I was fifteen years old when a man-hating princess hiding in my subconscious told me that I had to write her story. So I started, several times, over five years…and yeah, it got nowhere fast. She haunted me, hovering in the back of my subconscious. She waited, tapping her slippered foot, completely exasperated with my failure to put her story on paper.
Then I moved to Kentucky and joined a writers group. (I told you this before, but it’s important, so pay attention.) I got schooled…no seriously; one of the members was brutally honest with me. Although it hurt, it gave me what I needed. As time passed, certain members of that group came around me and pulled me up off the ground, dusted me off, smacked my butt and said, “Get to it! You have the gift, now hone it.”
Well, okay then. So I wrote, and wrote, and wrote some more. Didn’t get very far. Until I started writing my princess story again. That’s when the paradigm shifted in my writing. She spoke to me again, shared her secrets, whispered her desires, told me her name, Evelyn. She was no longer a princess, but an English Baron’s daughter with Scottish blood in her veins. She no longer hated men, but the restraints they placed on her. Then she met a shadow who wooed her with his velvet voice.
Then I hit a brick wall. Shit.
For three years, she waited again. Until November of 2012, National Novel Writing Month, I wrote 50,000 words in one month…
I set it aside for three months, hoping to get a fresh perspective on it once I began edits. On a whim, I polished and submitted the first five pages to a “spring cleaning” event where editors would look at your work and give you feedback. That’s when it happened…
I got a request, for a full manuscript. WHAAAAAAAT?
It wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. I hyperventilated, I screamed, and then I cried.
So I spent two weeks editing my novel, all twenty chapters. Finally, finally, I am ready for line edits before I submit it to the editor who requested it. And guess what….someone pass me a paper bag!
I don’t know which is more exciting, Kirsten: the request for your manuscript or the way you describe the journey!
I can relate. And I welcome the reminder! Kendall Powers has haunted me for an unmentionable number of decades now. Born of my introduction to my all-time favourite poem in the ninth grade, her story is one that has never come to me all at once. I haven’t thought of her for some time. And as you remind me of her at this moment, I suddenly realize, with more than a little overwhelming emotion, that I have come to a time in my life when I can finally understand hers. Thank you for sharing. I’m not sure you can know the impact your words have had on me today. Wow.
Back to point, my hearty congratulations on your success. As I have no doubt in your talent, I am thrilled to hear that you’ve found a publisher who sees it as well. Keep us posted!!
Thank you Alex. I felt it was important to share my story as my journey progresses. I’m so glad it touched you. I will keep you all updated on my journey. 🙂 And thank you for the support and kind words.
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