The world of writing can be fraught with disappointment. The agent who doesn’t want to take on new clients. The editor who isn’t totally pleased with your series. The less-than-favorable review in just about anything from the local rag to Publishers Weekly.
Of those three scenarios, I’m relieved to say that only the first has happened to me. Getting an agent was pretty frustrating, but it’s nothing compared to the stories of many writers I know who toil away, year after year, despite countless setbacks, including a very big one – failing to get a book deal.
Writers take the road less traveled by, to borrow a line from our fellow Northern New Englander Robert Frost, and it’s a path that requires thick-soled shoes, a dependable compass, and lots of chocolate. Our route is more like climbing Mount Katahdin than strolling Boothbay’s Botanical Gardens. You want to be a writer? It definitely ain’t for wussies Better pack an extra Cadbury.
Which is why, when something good comes our way, we like to celebrate. Brag a little. Pat ourselves on the back and get congrats from our colleagues. Or anyone who will give them.
Vicki Doudera here, excited to share some news that’s about a month old. I’m not sure why I’ve been holding out – I think I wanted to really savor it, let it sink in, because to me, my latest accomplishment is tremendously exciting.
I’ve never entered a writing contest, and I’ve never really written a short story, but that’s not the best part. The anthology includes nine other MWA members, and then a host of big-name “invited” authors: Joseph Finder, J.A. Jance, John Lescroart, Laura Lippman, Gayle Lynds, Katherine Neville, Sara Paretsky and T. Jefferson Parker.
Did I mention that it’s co-edited by Jeffery Deaver and Raymond Benson, the only Americans selected to write James Bond novels? Or that J.A. Jance was the inspiration for my Darby Farr mystery series? Or that Sara Paretsky, who birthed Sisters in Crime, is a legend for me? Or that the theme of Ice Cold is the Cold War, one of my most favorite time periods?
And here’s the really good part: I nearly gave up several times.
Many of my writing “firsts” have given me goosebumps… the first time one of my articles was published in Yankee, way back in 1988, the first book I wrote, Moving to Maine, in 2000, and my first fiction novel, A House to Die For, in 2010. But this “first” feels even better. Not only is it validation from other writers in the mystery field — professionals whose opinion I really, really, value – but it is a timely reminder that taking that less traveled road can be worthwhile.