Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Road to a Sale--One Author's Journey

For today's blog, I sent a few questions to Farrah Rochon, a brand-new author with Dorchester. I find the stories of authors’ paths to success to be inspiring. Each author had a different journey, reinforcing my belief that there is no one “right” or “sure” way to becoming a published author.

The similarities I find in each author’s story, though, is hard work, persistence, and a stubborn refusal to give up. Whether the sale comes from an agent, a contest, a meeting at a conference, the right ms. in the right slush pile at the right time—doesn’t matter. It was the hard work and persistence that got the manuscript ready to be sold in the first place.

Let me introduce Farrah Rochon, whose first book Deliver Me, a March 2007 release, is out in bookstores now.

J: How did you deal with rejections?

F.R. It's been said before that this business is not for the faint of heart. Truer words have never been spoken. The first time I sent a piece of my writing out, it was for a Missouri RWA chapter's writing contest. I placed fourth in that contest, and received wonderful feedback. I just knew the publishing contract would be forthcoming. I thought two, three months tops, and my book would be heading for the shelves. Well, it was more like five years, and during that time I received many rejection letters. However, I've never allowed myself to take even one of those rejections personally. Just as there are books that other people love that I hate, and vice versa, I knew that some editor out there was going to love my work. I just had to find "my" editor. So, I prayed, and I worked. I worked, and I prayed. I used a few swear words now and then, but then I went right back to praying and working. And waiting for my time. In my heart, I always knew I would be published.

J: How did your first sale come about?

F.R. I simply love my first sale story. In my opinion, it's the perfect example of how up and down this business can be. Last summer, I spent a great deal of time revising another manuscript for another publishing house. It was my second set of revisions, and I just knew they were going to buy this book. Well, they didn't. I was crushed when I received a rejection letter from the editor apologizing for not buying the book "even though she really loved the story and appreciated all the work I put into revising it". I spent the night venting to my friends, but vowed not to spend more than a day feeling sorry for myself. After all, I was becoming an old pro at the rejection thing.

That same night, I sent an email to my agent, letting him know about the rejection. The next day, July 13, 2006 at 1:16 p.m., my agent replied to my email stating how sorry he was about the rejection. But, he also had a bit of good news to share. He'd just received a call from Dorchester. They wanted Deliver Me. In less than twenty-four hours, I went from totally dejected, to totally elated. I haven't come down from Cloud Nine yet.

J: Thanks, Farrah, for sharing!

To readers: If there is a question you'd particularly like to see addressed here, please contact me through my website: (click the "e-mail" button at the top of the site.)

It's early days for this blog, and I have so much more to tell you. But I'd like to gear questions and answers to what people would like to know. Thanks much!!


Jen said...

Loved hearing from Farrah on her first experiences in the writing world. I'm hoping to get her book this weekend!

Since I'm just starting to seek out info on agents (something I'd neglected, figuring I wouldn't need one until I've made a sale or two, but I've seen advice saying it might be a good idea to get one before the first sale), I could use advice on finding a good one.

I'm also extremely interested in copyright issues, how authors feel about fan fiction and fan art (something I don't see a whole lot of "creator" input on), and I love to hear from cover models (especially the male ones, heheheh!).

I also like "nitpick" posts now and then. What terms, misuses of the English language (or other languages), misspellings, etc., make authors twitch? For example, I saw one on a rerun of Judge Judy today, where a woman said she "borrowed [money] to" the defendant. I've heard people say this before, and it irks me. The term is "lent"! I've had some fun conversations with people on things like this. :D

Jennifer Ashley said...

Ack! Borrowed to? I would have torn out my hair. Ones that bug me are "respond back" and "this needs typed." Urgh urgh urgh.

Thanks for the ideas for future blogs too. Copyright issues are good to know about, and quite tricky.

And certainly I will post about agents. Every good writer needs a good agent, but finding a good agent is as fraught with peril as finding a good marriage partner.

Stay tuned.

Jen said...

Thanks! I will! I bookmarked your blog and put it in my "Daily Blogs" folder. :)

Farrah Rochon said...

Jennifer, thanks for giving me the opportunity to stop in and give a little insight into my writing journey!