Friday, March 25, 2011

Guest Blogger Kristina McMorris on The Bumpy Ride Toward Publication

It's known across the globe as the "Happiest Place on Earth." Yet one begins to question this self-proclaimed title while standing in a two-hour line at Disneyland, in ninety-degree heat, surrounded by crying children and irritable strangers. I remember pondering this irony years ago, awaiting my very first turn on the popular Thunder Mountain ride. This thing better be worth the trouble, I thought to myself. 

Looking back, I suddenly realize the similarities shared by my journey to publication. Many a time, my query letters, then copies of my manuscript, stood in lengthy queues to reach the eyes of a promising agent or editor—only to learn it didn't reach the required height line. With a pat on the head, I was sent away, encouraged to come back when I had grown enough, or to try a more suitable ride. 

And so, I continued to improve my craft, despite the rejections that streamed in, and I would stand in line after line. Each time that I was told World War II women's fiction would be a tough sell—or worse, that it would never sell—I grew more determined to succeed. 

You see, I didn't write my first novel, LETTERS FROM HOME, to fit neatly into the marketplace. Truth be told, I was barely a reader when I discovered my grandparents' wartime courtship letters, which inspired the premise of my story. Instead, I transcribed the vision of a movie that played out in my head, and always I did my best to write from the heart. 

Eventually, I made it to the front of that daunting line again, though this time, to my delight, I was invited to board. An official contract was offered with my name on it. Since then, uncertainty and excitement have continued to swirl through the clickety-clack, two-year climb to reach my book's launch date. The past few weeks, following the release, have passed in a blur. Twists and turns and an almost constant adrenaline rush have often overpowered what I had foreseen to be a blissful feat. 

At last, however, life has begun to settle to a comfortable speed. And this week, I actually had the chance to sit back and savor the moment. The ride has hardly been free of bumps, but as I stood in the Costco aisle, staring at my pleasantly shocking stack of books—of a novel, mind you, that was never supposed to sell—I couldn't help but smile. 

Was it worth all the trouble? I asked myself. 



Kristina McMorris's first novel, Letters From Home, was released in February.  You can learn more about her writing and her journey to publication at her website:


Paty Jager said...

Kristina, wonderful post! It is amazing how so many things in life parallel the writing/publishing process. Thanks for guesting.

Genene Valleau said...

CONGRATULATIONS on all you have accomplished! In addition to writing a wonderful book, you are a promotion pro. It's so nice to see this book (and you) getting such great response!

Thank you for being a guest blogger today!

Kristina said...

Thanks so much, Paty and Genene! It was wonderful being here. :)

Sarah Raplee said...

Your post is a gift. Your story inspires me. Thank you.