As much as I love blogging, I’m not always sure other people are listening in. A few weeks ago I got an incredible email from blog reader Linda Jackson that reminded me what I do here does indeed connect with readers, sometimes in very big ways.
Since that day I received an email from Amazon stating that May B. was a book of the month then saw your WOW Wednesday post on Adventures in Children’s Publishing, I have been totally inspired and motivated by your story. I don’t know if you know this, but I have a list of authors on my website under a tab titled Inspiration, and you are at the top of the list. What has inspired me most was your post Plow to the End of the Row. And today I want to share with you that I have plowed to the end of the row, which is quite fitting seeing that the main character in the manuscript that finally landed me an agent actually has to work in a cotton field.
After six years of working hard and believing, 200+ queries, 4 manuscripts (one of them rewritten multiple times, once from scratch), 4 R&R’s from agents, 7 pitch contest wins, I finally got “The Call” today.
So, that’s my story, and I wanted you to know how you influenced it…which is why I will ALWAYS BUY YOUR BOOKS! Interestingly, after reading your post on Working Hard and Believing, I remember thinking, Lord, please don’t let that happen to me. I could never survive 200 queries. When I read about Kathryn Stockett and her five years of querying, I said I could never do that. And when I read that Becca Fitzpatrick re-wrote the same manuscript for five years and even trashed it and rewrote it from scratch, I said I could never do that. I have done ALL that and more. The manuscript that I queried forever and rewrote forever is still NOT the one that got an editor/agent’s attention. I had to write something new. We never know what we can survive until we have to survive it.
Thanks for being an inspiration,
I’ve been sitting on this email for weeks, waiting to hear where Linda’s book landed. Here’s the official news from Publisher’s Marketplace:
Mississippi-native Linda Jackson’s BECOMING ROSA, a coming-of-age tale set in Mississippi in 1955, about a young African-American girl who dreams of a life beyond the cotton fields, to Elizabeth Bewley at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2016, by Victoria Marini at Gelfman Schneider/ICM (World English).
Congratulations, Linda! Your story has thrilled me down to my toes and has inspired me to keep plowing. Now, readers, go out and congratulate the remarkable Linda Jackson.
Thanks for sharing this! So inspiring to me!
Sarah M says
What a lovely encouragement to both of you!! Congrats, Linda!
Caroline, thank you for being so faithful in inspiring others, and thank you for giving me a shout-out. 🙂
Andrea and Sarah, I’m so glad you were inspired by this post. 🙂
Work hard and believe!
You are a lovely soul. Honored to play a tiny role in your magnificent journey. Can’t wait to meet Rosa.
Kimberley Griffiths Little says
Congratulations, Linda!! What an amazing accomplishment and an amazing book deal. Can’t wait to read it!
(Yeah, been there, done that looooooong writing journey. We feel your pain and your joy. :-))
Augusta Scattergood says
I need this book! Can’t wait. I love this story.
Linda- congrats from a fellow Mississippian!
And Caroline, thank you for sharing this story.
Doesn’t it sound wonderful!!??!!
Thanks, Augusta! I hope Rosa’s story is as good as Glory Be’s! 🙂
Margaret Simon says
I’ll be looking for this book, too. Like Augusta, I am a Mississippi native. This is a letter I hope to write to you and Augusta some day. You have both been inspirations to me to keep going. I am still re-writing and haven’t queried yet. I did get an editor’s critique at SCBWI in Houston that did not ruin me. I just know I still have a long road. Hope I can last. 200 queries? Not sure I have it in me. That takes a great deal of believing in yourself. Thanks for this post.
Maniacal optimism, Margaret. Keep plowing!
Thanks, Margaret. Yes, maniacal optimism as Caroline has said. If you have it, you can survive 200 queries or anything else. 🙂