I have been trying to get my writing career off the ground for about seven years now, and with each passing year the rejection and failure becomes more and more difficult to deal with. This year, I have decided to do everything in my power to change my pat and the way I am feeling.
I have asked advice from many people and my dad’s boss suggested that I go to an event called Books on the Lake. It is put on by the Grosse Pointe Library and held at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. When I read about it, I was sorry I hadn’t attended the annual event sooner.
Though Mom and I were late thanks to a moving work crew that left the highway at a crawl for almost an hour, we didn’t miss much of the action. We were presented a yummy meal and seated at a table with some super friendly, chatty people. One of them was an author and was interested to hear my story as I was interested to heat how she made her way in the industry.
Before long, the speakers took the stage. First was local news anchor and children’s author Devin Scillian. I have been a fan of Devin for years, watching him on TV every weekday for about 15 years. He gave a great and very interesting speech that detailed his love of both TV and books, reading his own book at the White House, and of course, trying to get published the first time.
He sent his book out, like I have done many times, and was excited to receive a letter back in the mail. When he opened it, it said, “Dear Author.” Anyone who has ever written to an agency or publisher knows what the next words were. Something along the lines of “We’re sorry but we can’t represent your book, but we wish you luck in the future.” He thought it was ironic that they referred to him as author.
Eventually Devin got the yes he was looking for and the rest is history.
Mardi Jo Link spoke next. A native Michigander, she first began writing about her life living in Northern Michigan. When she realized that wasn’t going to sell, she began writing books based on true crimes that had occurred in the area and found a publisher and an audience for them.
It was awhile later when she received a call from a big agent after submitting her work to just a few trying to reach more people with her work. She had accidentally attached some of her writing about her life that she continued to write for her and her family only. The agent was interested in that and felt people would too with the interest in the lives of real people growing. It was so cool that a good portion of her career was really a happy accident.
The final speak er was Lisa Scottoline. She has a bold, bright personality that invites you to listen and makes you want to be friends with her. She has written 26 novels! And also writes a newspaper column with her daughter. In fact, it is her close relationship with her family that made it so easy for me to relate to her. You all know I’m super close with my mom. Who knows – maybe we’ll writer a newspaper column together one day!!!
I also love that she writes across genres. I have never been inspired by only one genre, but by ideas, no matter where they fit in the genre landscape. She proves that you can do all kinds of writing and be successful at all of it.
We had the chance to meet all the authors after the event and pick up some signed books. It was great to meet them all, but we connected with Lisa the most. In fact when I told her about my writing she said she’d help me find an agent. I sent her an email and hope to hear from her soon. I really hope that she can help me. Having her say she would find an agent for me was incredible. I have been waiting to hear those words for years. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
We already can’t wait to go back next year. The event was incredible and the setting is just gorgeous. Plus, maybe, just maybe, going to Books on the Lake will be the one thing that changes everything for me.