virtually endless. Am I good at what I do? Absolutely. Will I please everyone? Absolutely not.
Would I love if it you loved my books? Duh!
Will you pass the word? That would be fabulous.
But if you don’t care for my style or voice, that’s okay. I’m the first to admit how picky I am regarding my reads. There’s just too little time to spend on things I don’t fully enjoy. I know in my heart of hearts that when I write “The End” to one of my books, I’ve succeeded where many have failed. Will I be a NY Times Bestseller? Only time will tell. And if not? Well, another day, another story.
The satisfaction in completing something that is 7 pages or 307 pages is nothing short of miraculous. This is my definition of success. Thank you for taken the time in spending this moment with me.
Kathy L Wheeler (aka Kae Elle Wheeler) has a BA degree from the University of Central Oklahoma in Management Information Systems that includes over forty credit hours of vocal music. As a computer programmer the past fifteen years, she utilizes karaoke for her vocal music talents. Other passions include fantasy football, NBA & musical theatre season tickets, and jazzercise. Because to quote Nora Roberts to a one time question, if she worked out? Her reply, “You have to get off your ass.”
Kathy began has been a member of the Oklahoma Chapter of Romance Writer’s of America and the RWA since March of 2007. She grew up in the Dallas area and definitely considers herself a city girl. She does not limit her travels to Writer Conferences in San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle, Dallas, New Jersey, New York City and Atlanta because Jazzercise has fun conferences too (Denver, Palm Springs and Orlando). You can’t keep her at home!
She is a member of several RWA Chapters, including DARA, The Beau Monde and Passionate Ink. She has held several positions in the OKRWA Chapter, currently serving as Programs Director. As an avid reader of romance and patron of theatre, her main sources of inspiration come from mostly an over-active imagination. She currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with her musically talented husband, Al, and their bossy cat, Carly.
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The Wronged Princess – Book I in her Cinderella Series is free on Smashwords. The English Lily is the fourth book in the series but also a Scrimshaw Doll tale the OKRWA have published through The Wild Rose Press.
Lady Kendra Frazier is devastated. The love of her life just married another, and now all she desires is to be as far away as possible. Viscount Lawrie, Joseph Pinetti Gray, is facing financial ruin and needs a wealthy heiress.
- The English Lily
Luckily for him, Kendra’s impetuous nature has handed him the fortuity he requires to save his family’s downfall. But Joseph’s carefully cultivated plans come to a grinding halt when he finds himself falling in love for what should have only been a marriage of convenience. And how can an old cursed doll help?