Mik Wilkens is yet another author from Lazy Day! She's fantastically optimistic and has a great attitude on life.
Never Say Never
There's a word for a writer who never gives up: published. –Joe Konrath
I’ve been writing fiction most of my life. I do it because I love to write; I love the process, where it takes me, and the characters I meet along the way. Besides, when the writing mood strikes, I can’t not write. However, it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I started to think about trying to get published.
At the time, I had a completed science fiction novel, so I researched how one goes about finding and contacting publishers and prepping a manuscript. By the summer of 1989, I was ready to get started, and I submitted my novel.
Back then, everything was done via snail mail, so nothing happened very quickly…not that things always happen quickly nowadays either. So, I waited. And waited. And waited. And kept writing. And waited.
Finally, well over a year later, I got a very nice rejection letter.
That was in December 1990.
I kept writing and submitting my work. The publishing industry got so you needed an agent to get your manuscript looked at by a majority of publishers, so I got one. She shopped one of my novels around for a while, then she went into semi-retirement and let all of her unpublished authors go.
I was on my own again, but I didn’t stop trying. And I didn’t stop writing.
Over the years, there were times when I told myself to give up. Writing was taking up too much of my precious time, time I could spend doing more “important” things (whatever that means). But then my muse would start pestering me, and I’d begin to write again.
At one point, I was fresh off a long and frustrating exchange of emails with an agent who’d come close to accepting one of my fantasy novels for representation, but then decided to pass after all. Days later, I got word of a new publisher that was accepting unagented submissions. On little more than a whim, I submitted the novel to them. Four weeks after sending in the submission, I got an email back from the publisher.
I’ve received my fair share of rejections over the years, and I’m used to them. When I see a return envelope or email from an agent or publisher, I give it a quick read to see if there’s any helpful feedback, then I open the spreadsheet I use to keep track of all of my submissions, mark the newest one off, delete the email, and get back to work.
However, this email was different. This wasn’t the standard “thanks for the opportunity to read, but I’m afraid we have to pass” rejection. This one said something new:
…all deciding parties have read The Silver Cage. They, as well as myself, were very impressed with your manuscript. We at LazyDay Publishing would like to offer you a contract to publish your book. Congratulations! We look forward to forming a very successful and lucrative partnership.
And so, in December 2010, twenty years after I received my first rejection letter, my first novel will be released.
The moral of the story? Believe in yourself, keep writing, and never give up.
For more on the value of perseverance, Google “famous authors rejected by publishers.” It’s quite an eye-opener.
Good luck in all you do.
Mik’s fantasy novel, The Silver Cage, will be released on December 1, 2010, by LazyDay Publishing.
Novel synopsis, The Silver Cage:
Life is good for David Conner; he runs his own consulting firm, has plenty of money, and he's just met the woman of his dreams. But his dreams quickly turn into nightmares when he finds himself transported to Lucasia, a magical world where he is the key to victory in a struggle between opposing forces--one sworn to save the world, the other intent on its destruction. If he is to survive, David must learn the rules of this strange new world, master its powerful magic forces, and decide who is friend and who is foe. But is he the world's savior or the cause of its ruin?
Author Bio: Mik Wilkens has done many things in her life, all of them creative. She's been an illustrator, trophy designer, graphic artist, programmer, multimedia developer, and webmaster. Today, she owns her own business that specializes in website design.
Thank you so much for being here, Mik! We really appreciate it!