Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Call Story by Connie Queen

I love call stories!

For years, I’ve followed writing blogs, and by far, my favorites were call stories. I loved reading about the hard times and then triumph when an aspiring author finally received the call. But I’m excited to say, this is my call story!

First, I want to thank Terri for inviting me to visit Seriously Write today. It’s an honor to be with you.

I submitted my first story in 1999 to a Harlequin editor and was rejected. I kept writing and entering a ridiculous number of contests on and off for the next twenty years. I had my very own Wall of Fame with my framed contest finals. Okay, a lot of that time I was raising 8 kids and not getting much, if any, writing done. That’s okay. When life began to slow down my writing picked up.

Earlier this year I entered a suspense into The Great Love Inspired Author search. On August 19th I received an email from Tina James and as soon as I saw the name, my heart sunk. I thought, "Oh, no another rejection. Or maybe it's a revision this time." I opened the one-line email and was temporarily confused as to why it was so short until I read she wanted to chat w/me on the phone. There's only one reason they want to talk on the phone! We get awful cell signal at my house, and after I emailed her, I ran outside so I wouldn't miss the call. There's no telling what kind of impression I made. I went from being silent to not being able to stop talking. After I got off the phone, I drove the 30-minute drive to my husband's work. There are some things you just have to say in person. Give my man brownie points. He knew exactly what "New York called" meant.

My only advice is don’t compare your journey to others. It took my twenty years to get a publishing contract, and a lot of authors do it sooner, some later. Don’t give up. Our obligations, struggles, and talents are different. Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep submitting
Look for Justice Uncover in June 2020.

If you’re a published author, how many of you sold your book through a contest? Through an agent?

If you’re still looking for that first sale, what are you doing to get your stories in front of the right editor or agent? Contests? Sending out queries to agents? Pitching at conferences?

Until recently, Connie Queen has spent of her life in Texas where she met and married her high-school sweetheart. Together they’ve raised eight children and are enjoying their grandchildren. Today she resides in Nebraska with her husband, and Nash, her Great Dane, where she’s working on her next heart-throbbing suspense.