What I’ve learned on my journey to publication
Patience. That is one of the biggest things I’ve had to learn throughout my journey to becoming a published author. Before taking the step to try and get published, I had all the time in the world to work on my writing. There was no pressure and no expectations. I could write when my muse was ready, and when I wasn’t writing there wasn’t anything I was waiting on except for inspiration. Then that step is taken…and everything changes.
When it comes to publication, no matter which venue you chose to go, it’s a waiting game. Sure I’ve read about people who go from zero to a hundred percent success in no time, but that’s not the norm. My first route to trying to get published was trying to land an agent through the query process. And querying agents is not known to be quick. Once those queries are out, it’s days, weeks, and even months of waiting for a response, haunting your email everyday to see if anyone has gotten back to you, then weathering the disappointment when days and weeks of waiting result in a rejection. It was not a fast process for me by any means, and after a few years of querying different projects and coming as close as you can to a yes without getting a yes, I switched routes.
I became a published author through a small press called Etopia. Once my novel was accepted I was riding a high for a while, then the waiting game kicked back in and I came back to reality. Of course I never thought the book would come out overnight, but it’s not always easy having to wait for things to progress. From editing, to copyediting, to waiting for the cover art to waiting for a release date, it’s months of waiting, which means months of having to be patient and know that things will get done, which is all that matters.
Whether someone is published the traditional way, goes with a small press, or self publishes, as I did with my novella, Elemental Inferno, there’s always going to be some aspect of waiting things out, which means that cultivating a good, patient attitude can go a long way. I’ll admit I’m not the most patient person, I mean instant gratification is always better, right? But I think I’ve become pretty good at being more patient and understanding that no matter how long the wait, it always ends with the best result.
Rielle is a Winter Aura who for the past hundred years has held the job of controlling winter weather in her assigned area. During the non-winter months she can live as she pleases, as long as she doesn’t do anything that would make her lose control of herself, which could unleash her power and have it snowing in July. Therefore, sex outside of winter is a big no-no, because what could make her lose control of herself more? If Rielle is unable to keep her winter magic dormant during her off seasons, she will be forced to Sleep by the Aura Elders. For Auras, it’s a fate worse than death.
When the Summer Aura for her area winds up mysteriously dead, summer weather spirals out of control until another Summer Aura arrives in the nick of time and brings things back to order. Aden is as gorgeous and alluring as they come, and before Rielle knows it, she finds herself with a roommate at the urging of the Elders, who seem uneasy about Aden, and want an eye kept on him. Rielle and Aden have a magnetic attraction to each other, and for the first time Rielle is afraid of losing control. However, Aden is much more than he seems, and when he shows Rielle a way to indulge their passions without repercussions, it seems too good to be true. But Aden’s secrets are ones the Elders fear, and can’t ignore. As they close in on him with deadly force in mind, Rielle will have to decide if Aden is in fact too dangerous, or if it’s worth going up against the Elders to save the man she’s losing her body, and heart to.
Elemental Inferno Links:
My debut novel, Affairs of the Dead is available on:
A.J. Locke is an author and artist, originally from Trinidad, now residing in New York City. Affairs of the Dead is her debut novel, and other than writing she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, graphic design, and watching too much television.