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TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF AN AUTHOR - MARGARET TANNER
You have written a
fabulous novel, your mother loved it and your girlfriend said it was the best
story she had ever read.
Now, who is the lucky
publisher? You know everyone will want it. The dollar sign lights up in your
eyes. Six figure advance, well maybe you would take five for starters. You are
already debating what you will wear to your first book launch. Who will play
the lead role when your masterpiece is made into a movie? Be honest, haven’t we
all thought like this?
I have sent
manuscripts to the large category romance publishers. The bigger the better I
thought and received rejection letters, the good, the bad, and the downright
ugly. I could paper the side wall of my house with them. Along the way I entered and won, or was
commended in, unpublished manuscript awards so I was reassured that I had some
In desperation, after
a few rejections, I once sent a manuscript off and pretended to be my husband.
I wrote a little introductory note saying I was a male nightshift worker at an
international airport, (which he was.Of
course, he couldn’t write a romance novel to save his life).
A couple of months
later the manuscript was returned from the junior editor saying she quite liked
the storyline, I really did write like a woman, but they had read something
similar only a few weeks previously. Devastating news.
A few weeks before
Christmas, a friend of ours proposed a daring plan that would get me out of the
‘slush’ pile. He said. “Wrap the manuscript up in Christmas paper, put a fancy
ribbon on it and send it off addressed to the senior editor. No junior editor
would dare open the boss’ Christmas present.” What a master stroke I thought,
the man was an absolute genius.
Well, a couple of
months later, said present winged its way back to me, my pretty ribbons intact,
sticky tape untouched by human hand. The note was brief and to the point. Thank
you for the gift, but we don’t accept presents, wishing you Merry Christmas
etc. etc. The rejection was killing. I felt like the world had ended.
Then I got smart, and started
researching publishers who published the kind of novels I wrote and whose
business structures were sound.
It has taken me years and
a lot of perseverance to get this far, but I am now multi-published with Books We
Love and I couldn't be happier.
A Master Passion - A Founder's Marriage Angelica, older sister to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, was a piece of work. Perhaps you've met someone like her--enchanting, intelligent, daring, filled with boundless energy, bubbling over with wit. She was also a champagne tastes kind of gal who brought the party along with her, brightening any room she entered. Men and women alike adored her. She had admirers not only in America, but in France and in Britain, too, among them the leading lights of the time. The French Statesman Talleyrand, the Whig Leader, Charles Fox, the play-write Richard Brinsley Sheridan, as well as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, and the Marquis de Lafayette were among the many luminaries who fell beneath her spell. We can no longer see the glamor in this picture of her and her first child, painted by Trumbull. Fashions in beauty change. In one letter to his father-in-law, Hamilton speaks of Angelica and his wife Elizabeth as "our b…
As a writer
I know the power of words, and I’m constantly searching for the right words to
make my stories live. But recently I discovered the word “feminism” has been
misunderstood. I had no idea until daughter Andrea received a rude response
after she admitted she was a feminist. Made me wonder, why has this word been
demonized? Dictionary.com defines feminism as “advocating social,
political, legal and economic rights for women equal to those of men.”
Merriam-Webster has a similar definition. The term feminism originated in 19 century
France, I learned. A second-wave began in the United States during the early 1960s
with Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine
Mystique. Friedan wrote this book after talking with friends, who had
given up their careers to become housewives. These women felt unfulfilled in
their domestic roles, Friedan claimed. She blamed women’s magazines, run by men,
for encouraging women to become mothers and housewives, rather than career
women. A dif…
I grew up in
an engineering family and worked many years at Boeing. There, great flying
machines are built to stay in the air for literally hours and hours and jet halfway around the world without refueling. This is well engineered
stuff. With that in
mind, I’ve always considered the human body a high maintenance machine. It is
fragile and can’t take much without breaking down. It must regenerate (sleep) for
a huge amount of its shelf-life. It requires hours of upkeep, always needs wiping
down or, over the years, completely submersed in water with gallons of soap.
The human body must be constantly refueled which produces prodigious amounts of
venting waste. This turns out to be an expensive, never ending maintenance slog.
have thunk this a good design? Not me. I’d really like a conversation with the
designer and tell him my thoughts on how the human body could be improved. But
with that conversation unlikely, I’ll have to stew over poor engineering. Let’s take
one of the abo…