The idea to write a pirate story settled in my brain in 2015. I joined a group of awesome writers that I hit it off with really well. For the first time, I had friends on the same journey to keep me accountable and help critique my work.
I wrote all of UNANCHORED in the month of April. It flowed onto the pages so easily that I was sure something had to be horribly wrong with it! When I got positive feedback from my critique group, I didn’t even know what to do with myself!
I began the editing process and even won the opportunity to work with an editor in a writing contest.
Then I began the querying process. My agent response was great! About one third of the agents I queried requested pages, but something was still missing with my story that didn’t quite make them fall in love.
After several months of querying in batches, I had one agent ask for my partial. She ultimately passed, but offered a simple pacing suggestion. Since I highly respected her opinion, I made the changes and sent another round. In came the full requests, and I tried not to hyperventilate with excitement!
In the spring of 2016, I signed with an amazing agent after several offers of representation. I could not even believe it! My big dreams were finally coming true! By this time, I’d nearly completed a YA contemporary and had begun working on a women’s fiction. I could not wait to see where all my stories took me!
My agent and I passed the manuscript back and forth with the intention of polishing it up for publishing submissions. Day after day, I watched other writers announce their publishing deals on Twitter, and I longed for the day when I could share such news about my pirates.
Finally, submission day came. I’m pretty sure I cried tears of joy when my babies went out into the world for the first time. I imagined my entire career unfolding before me and probably checked my email 6000 times a day!
Just like with querying, the rejections trickled in. Since they all contained words of affirmation, I held onto hope that my story would soon find its home.
It didn’t happen.
In the spring of 2017, after just one round of publishing queries, my pirates were pulled from submission. The historical fiction market just wasn’t there, and I was devastated. Absolutely. Devastated.
It was hands-down the toughest moment in my writing journey. I wanted those pirates to be published more than anything! If their submission ended in failure, I knew what that meant for my manuscript: shelved. Done. All that work I’d put in for so long meant nothing.
Another month passed, and the second bomb dropped. My agent and I parted ways as my writing direction shifted into wildly different genres.
Nothing panned out the way I’d wanted. I went from feeling on top of the world to dropping back to the starting line. Only this time, the manuscript that I’d poured my heart and soul into sat on the shelf, all used up, with no hope of ever finding a publication home.
That’s so not the end!
Part 3 coming soon!