Sunday, June 17, 2007

Why Perseverance is so Important

by Christie Kelley

I started my writing career 7 years ago during a small phenomenon called Y2K. Anybody remember that? I’d always wanted to write but never had the time or energy with a full time job, husband and two young kids. As Y2K approached, I had just started working part-time from home in computer software development (only the part-time working from home thing was new). The company I worked for wouldn’t let us do anything except fix emergency problems until after 2/15/00. That’s when I started my first (and never to be seen again) manuscript. I joined RWA and the Maryland Romance Writers and quickly realized that I’d found my true passion in life.

So where am I going with this rambling post? After seven years of writing and seven manuscripts and many years of thinking this would never happen, it did. I GOT THE CALL.


The one all the unpublished authors wait for with every manuscript we give to our agent or the all powerful editor. I sold my baby. The book that finaled in the 2006 Golden Heart and made me part of this fantastic group, Her Scandalous Proposal will be a February 2008 release from Kensington titled, Every Night I’m Yours.

My agent called me a week after I'd received a pass from another publisher that really put me in the dumps. Her call came the same day I found out that I hadn’t finaled in a contest with my newest manuscript. When I saw her name on my caller ID, my first thought was: “Oh great, now she’s calling to tell me that I’ve been rejected by all the editors and she doesn’t want to represent me any longer.” For all you readers out there--this really is how writers think.I’m thrilled that my dream is finally coming true.

But more importantly, I want the rest of you to know that I was ready to give up a hundred times. I didn’t. And you can’t either. As a real estate agent, we live by the mantra: location, location, location. As a writer, you have to live by the mantra: perseverance, perseverance, perseverance


hrdwrkdmom said...

Congratulations! I am not a writer but I am a most avid reader and I am in awe of authors who can get these stories written. I can't wait for you book. February is so far away!

Christie Kelley said...

Thanks so much. Actually, I was shocked at how soon the book is coming out. There's so much to do!

hrdwrkdmom said...

As soon as you have a cover we need to see it. Any idea what type of cover you will have?

jo lewis-robertson said...

Christie, what an inspiring post! I love the idea of "perserverance" being the mantra of writers. It resonates with truth. Putting off and giving up are so much easier to do than continuing to write every day in spite of rejection, discouragement and flights of our muses. What a great story!

Trish Milburn said...

Yay!! Congrats on the sale, and it's always good to see one of the perseverance posts (says she who has been submitting since 1996).

Janet Mullany said...

Congrats again, Chris!
Chris is one of the most prolific, talented, and hard-working writers I know, and she is a brilliant plotter (I so envy that!). I'm really excited the book is coming out so soon
Can't wait to see the cover and all the other good stuff waiting to happen.

Buffie said...

Wow, congratulations to you!!!!! And gee, February really isn't that too far away for your debut. So, can you tell me a little bit about the book that got you THE CALL?

Christie Kelley said...

Hrdwrkdmom, I'll post a cover as soon as I get it. I'm not sure what I'll be getting but several people have said the Kensington covers are really getting better.

Jo & Trish, I really was beginning to think it would never happen to me. So don't give up!

Janet, I owe you dessert for that post.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Fabulous inspirational story! I love "Call" stories. Some day I hope to actually have one to tell. But in the mean time, I have to agree, perserverance is the only key. Once you give up then the likelihood of never publishing becomes 100%. I prefer the odds a little more in my favor, therefore, onward I go, typing a little each day.

Keira Soleore said...

Many congratulations, Christie. It's good to read about "The Call" stories and know the joy they bring to fellow writers. Do post the cover and excerpt when you have them ready.

Deb Marlowe said...

Congratulations, Christie! Enjoy this very special moment and the huge feeling of validation! I'll bet you have perma-grin!

Aunty Cindy said...


To sell a book and have it out in less than a year is indeed FAST!

And it is ALWAYS so inspiring to hear that someone else got THE CALL! Gives the rest of us AYUs hope. Jo is sooo right, it is very tempting and very easy to procrastinate or give up altogether. But stories like yours help us realize we have to keep going and it IS worthwhile.

Like Suz, I hope to have my own CALL story someday in the not too distant future!

doing the happy-dance here for you,

Kirsten said...

Christie, I am just so thrilled for you and absolutely can't wait to read the book! How about a few more, did you study English or writing in school? How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold? Did you always write historicals, or have you dabbled in contemporary or paranormal? What do you think took your book from GH finalist to sold?

(inquiring minds want to know!)

Christie Kelley said...

Thanks again to everyone who posted.

Kirsten, I studied Business and computer science in college and worked in the computer field for 17 years before beginning my writing career. I believe this was my fifth completed ms but there were a few started and not completed in there too. All of those stories were historical, some American western set or American victorian set and one other Regency set.

This year I started a contemporary paranormal and had a blast writing something completely different. As soon as I get my revisions done on Every Night I'm Yours then I'll polish up the paranormal and send it to my agent.

I really don't know what it was about this book that even finaled in the GH much less sold. My writing definitely has improved. However, this is a book that I've entered in many contests and only finaled in a few. A lot of editors passed on it with vague comments like didn't fall in love with it or the characters or something else. I guess I finally found the editor who loved the story and my voice.