“Finish your unfinished manuscripts,” the psychic at the psychic fair told me several years ago. That was right after I’d been rejected again from a major New York publisher, a particularly disheartening rejection.
In the 90’s, I’d started two stories that continued to “collect dust” in my hard drive. In fact, after writing Tangled Memories, I put on my dream list that I wanted to write a medieval. My bookshelves of medieval history books testified to my seriousness. I’d finish “my medieval”—some day.
My medieval has been quite a process. I started it in 1995. It won the Wisconsin Romance Writers’ historical contest in 1997 where it garnered this quote from and editor, “The clean writing was a pure pleasure!”
In 1999 I queried Kensington editors, hoping to sell to Precious Gems Historicals. I’d “sold” by that time and hoped to translate those Kensington sales into another one. But the lines were full and my book wasn’t complete. You need a finished manuscript to market it to a publisher.
So my tale of a medieval knight and his fair lady was shoved aside for work on contemporary stories.
In 2004 I entered my medieval in a couple of contests, and won the Great Expectations Contest, North Texas RWA Chapter, and the Southern Heat Contest, East Texas RWA Chapter.
Still no complete manuscript. I had five finished chapters.
So, in the summer of 2005, I put butt in chair and began to write the rest of the novel. When I completed the novel in the fall of 2005, I sent it out to publishers and collected my share of rejections. Then in July of 2006, I queried an inspirational publisher who was starting a new line. When this project wasn’t “right” for the publisher, I refused to give up. In September, I submitted my first version to Resplendence Publishing and was delighted to receive “the call” via e-mail.
Today I’m celebrating persistence. My medieval, My Lord Raven, is an e-book and can be purchased in paperback at Amazon.com. In the next few months, I will be self-publishing short, medieval romances which were originally published under the pen name Darby York.