I love serendipitous events, and the real-life story of how I ended up signing with a publisher falls into that category for me. I started writing my first novel f̶o̶r̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶a̶g̶o̶ back in 2011. At the time, with almost three years of article-writing under my belt, I thought writing a novel would be easy. *Cue maniacal laughing now* It wasn’t. But after several online writing courses, in person classes, and critique groups, I had a finished novel I was proud of.
So, logically, I wanted to share the novel with the world, and based on my research figured finding a literary agent was the way to do that. And while I’m sure that path works for many writers, after many heartbreaking rejections, I did not sign with an agent.
I know you’ve been waiting for it, so now is where Taco Bell comes in. After a good year of querying, I was tired of rejections, and I decided to give up on the book. I even wrote an entire different novel during NanoWriMo, and I figured, hey, maybe it’s just not going to happen. But then I went to Taco Bell, picked up a mild sauce packet, and read the words: “Why not?” Now, for anyone else, they would have squeezed the sauce on the burrito, tossed the wrapper, then went on with his or her life. But see, what I haven’t mentioned is that my novel was tentatively titled “Why Knot?”
At first, I felt that the universe was taunting me. The sauce packet was a cruel reminder of what I’d given up on. But then, I decided I’d use it as motivation. Give it a last shot. Afterall, I loved this story. The characters were like my friends that were so cool I wanted to introduce them to everyone. I’d toiled for years and invested money to make this novel a reality. No, I wasn’t going to give up. I was going to try something new!
So, I decided to research small presses. Shortly after, I submitted to Red Adept Publishing. It was three long months of endless email checking, but when I got “The Call” offering representation, I was elated. It’s been a great journey so far, and I’m looking forward to the road ahead. But more importantly, I’m happy I made that trip to Taco Bell.
Writers often talk numbers at the end of these type of posts. So here are mine.
Bottles of Wine Consumed: So many AA might give me a call if I answer truthfully
Knee Pads Bought: Too many as I prayed for this story to come to light
Times I would do this process again: Infinity and beyond if I end up where I am now