Thursday Spotlight: Catrina Calloway

ON THE ROAD TO PUBLISHING SUCCESS (OR…THE BRIEF HISTORY OF MY WRITING)

I’ve mentioned before that my writing had a profound effect on my fellow elementary school students.

The awesome realization that my writing could influence how someone felt transformed my life. From that point on, I wanted to publish a book. The subject matter remained a fuzzy question for a long time – until I started to read romance.

Wow. Talk about a life-changing effect. While some people snickered, telling me I was reading ‘trash’ I begged to differ. Romance books appealed to me – the settings, stories, and love scenes were right up my alley.

I read romance novels for years, realizing that ROMANCE is what I wanted to write.

So, I wrote. And wrote and wrote – on an old computer my husband set up for me…

In my basement.

I wrote for two years that way. Then I asked myself: “Is anyone else doing this? Is anyone else as crazy as I am?” Turns out, there were other people doing what I was doing (okay, so maybe they weren’t as nutty as me, and I have to tell you – some were nuttier, but still very nice people).

I joined my local RWA chapter (Romance Writers of America). I found a home there for a while – being among other authors. They gave me confidence. Urged me to pitch to editors and agents at the very first ‘Editors & Agents’ luncheon I attended.

I was scared! Terrified. But I did it. I learned how to pare down my books and sum them up in one sentence – the pitch. This was a turning point in my writing career – one editor liked my pitch, she agreed to read my work. I sent it off to her, keeping my fingers crossed, waiting for weeks for her answer…

She rejected it.

I learned not to give up – to just keep writing and submitting.

The first publisher that took my work was an e-book/print publisher. At the time, e-books were just coming on the scene. I was scorned by some of my fellow authors for giving my written work to an e-book publisher, but I did it any way.

That publisher went belly-up, and went out of business just as my second book took off…

Maybe my fellow authors were right…NOT!

I took a chance on another e-book/print publisher and met with success!

The world changes. E-books are gaining ground. I’m glad I never gave in to some of my fellow authors’ snide remarks about signing with an e-book publisher.

The road to success is bumpy. While mine has and will continue to have, I’m sure, quite a few more bumps and holes in the road, I wouldn’t change a thing.

So, if you’re writing, keep at it. Don’t stop, even if the road to success does. Find another path and take it.

Happy reading (and writing), everyone!

Hugs from,
Catrina Calloway
www.myspace.com/catrinacalloway
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CATRINACALLOWAYAUTHOR/

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