Please join me in welcoming author Linda Cunningham.
At last! I can call myself an author. With my new romance novel, “Small Town Girl” now officially in the editorial works for release later this summer by Omnific Publishing, all kinds of opportunities have opened up. For instance, the opportunity to write this guest blog for Lisa Sanchez's Sizzling Summer Author Extravaganza. I feel very honored since my own book hasn't actually been released yet. However, that doesn't mean I don't have a lot to say about the whole writing process.
Let me start out by saying that having my book accepted for publication has been an education and the fulfillment of a lifelong passion all at once. I've been writing since I can remember but most of my published body of work was made up of articles for agricultural and veterinary trade journals. I also wrote grants and edited academic papers. Not very exciting, but behind this daily drudgery type of writing, stories were alive in my head and they had to come out. I published my first book in 1988, a children's story of the evolution of a small New England town. After that, family life took precedence until finally this spring, “Small Town Girl” was picked up by Omnific Publishing. Now I'm on a roll! I have a website, www.lindawcunningham.com, devoted to my writing, as well as Twitter (@lindac4251) and facebook accounts. I'm working on another story in the “Small Town Girl” series as well as a historical series, “The King's Grant Trilogy”. I've also completed the first book in the Giamo Family Mysteries, “Ragged Rainbow”. I'm working at this like it's my job! Oh wait! It is!
What advice do I have? I'm sure you've all heard it again and again, but I'll reiterate. Keep at it. Don't give up! The hardest part for me was having to slog through all the steps alone. I had no agent, no secretary, no proof reader, and very little free time. There were days when I wanted everyone and everything to just go away and leave me to just get my manuscript finished. And then you realize that a whole other door opens revealing a whole new set of responsibilities and chores once your manuscript is completed! I spent hours and hours searching for publishers I thought might be interested in my book. I studied The Writer's Yearbook. I went online. I wrote queries and synopses. And I collected rejections.
Then, an email from Lynette McCann at Omnific Publishing! They wanted to publish “Small Town Girl”! It's hard to describe the elation of finally scoring an acceptance, but let me say, you don't have much time to sit around and soak in the feeling. Once again, another door is opened and another set of responsibilities (albeit sought-after ones!) present themselves. I am now officially a part of the industry. I'm right in the middle of it. Editing, creating a website, keeping up interest on facebook and Twitter, corresponding with the promotional and editorial personnel at Omnific, who, by the way, are wonderful women and make this process as pleasant for me as they can.
One more word of advice. Get involved in the industry. I joined Romance Writers of America even before I submitted my manuscript and I will be attending the RWA convention in New York this summer. Join the appropriate groups. Follow similar authors and publishers on Twitter. “Like” those same authors and publishers on facebook. Acquaint yourself with writers, critics, and publishers involved in your genre. Keep current with what and who is happening within the industry. Every bit of information seems to end up being helpful in one way or another. Now, get out there and write!
You can find more information about Linda at her website here.