Climbing toward a Dream

26 01 2015

ladder to sky I always loved this picture of a ladder reaching to the sky. When I first decided I wanted to write, I drew a symbol like this as my logo. I pictured myself climbing that ladder to success, rung by rung, each rung representing a new skill, a new publication, a new height. And slowly, I started learning and climbing.

Some of the most important steps along the way were joining SCBWI, participating in critique groups, reading craft books, and taking classes. I even added an MFA to my goals. But the most important step was doing the writing itself. I’d read somewhere that to become an expert in any skill, you needed to put in 10,000 hours and write 1,000,000 words. So I did.

And the work began to pay off. First in small writing assignments and then in books. During the early writing years, I drew another picture in addition to that logo–a stack of books. A tall stack set up in a spiral shape. I was reminded of that recently when I decided to take a picture of the books I’ve written in the past five years. That drawing looked almost exactly like this:

7_BooksInterestingly enough, some of the titles I put on those books were related to the topics of these books. I’m a big believer in using visualization to achieve goals, but I was surprised at how much the two stacks resembled each other.

I’ve seen so many writing dreams come true  in 2014. This past year has been filled with book contracts and book releases and speaking engagements. All of it fun, although sometimes exhausting. Sometimes the sign hanging behind me at this reading was definitely a reality.

8_reading  One of my long-term goals was signing at BEA, and I not only got to do that, but I got to watch friends and a CP sign too. And that was one of the highlights of the year — seeing so many friends and acquaintances making their dreams come true.

And 2015 is promising more of the same. Several CPs have signed book deals, and I know more will follow. I’m looking forward to what this year will bring. And wishing all of you a move up to the next rungs of the ladder to your dreams.

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Angel in the Mist is out

19 04 2012
Image

All royalties go to support the Fredricksen Library.

Just got a notice that the book featuring my story, “Angel in the Mist,” is up for presale.

My story, a light paranormal, is an unusual twist on a love story. It begins in Ireland during the potato famine and crosses the ocean twice. If you love historicals, romance, or ghost stories, you might want to give it a try.

Best of all, all proceeds benefit a library. Combine your reading with your giving or vice versa and allow others to do the same.

Here’s a list of the other authors who are included:

  • Hunting Season – Rayne Ayers Debski
  • Take Care – Margaret DeAngelis
  • Angel in the Mist – Laurie J. Edwards
  • Survivor Barbie – C.A.Masterson
  • A Soldier’s Gift – Don Helin
  • Operation Pumpkin Patch – Gina Napoli
  • A Cautious Life – Larry C. Kerr
  • The Green Eyed Monster – Catherine Jordan
  • Smoke – Lori M. Myers
  • Number 11 – Maria McKee
  • The Things She Chose to Keep – Susan Pigott
  • The Surprise Party – Carol A. Lauver
  • an excerpt from “Oops,” Said God – Duffy Batzer
  • Swan Song – Ann Elia Stewart
  • Dragon Riders – D.A.Morrow
  • Free as a Bluejay – Madelyn Killion
  • 4:30 – Bob Walton
  • Fade to Black – Kathryn Grace
  • The Nature of Sin – Maria McKee
  • Dead Letters – Susan Girolami Kramer
  • Dissipation – C.A.Masterson
  • The Mirror – Susan E. Bangs
  • Betsy’s Delight – Marlene Ross
  • Moving Targets – Debra A. Varsanyi
  • Creature of Habit – Don Helin

I’m also thrilled that 3 of my CPs also have work in the anthology. Nothing like having group booksignings. 🙂





Angel in the Mist

26 01 2012
Angel in the Mist

Photo Credit: Zsolt Zatrok

Just got word that my short story “Angel in the Mist” will be published in the charity anthology A Community of Writers (Sunbury Press, 2012). Even cooler: All my CPs will also have stories in the book. Joint booksignings, here we come.

Royalties from the sale of the book will be donated to the Fredricksen Library in Camp Hill, PA.

 

What if you sacrificed your life so others could live? A different kind of ghost story.





The Secret to Publication

5 07 2010

Now that I’ve been published, people often ask me how to do it. Learning your craft is important, of course, and so is having creative ideas, but the most important tip I can share is to connect with other writers and form a critique group.

Years ago, when writing was only a glimmer of an idea in the back of my mind, I sat at a banquet table next to an author who was receiving an award. During the meal, I listened with awe as she discussed the members of her critique group–all famous authors.

No wonder she got published with connections like that, I thought.

When I suggested that she was lucky to have such stellar critique partners, she laughed. “We all started out as unpublished writers. After we’d been together about five years, one by one we each got a book contract. Then over the next few years, we started winning awards. Now most of the group members have gone on to become famous, but we actually learned to write together.”

Little did I know that I was soon to follow her path. Last weekend I had the joy of attending a book signing at the Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg, PA. It brought tears to my eyes to know that the members of my very first crit group were there signing their books too. In fact, all of us have more than one book published. And, yes, we did it together. I’d venture to say that without sharing our combined knowledge, we would never be where we are today.

But the story doesn’t end there. I moved to a new state and a new crit group. Of course, I didn’t leave my old group behind. We still crit each other’s work via mail. But I’ve been with my new crit group for several years, and now that group is on the path to publication as well. One of my friends from that group joined me for this Harrisburg booksigning with her first novel in a series of three. And as for the other members of that group, all of them are close to publication. I’ve watched in delight as the submissions for each crit meeting move to ever higher levels of quality. I know that soon all of us will be doing group signings together.

In a few years, some of my CPs (or many of them) may be household names. Then I can say I knew them when. In fact, one member of a crit group I belonged to made the NY Times Bestseller list for a book I helped to critique.Very cool! And other CPs are now winning writing awards and contests. So it won’t be long until I’ll be able to say the same thing as that famous author: “We all learned to write together.”

Moving up the ladder of publishing success often seems to be a painstakingly slow process–one rung at time. Many times you wonder if you’ll ever get high enough off the ground, but when you look down, you can see how far you’ve come. Even better, though, is watching those around you reach that pinnacle of success.





Heading to the Big Apple?

22 05 2010

Let’s meet. I know so many of you  from Facebook and SCBWI and author conferences… I can’t wait to see old friends and make new ones.

One person I’m dying to reconnect with is Maria V. Snyder. A former critique partner, Maria has now made it big in the book world. A New York Times Bestselling author, she’s been churning out books faster than I can count. And they’re getting great reviews. It’s exciting to watch books that I saw in early drafts become finished products. I have a soft spot in my heart for Inside Out. I loved the “Study” books as they took shape and cheered on Yelena, who’s the kind of character I love–a courageous female protagonist with hidden talents who sets out to win every battle she faces.

Inside Out has a similar protagonist, but younger, and the world Maria has built for her is fascinating. I won’t give any spoilers, but just say it’s a fast-paced read with a heroine who will tug at your heart. I’m sure it’s changed a lot from the earlier version I read, but the world and the main character, Trella, I’m sure will stay true. Can’t wait to read the finished version.

I’m hoping to pop by her autographing table to snag a copy of this and and ARC of Spyglass (Don’t you just LOVE that cover??), her two latest books, to add to my autographed collection.

Of course if you don’t have the other books in the series, you’ll have to grab copies of Storm Glass and Sea Glass to complete your collection.

I’ve attached the trailer for Inside Out below, so you can get a sneak peek if you haven’t seen it already during the blitz on the Internet. And even if you’ve already seen it, it’s well worth watching again. Right?





How Do You Deal with Rejection?

31 08 2009

I’m looking for suggestions from fellow writers on ways they deal with rejection. Post your helpful hints or healing therapies, special potions, or magic formulas at Romance Writers on the Journey for a chance to win prizes.

Here’s the address:
http://romancewritersonthejourney.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/meet-debut-author-laurie-j-edwards/

Come on, even those of you who are mega-successes have rejection stories to share. Eating a whole gallon of ice cream? Bawling in the shower? Throwing darts at the editor or agents picture? Pounding a hole in your office wall? Or perhaps something more constructive (unless you’d already been planning to enlarge your office by knocking down a wall).

Calling a supportive crit group member?? Running 10 miles on a treadmill? (Hmm, just think how svelte that would make me.) Spending a session on your psychaitrist’s couch?

One of the crit groups I belonged to rewarded members with a candy bar for every rejection they received, and every year, we had a rejection party and gave out prizes for the cruelest rejection, the nicest rejection, the funniest, etc. And the person who had gotten the most rejection letters won the grand prize. In another group, we ritually burned our rejection letters in a bonfire while chanting, “I am an excellent writer and I deserve to be published.”

Okay, so I admit it. I hang out with wackos. At least I haven’t danced naked under a full moon while chanting curses against editors…yet. Hmmm, think my crit group would go for that one?

So pop on over to Romance Writers on the Journey and share your rejection stories. If you don’t have a solution, then just share your most painful rejection. We’ll all sympathize, which is bound to help.