Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Sister Says, “Tick-Tock”

I sent my sister a children’s book for Valentine’s Day.  She doesn’t have any little ones at home. No grand kiddos nearby either. I sent the children’s book to her because the main character in the story shares her name. And a-not-so-common name at that. Nanette- spelled exactly the same, too!

A page from Nanette's Baguette, by Mo Willems.

Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems, is the name of the book I sent to her. It is an absolutely hilarious story about a girl, Nanette, who is sent to the bakery for a baguette and eats it before she gets back home.

My sister, I love her so, chewed me out. She was pissed because- and I quote: “I thought you were sending me a book YOU wrote!”

Silly girl. First, Mo Willems is a super talent. In no way would my work ever be compared with his. Second, my sweet sister thinks I’m that good. She has no idea of, number three, how hard it is to get a book published.

I shared the above information with her and she said. “So, what are you going to do? Wait forever?”  Geesh. Tough crowd.

After stammering around a bit, I told her I really wanted to try to be published in the traditional way. I felt it held more prestige- that it would be proof that I’m a decent writer. I didn’t want to be lumped with a group of self-publishing wordmongers who create elaborate worlds with weird names where odd creatures, with weird names, go on all sorts of conquests and have lots of trials and tribulations but a real, true story is not really told.

“Well,” she said. “Have you set yourself a date for how long you’ll pursue traditional publishing?”


“I think you should. Just set a date.”

She knows how long I’ve been working on THE INK OF TIME. Between writing, editing, beta readers reading, educating myself on what needs to happen after the writing is done, and sending query letters I’m on at least year five since I typed this first paragraph:

He didn’t have one tattoo on his body. His skin was marred with scars, and he felt no need to hide them. Otto Daniel didn’t care who noticed. When he walked into the tattoo shop, the one with the “help wanted” sign in the front window, he told himself he could use the irons again, if just for a while- until he figured things out.”
Image courtesy of

Too too scary.  But I said to her. You’re right. I need to set a date and move on if it doesn’t happen. You’re right. You’re right, I said, trying to convince myself.

Man, I hate it when my little sister kicks me in the butt.

I think about what Stephen King said:  “…the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.”

But then there are some really great self-publishing success stories out there. Like Andy Weir’s The Martian. He posted this story, week by week on his blog/website . It became so popular he self-published it as an e-book on Amazon. That became so popular that big publishing company came a-calling, followed by a big movie production company.

Hugh Howey, author of the Silo Series, Wool, Shift, and Dust, has a similar story. He didn’t want to get caught up in the long waiting game that is traditional publishing. He felt he could do it himself and get his books out much faster. That’s all he really wanted to do- write books and give them to people to read and enjoy.

So, sister dear, I am researching. And researching. And more researching. Thinking and planning. I haven’t given up on the traditional query-an-agent route, but I’m widening my horizons by looking into the self-publishing market.

I know, sis. Tick-tock. And thanks for the kick.

Until next time,

Be Good to Yourself.


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