Friday, December 7, 2012

Do You Like Riding Roller Coasters? by Cheryl Linn Martin

 We often talk about the fun—yet challenging—road to publication. While it’s not the same for everyone, there are many similar experiences shared. Today, author Cheryl Linn Martin shares her personal journey. See if you can relate! ~ Dawn

Do You Like Riding Roller Coasters?

Then you should be a writer!

Perhaps you and I have been riding the same roller coaster (known as writer) for quite some time. We’ve enjoyed the highs of a requested book proposal, becoming a contest finalist (or maybe even a winner!), and connecting with encouraging critique partners. But there have also been the lows of rejection, harsh critiques, rejection, waiting for months, rejection, information overload, rejection, lack of creative new ideas, and . . . rejection.

Be encouraged as you scale the ups, plummet to the lows, soar through the straight-aways, and bullet around the upside-down curves. It’s not all about spiraling through an uncontrollable track. It’s about gaining momentum, surviving the drops, and remaining secure in your seatbelt as you dare to reach the highest point and eventually coast into the station.

My first four years on this mega-monster-coaster were loaded with writing and learning. I attended conferences, took workshops, and found a critique group. The next four years were packed with setbacks (but not failure!) as God showed me exactly what I needed to be writing—and how to do it. I started with writing for adults, then tried YA, and eventually found the perfect match for me with Middle Readers (ages 8-12.)

The next year took me to some high points in my writing, and by the end of that time, I had an agent, Terry Burns, of Hartline Literary. He worked faithfully to get my work out to just the right editor, and after a little over a year (in September of 2011,) I was actually offered two, three-book contracts for my Middle Reader mystery series, The Hawaiian Island Detective Club. I had to consider each publishing house and choose one of the offers. It was a difficult task, as each one had attractive qualities. While in St. Louis for the ACFW national conference, I was able to look at the contracts, make a decision, and let Terry know at Saturday morning’s breakfast!

Now, another year later, Pineapples in Peril, book one in the series, has released, and book two, Menehunes Missing, is scheduled to release on February 5, 2013.

I’m now off that original coaster, but I won’t be heading to the peaceful, relaxing merry-go-round! I’ve boarded another roller coaster (known as author.) It’s even larger, steeper, and faster. The frightening views surround me and loom ahead. The world of publishing, major editing and rewrites, marketing, sales, and reviews are some of the quick turns and scary plummets tossing me from side to side as I take this wild ride.

I hope you’ll find encouragement to keep fighting your way through that first scary, challenging roller coaster (writer) and join me on the second one (author.) I know it’s going to be a GREAT ride!

Click to reach Amazon.
Cheryl Linn Martin
The Hawaiian Island Detective Club
Book One, Pineapples in Peril, available now
Book Two, Menehunes Missing, releases February 5, 2013
Comfort Publishing