Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dust off that old manuscript in your attic!

Back in 2007, I finally became a published author after a boat load of rejections from publishing houses all over the world. My second novel, Canyon Wolf Bride was finally released after waiting three long years. I'd written it in 2004 after the birth of my second daughter. For some weird reason, after having a baby, I like to write books. Well, not really weird reasons but I have to quit my job to stay home with the baby and every time I have a kid, my brain says...psssst...."Hey, Mommy! Yeah, you over there. The one breastfeeding your offspring like there's no tomorrow, get your butt in gear and write that novel you keep telling yourself you'll write. You know it is your dream before you die to get published. You tried this back in 1996, remember? And that crusty, old, dried up, curled on the edges ancient manuscript is still in your freaking attic!!!"

It was true. I'd written a full length romantic suspense back in 1996 when my first daughter was born. My very first attempt at writing a novel. And I tried to put as many twists and turns into that baby and boy..was I fond of secondary characters! Well, I never submitted that baby. I did take a very cool screenplay class at a community college and had the coolest old gay screenplay writer/instructor dude in all the land. We'd even go to his house on Friday evenings and read our screenplays out loud. He loved to embarrass the shit out of students. If your work sucked, he told you to your face. And let everyone else know too. Cruel old bastard but I liked him. And he LOVED my work. Wonder if he still meets with students in his home. Lord, he was like 90 back then and that was like 12 years ago! Wow! Well, he was a mean old fucker...excuse my French but he was...but he was honest and I really did respect his opinion. He was a horror writer in the 50's and a published romance author. He wrote many screenplays for silver screen horror movies. Now no one knows who he is but back then, he was huge. Well, he loved my first novel and urged me to try my best to get the damn thing published. He even loved my romantic screenplay which still collects dust to this day. Hate to say it but I haven't done a damn thing with the screenplay but I finally had my old ass manuscript totally edited after a total revamping and indie pubbed the sucker!

I have to say I really loved revisiting the old characters and it was cool to see how much I'd grown as a writer. My writing style has totally changed. My voice is different and even my former voice is heard loud and clear in this book. I didn't want to alter the book totally. I was a little interested to see how well the book would do with my old voice in a genre I rarely write today. Romantic Suspense. Mostly now I write paranormal books.

And damn, it sure felt good to dust off that baby and send it out into the world. So dust off your old manuscripts, revisit your old characters and send your old friends out into the world. Just make sure you have a very good editor and be prepared to cringe...A LOT! I only recommend revamping one old manuscript per lifetime.

Here she is! Tada!!! My first manuscript: Deadly R&R by Ruby Vines

And this old bird will be on sale for .99 because back in 1996, you could buy two cokes for that price, not one.



Danielle Auld said...

Well done Alisha for getting your manuscript out there and persevering!
I too have the post baby voice in my ear 'psst mommy, you over there pureeing baby food and changing nappies' so, I am now on my second edit of my first novel and am also writing a crime fiction blog. Lets hope I can follow in your footsteps and get at leawst one of the them to shelf! Keep up the good work and I would appreciate any advice you have.

Alisha said...

Thanks for stopping by, Danielle! The best advice I can give is to never give up. Even if you have to write and edit in the middle of the night, just do it. Set a goal for yourself. I had to write that first book in the middle of the night. From about midnight to 5 am, I was typing away. I took naps with the baby during the day and just enjoyed those special early days with my little ones. I now have 3 kids...ages 15, 7 and 4 and decided I didn't ever want to go back to work. Luckily my husband was super supportive and encouraged me to write. I've been published for five years now and now I'm acquiring the rights back to all my traditionally published books and indie pubbing them on my own because I make much higher royalties and I'm in total control of creativity, marketing, cover art, etc. The publishing industry has changed light years since my first novel. I never saw the ebook exploding like it has with the Kindle and Nook. I'd love to help you in any way if you have more questions. I'd be happy to feature your crime fiction blog on my own blog and your first book when it releases because it WILL release! Feel free to email me at alishapaigewilson@yahoo.com. And congrats on your baby! Have a spectacular day!

Tammy said...

Very cool! You did what others have been wanting to do for years. I hope this serves as inspiration for all of them. So glad that the publishing world has changed drastically enough to make it possible.