Part three of “So You Want To Be a Writer” 🙂 Thank you Marilyn for making space on your blog for my voice.

Serendipity - Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Me in ObfeldenIs today Saturday? No, it’s Sunday. This should have appeared yesterday. Right here. Except — I thought yesterday was still Friday, but woke up very early this morning with the distinct feeling of having missed a deadline. In more than 40 years of working as a professional writer and editor — this is my first missed deadline. I suppose it was bound to happen someday, but I’m very sorry anyhow.

And so … a day late, but not too late … is the third of three posts by Martha Kennedy on getting a novel into print.

This one hits close to home for me. It’s the same process I went through. Many of us have self-published, and even more, will do so eventually. With traditional publishers thin on the ground, we find ourselves facing a choice: self-publish or keep trying to get a publisher to pay attention. At what point do you decide to stop waiting and move ahead on your…

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  1. This was my favorite post of the three–I don’t know why but it was. Another note: my son reads my blog and as soon as he read your guest post on my site (but before he realized it was not me writing the post), he thought, “This isn’t how mom writes. What’s going on?” I told him to go back and reread it……. I love that everyone has a different voice, no matter what they write about, we all write differently. I love that you write so different from me (when I do write). It is a whole new episode in reading. I hope your book does well, Martha.

    • Thanks, Lois! We’ll see what happens and everyone I know on WP will definitely hear about it. That voice thing — when I was teaching I had some students who thought I was trying to “take over” their voice when I just wanted them to fix their grammar. 🙂 I had a hard time finding mine.

  2. I love your writing. You are one of a very few writers whose work I would describe as “transparent.” It’s not like reading a style. It’s like looking through a clear surface into a different world. So few people can do that.

    • Wow. That’s exactly what I want to do. I don’t want words to be a barrier between the people reading my stories and the people IN my stories. I don’t know if that makes sense at all…

      Out of curiosity, who else? I know my “style” owes a lot to what I learned from Capote.

      • Connie Willis, for one, though it depends on what she is writing. She writes a wide range of stuff, but it always makes me feel like I’m there. In person.

        Doris Kearns Goodwin for another, though she is an historian rather than a novelist. Her histories are wonderful stories. You can’t make that stuff up.

      • I just read one of Connie Willis’ stories and it was like MEANT for me. It was set in Woodland Park, CO. I love her writing (no BS or “art”, just clarity, luminosity). The story was “A Letter from the Clearys” and it was post-apocalyptic. I like sci-fi but haven’t been able to read for fun in a very long time… Of course, one can look at the past as a kind of science fiction…

  3. So I read part III here, then followed your links to read part I then to read II. They add up to practical advice and ideas I wish I’d read before I self published with Outskirts Press. I also want you to know I’m going to read your books.They sound like my cup of tea. I’ve been meaning to, but my reading suffers in the summer as there are too many enjoyable ways to spend my time outside. I’ll get them squirreled away for winter.

      • When I self-published, I didn’t know anyone who had done it. CreateSpace was brand new. I think I was one of the first 100 authors. They’re much more sophisticated now – in every way. I chose them because my software and theirs was compatible and because they were part of the Amazon family. They didn’t even have a Kindle option yet. Making your book Kindle-compatible was two or three years down the road. Otherwise, I had NO idea what I was doing. I just decided to do it and learned as I went. I’m amazed it came out as well as it did. I really really wish I’d had a few dollars to spend on a professional editor/proofreader. And even more, I wish I’d had the patience to go over it one more time and smooth out the rough spots. On the other hand, if I’d waited, I’d have bumped into having cancer and quite possibly never published it at all … so perhaps that was its destiny.

      • Same here. When I did Martin of Gfenn, Createspace was ridiculously complicated compared to Lulu — I tried it and realized that I did not want to go through that if I didn’t have to.

        My own health stopped the presses for five years, so when Martin was finally really ready, I had similar things going on with Martin — not my own health, but the health of two people who were important to me and to the book, people I wanted to see it, hold it and read it before they died. Laura Vasco and Ruth Dial, both mentioned in the forward. Laura was the one to told my friend to take me to the church. And Ruth just LOVED the story. By the time she read it, she’d had a stroke, but she wrote me a card in her strange post-stroke logic and that’s a huge treasure. There are imperatives in life that are more urgent than publishing a book under ideal circumstances.

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