Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Putting It Aside by guest blogger Robin Caroll
Cheryl here to introduce my good friend and awesome suspense author, Robin Caroll. I am so excited about the recent release of her debut single title, Deliver Us From Evil, from B&H. I read this story years ago in a contest, and even then, felt it would someday be a voice for little ones who can't speak out for themselves. While this book isn't agenda-driven, it does deal with child trafficking and I hope this book, though fiction, will help raise awareness of this horrific problem in the U.S. and abroad.
James Scott Bell, author of Deceived and Try Fear, said of Robin's book: "Deliver Us From Evil is the kind of novel 'Ripped from the headlines' was meant to describe. Compelling."
Okay, 'nuff from me. Here's Robin:
Putting It Aside, Moving On
I remember the first manuscript I hacked out on a typewriter. (Showing my age, aren’t I?) It was bad, and I mean, bad. That was back in the 90s. Thank goodness I lost that manuscript in one of my moves. Yes, it was THAT BAD. Then I wrote a story I just loved. Wrote it, rewrote it, polished it until it was “ready.” Submitted it to a publisher. Um, it wasn’t ready. It now sits happily UNDER my desk. That was early in 2000.
Between then and now, there have been many a manuscript on my computer in various stages. Some completed, some not. Some I really love, some, not so much anymore. But there is a story on my system that I love. It’s one that comes straight from my heart. It is ready for submission. Matter-of-fact, it’s been submitted to many places. Oh, I’ve gotten the personal, nice rejections, but not a contract. Again, let me reiterate, I LOVE this story. My writing buddies love this story. But for some reason, editors don’t. Or it’s not right for them. Or it’s too similar to something they’ve already contracted. Or . . .
Know what I’m talking about? There comes a time in every writer’s career when they have a story that means so much to them, is so personal to them, that it’s almost obsessive in the way we write. And when it’s done and edited and ready to go out, we just KNOW it’s going to be snapped right up. But it doesn’t. We get rejection letters. We get depressed. We pull the story out again and revise. We resubmitted until our story has seen every editor’s desk in the business. We’ve revised until we can’t revise anymore. And still it’s uncontracted. We can spend months, years even, on this one story to no avail. No contract. No interest.
Each writer will come to this crossroads sometime in their career. Each writer will have to cross the hurdle, much like overcoming writer’s block. Each writer will have to make that painful decision to put the story aside and move on. Yep, you heard me—put the story of our heart aside and move on to something else.
Ouch, that hurts. For me, it was several months of pouting. Kicking the couch. (Would never kick my dog) Pouting again. Stomping around the house until the hubby and kids were cowering in closets. Depressed. Angry. Depressed again. Pouting. Watching others getting their stories of their hearts published. Pouting. Depressed again.
And then I grew as a writer.
I saved the story of my heart onto a disk. (Ok, two different ones—I’m obsessive, what can I say?) Then I did the hardest thing, I deleted it off my desktop. My heart pounded, I felt nauseous. But I knew I had to. And then I did the unthinkable—I started a new story. I’d learned there’s a time to put away a story and move on to something else. I’d grown. I’d become a “professional” in my career thinking because I would write something else, something that might have a chance of being published. One story does not a writer make.
I still miss that story of my heart sometimes. Every six or seven months, I pull out the disk and read through it. I don’t save it to my computer though. I read it, then put it away. I’ve moved on to something else, and doing so got me published.
One story does not a writer make.
One day . . . one day it’ll be that story’s time. It’ll be its turn. And I’ll take it out, probably revise it for the millionth time, and send it out again. Who knows? It might be snapped up in a minute.
But until that time, I’ll keep pressing forward. Keep writing what I can. Keep giving each current story all my attention. I’ll keep doing so because I want to be an author, because I DO have more than one story in my heart.
One story does not a writer make.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a Southern through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s books have placed/finaled in such contests as Bookseller’s Best, Book of the Year, and Reviewer’s Choice Award. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty years, her three beautiful daughters, and their four character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else? An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals! To learn more about this author of deep South mysteries of suspense to inspire your heart, visit Robin’s website.
About the book:
A beautiful yet tough woman working in a beautiful yet tough setting, Brannon Callahan is a search and rescue helicopter pilot for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Strong faith and a decorated history of service have kept her one step ahead of on-the-job dangers, but there’s no precedent for what’s about to happen. After a blizzard takes down a small plane carrying U.S. Marshal Roark Holland (already haunted by a recent tragedy), Brannon must save him in more ways than one and safeguard the donor heart he’s transporting to a government witness on the edge of death. Otherwise the largest child trafficking ring in history—with shocking links from Thailand to Tennessee—will slip further away into darkness along the Appalachian Trail.
What's next from Robin:
Dead Air (March '10, Steeple Hill Suspense)
Fear No Evil (Aug '10, B&H Publishing)
Cheryl here. I'd love to know what everyone is working on now and whether you've written the "story of your heart." If so, I'd love you to share about it in the comment section.
Also, if you've ever set a story aside, I'd love to hear how you were able to let it go and whether you think you'll ever get to pick it back up & why or why not. If not, I'd love to hear what you feel the purpose was in you writing it. For me, I learned to write by writing. And writing. And writing. Most of those early stories were martyred for the ones that eventually sold and so I'm okay if they don't sell because they served a definite purpose.
I'd love to hear about stories that won't let go of you. Talk away!