My first book — ALMOST TWINS — came out in 1991.
Almost two decades later and my 36th book, THE SEER: MAGICIAN’S MUSE, just came out from Flux.
FIVE SECRETS OF STAYING PUBLISHED FOR (NEARLY) 2 DECADES:
1. Butt in Chair on a regular schedule (but be flexible & enjoy family-friends, too). I’m at my computer every day. But when the kids drop by, I stop to enjoy them. Then it’s back to work.
2. Networking: writing friends are wonderful. We support each other and share info which can lead to sales. In 2003, after several years of crushing disappointments, a good friend Dotti Enderle suggested. I submit series ideas to her publisher Llewellyn. Since then I’ve sold STRANGE ENCOUNTERS, THE SEER series, DEAD GIRL trilogy, and upcoming 2012 GOTH GIRL Mysteries to Llewellyn/Flux. I’ve passed on pub news and love to support with other writers. One young writer friend, Jeff Sampson, found a publisher after a tip I gave him. He’s sold a lot since then and has a new book out now. I treasure all my writing friendships.
3. Never regret having written something even if it never sells. Raise your hand if you have unsold books buried away never to be read. I have about 10 unsold books; some deserved not to sell, others may be reworked in the future. Everything I’ve written was a lesson learned in writing and a stepping stone to the next book–which could be a bestseller (that’s my goal!).
4. Always say “yes” to new opportunities. When I was starting out I jumped at any publishing job. I wrote a quiz and short stories for teen mags. I ghostwrote a Sweet Valley Twin. When I was invited to write a cheerleading series for Avon, even though I had no cheerleading experience, I immediately said “yes.” Then I researched, took cheerleaders to lunch, attended cheer meetings & posed as a coach at cheer camp. Those were some of my best writing research experiences. The most challenging job ever was writing two Pick Your Own Dream Date books, which had over 15 different endings and I needed to make a color-coded chart of every page in the book to keep the storylines straight. That was a fun, stressful job which I’m still proud of; like puzzling together a book.
5. Never give up. EVER.
Linda Joy Singleton (cross-posted at my livejournal)