A little bit mad…

The truth is, to make it as an author, you have to be a little bit mad.  Statistics are against you.  Time is against you.  There are times when it seems as if the market is against you.  Yet, against all odds, you have to believe in yourself and the story you want to tell.

Crazy, eh?

But I’m not just talking about needing to embrace the insane, optimistic never-say-die heart that beats “you can do it” in your chest.  I’m actually talking about being angry.

It took the most frustrating personal rejection of my life to get me published.  Everything the editor didn’t like about my story was intentional…”the hero and heroine have an antagonistic relationship”…um…vampire vs. vampire killer????  “the villain is too appealing to the heroine”…um…Hell, yeah!!!!

That rejection made me angry, but it also proved that I could write the story I meant to write. 

I had intended everything I’d been dinged for.  Huzzah! (It also proved I hadn’t done a good job of targeting my manuscript to the right publisher:D)

That rejection gave birth to my first published story.  And, yes, I was a little bit crazy and a little bit angry when I wrote it.


As authors we have to find the balance between angry and “crazy like a fox”.  We have to let rejections fuel our fire and we also have to allow our Hatter to come out and play.  We have to learn from our mistakes while at the same time refusing to be downtrodden.  We have to write the story we want to tell and then find a publisher who believes in it almost as much as we do:) 

And we won’t always succeed.

That mad balance is as illusive as it is glorious.  There are plenty of times even published authors teeter on the highwire of their careers, but we learn to keep moving forward because with the next step or the next we will regain our equilibrium.  With the Hatter on one shoulder and our kick ass muse on the other, we boldly defy gravity (and the odds!) to bring our stories to life.

Barbara believes in finding any excuse to use pictures of Johnny Depp as inspiration.  She also  has two releases this month:

 The second Raveneaux vampire romance, UNFORGIVEN,  is available from www.liquidsilverbooks.com  It tells the story of the villain her heroine found “too appealing” in the first book!

And, today, Barbara’s first western historical romance releases.  TEMPTING TUCKER  features a gunslinger to die for … http://www.thewildrosepress.com/tempting-tucker-p-3930.html?zenid=f64e76b6e347e7163920912ac17d4b44

Alice: This is impossible.
The Mad Hatter: Only if you believe it is.

8 Responses to “A little bit mad…”
  1. Suzanne Rock says:

    LOL, Barbara. I love this post – and I didn’t know you had two releases this month – CONGRATS!

    I think you are right. I’ve heard many stories from published authors about how rejections fueled their motivation. You can’t let them — or any criticism — get you down. Embrace it, learn from it and move on. (And it sounds like you learned from your rejection – you will now do more research on a publishing house before you submit – right? 🙂 )

    This is really becoming my mantra for 2010 – Embrace rejection – learn from it – then move on. (And yes, even though I am published, I still get a lot of rejection letters.) It’s tough. Really tough. But it can be done. We are both living proof of that. 😉

  2. Amanda Leigh says:

    This was a great post! I always love hearing about what authors have gone through, and how they are able to turn out the stories we readers love. Also, love the Johnny Depp pictures! Congrats on your two releases!

  3. Barbara says:

    Thank you for the congratulations, ladies:)

    Not sure where the myth of the “brass ring” got its start. You know the one. The myth that once you’re published every word you put on paper gets snatched up like gold coins. I swear I almost believed that myth a couple of years ago before I found out first hand that every story has its journey to publication. And some journeys are longer than others!

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, btw!

  4. Great post, seeing as how I just saw this movie last Sunday 🙂

    I think in a lot of ways it’s harder once you have that first book published to continue the trend. I’ve had stories rejected on my voice alone. Well, how do you take that? LOL

    The only thing I can control in the mad industry is how I want my next book to go…which by the way, I need to get typing!

  5. susan leech says:

    Thanks for sharing a little behind the story sort of article today. Johnny Depp is always a welcome sight too. I agree with you about him. susan L.

  6. Crystal says:

    I’ve heard and read a lot of inspirational lines over the years but somehow your first paragraph hit me square at the precise time I needed it.

    (Boy, the mad hatter sure has come along way from Disney’s version, hasn’t he?)

  7. Crystal, I’m so glad that first paragraph helped right when you needed it. Most of the time when I do my inspirational posts, it’s because I need to type the words out so I’ll “hear” them myself!

    Susan, Johnny Depp…I couldn’t possibly love him more;D But he rocked the Hatter. At first I was put off my the crazy make up, but then Depp actually made him a person I cared about.

  8. Fabulous post, Barbara, and a smack in the face to complacency. Hard knocks are part of this business, and talent isn’t the only remedy. Writers need to develop a thick skin.

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