Sunday, May 15, 2011


You’ve all read stories of how this or that author finally broke into print. Anyone can find these stories in any number of books.

John Grisham took three years to write his first book, but couldn’t sell it. When he found a publisher, the book they bought wasn’t his first one. And the rest is history. Now, he’s a household name and earns about a gazillion dollars a year.

Maybe some of us one day will be another Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, or Nora Roberts. Or perhaps you don’t really want that much notoriety.

Nevertheless, we all have a story—our own dream, our journey to publication, or our on-going quest to have that first one in a saleable form. Maybe our desire is to move on and up, or maybe we’re satisfied to continue on our familiar path.

Today is about YOU. Tell your story!

Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. I can't resist this one, Celia. When I had my first short story accepted by a university literary journal, I knew I had "arrived" and suddenly felt the responsibility of being a writer settle on my shoulders. Still, I wanted a book in print. It was several years and several rejections before Kensington accepted my first book. That felt like reaching the top of the mountain...until I learned I was really at the bottom with a long climb ahead. After three books, I got shoved to the bottom again and had to start over. This time, becoming a digital author, I feel validated after several more years spent dealing with an unplanned detour up the mountain. But I've decided it's not reaching the top that matters; it is the climb that gives me joy. Linda

  2. Celia,

    I submitted my first contemporary romance novel to every romance publisher in New York. Most of the rejections that gave a reason said they didn't want a handicapped heroine. I even pitched the book at an editor appointment at a conference. At the time, I was in a wheelchair as a result of a stroke. The editor looked at me sitting across the table from her in my wheelchair and said, "No one wants to read about a cripple!" So I put the manuscript away and decided it would never get published. Much later, a fellow writer emailed me that she had seen an epublisher seeking manuscripts featuring handicapped characters! I pulled out the manuscript, submitted it, and the book was published in less than six months.

  3. Hi, Linda--I love your journey into print and the digital age. What a ride, huh? You are my special hero, the one I look to for advice, guidance, and validation as a "real" author. I so appreciate you and your devotedness to your work or any cause/activity you encounter. Makes "lazy me" feel even lazier.

  4. LILLIE what an amazing, inspiring story you have. I am truly awed by your fortitude and willingness to go after your goal, one way or another. As we say, When God closes a door, he opens a window. I read your website and now know what a dedicated Christian you are, and how your faith has carried you forward.
    I appreciate your telling the story of your journey to publication. And I'm with you... we do not need the NY pubs. Celia

  5. I almost gave up trying to get published. I put my first story away after getting to the very last submission in The Literary Marketplace and put it all on a back shelf. One day, while reading one of my stories, I thought that others may want to read them too so I got on the internet and browsed other authors who published and browsed their publishers. I emailed one such author's publisher and, expecting a rejection, didn't give it a second thought. A week or so later, I got a response that said, "That's not how we do things--we have a normal submission process but we'd still like to take a look and next time, follow the guidlines." and the novel sold. Now I've got 13 going on 14 and I have a website and a blog...and I'm at hundreds of sites and six physical stores and counting. We'll see how far it takes me.

  6. ANNETTE--you have a wonderful "road to publication" story. I'm very glad you did not give up. I've seen others who did, simply because they were not willing to go in a different direction. Because you had an open mind, you did succeed. Boy, did you ever succeed!
    You can also thank...which I'm sure you did...that editor who took the time to give you correct instructions instead of ignoring your submission. Many others would have done so because you did not follow their rules.
    Good for her...and defnitely good for you!
    Thank you...Celia

  7. Hi, Celia. Like Linda, I cannot resist this one, either. I can describe my publication of my first eBook and finally, print publication of Angel's Requiem last month. Come on over to and read how it was for me.

  8. I had always wanted to be a writer, but I didn't think I had the talent. One day my son came home and told me he'd written a book because he made up stories in his head to amuse himself and thought he might as well write them down. Since I had always done the same thing, I decided to see if I could write a book too. Turns out I could. I wrote a second book and heard about a contest whose first prize was publication of your book. I entered the Timeless Love contest and won, and the following year A New Leaf was published by Oak Tree Books.

  9. KATE--I will get over there. Thanks so much for commenting. Celia

  10. ELAINE--great story! I'm amazed that almost anyone could write if he put his mind and heart into it. I know others who have tried writing and failed at getting published--why? They refused to follow the rules publishers want.
    Those of us who have succeeded learned early on to find out what the publisher wants, and to also follow a few simple rules.
    Thanks so much for commenting...Celia

  11. I began writing down the stories I've always had in my head when my father passed away over 4 years ago, and I had to take over Mom's life because she was already sliding down the slippery slope of dementia. My only sibling, my brother, figured he'd leave all of the work to me. Along with caring for my parents, I have 4 kids and work 2 part-time jobs. So I desperately needed a happy ending, at least somewhere in my life! My first books were turned down by every publisher I sent them to; I could paper my bathroom with them, I got so many rejection letters. Then I began to submit to e-publishers. When I got my first contract I was ecstatic! Then I discovered no one I knew had an e-reader, so to sell any books I'd have to pay for the POD option. I have many books out now, with 2 publishers, but I always wrestle with the POD option, because I've spent so much money on that as well as promotions, compared with how little I've made in royalties. Sometimes I think I should just give it up, since obviously no one wants to read my books. Other days the characters in my head are talking so loudly I can barely type fast enough to get their story into my laptop. But I do love my stories.