Thank you so very much for inviting me to be your guest today, Naomi! It’s such an honor to be here! Readers—there are many things I love about being an author, but far and away my favorite is that it has given me the opportunity to meet and get to know a lot of wonderful people. I adore Naomi. She’s a blessing and an inspiration! She’s also a brilliant marketer. Thank you again, Naomi, for hosting me today.
In 2006, my debut novel In Leah’s Wake was under contract with a small publisher. Weeks before the launch, the publisher ran into trouble, making it difficult for them to distribute my book. By mutual agreement, we severed the contract. The situation was completely unexpected and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. Still, I’d spent over a year preparing for publication—editing, creating a marketing plan—and I’d told everyone I knew that I’d soon be publishing my first book. I felt like a loser. I took the loss personally, as a rejection of poor, wretched, talentless me.
Before I’d contracted with the publisher, my (former) agent had submitted the novel to nearly two dozen publishers. Although it didn’t sell, we’d received many letters of encouragement. Established editors at major houses had complimented my writing, called me talented. Rather than keep this in mind, I revisited every rejection. The book was too literary. It wasn’t literary enough. It was too depressing (I’d changed the ending). I’d focused too much on the children, not enough on the parents . . .
Nobody wanted my book, I told myself. Ergo, nobody wanted me. Even now, six years later, I’m ashamed to admit this, because it’s so pathetic. But that’s how I felt.