Like every debut author, I queried and pitched agents, searching for someone who believed in my story as much as I did. And like every author who’s gone down this path, I faced a mound of rejection letters. But I also received more than a dozen requests for the full manuscript, so I knew Thirst showed promise.
I attended the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, without a doubt the best incubator for emerging mystery authors. Through their workshops I learned how to craft a compelling story, and they opened the door to feedback sessions with authors Michael Connelly and Cara Black. I wrote and re-wrote, and with each round of edits, Thirst became a better novel. But I still couldn’t find an agent.
It’s hard not to become discouraged, and the Sisters in Crime, an amazing group of writers who tirelessly support and encourage each other, helped keep me going. I signed up for a mentorship program offered through the Crime Writers of Canada and spent three months working with the very talented author, R.J. Harlick. And I pitched some more, but I also started looking at small presses.
I found an exceptional editor, Kit Schindell to help fine-tune Thirst before submitting it to these smaller publishing houses. But as we neared the end of the final edit, I realized that I didn’t need someone else to publish my book.
It wasn’t how I expected things to go, but indie-publishing proved to be the perfect match for me. I started my own small publishing house, Stonedrift Press and I’m excited to finally have Thirst in reader’s hands.
They say it takes a village to raise a child; I believe it takes a community to bring a new author to market. I wouldn’t have had the courage to publish without the community of authors and editors who generously shared their knowledge with me – they are the reason I’m published.
Now I’m working towards opening Stonedrift Press to other authors, and adding to the writing community!